The Self​-​Improvement of Acoustic Ross

by Acoustic Ross

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1.
SWEPT DOWN THE PLAIN © 2004 Acoustic Ross I came here from a land up north of the line It looks like I might stick around this time If you can get past my accent and this loud acoustic din It’s a story about a guy not exactly fitting in Where I grew up, we never had tornadoes, but there was a basement in every house in town Now I live in Oklahoma, where it’s the other way around Well I don’t know which one is worse But I do know ‘you all’ is two separate words I’m a yankee, just a yankee still a yankee, but I’m willing to learn I’ve been kicking around this scene for six long years All I found was cockfighting, Garth, and 3.2 beer It could be worse – this could be Alabama And I’m finally getting used to saying “Prague” and “Miami” So it’s finally time to fish or get off the pot I meet her at a show, she says ‘you’re cool’, I say ‘you’re hot’ And I see it’s time I stopped changing channels I wanna be her knight in shining flannel I’m a yankee, just a yankee still a yankee, but I’m willing to learn I’m a yankee, once a yankee always a yankee, but I’m willing to learn Just when I thought I should cut loose and head on back She touched my chest and whispered, ‘where you been at?’ I might could git along just like a little doggie But now I’m falling for this Okie from some town a little bit east from here From a turnpike twisting through this native nation I’m finally fixing to fix in on this fixation Listening to that rockin’ Rogers radio station Hey, is it me, or is “sooner” slang for premature ejaculation? I’m a yankee, just a yankee still a yankee, but I’m willing to learn I’m a yankee, once a yankee always a yankee, but I’m willing to learn I’m a yankee, born a yankee gonna die a yankee, but I’m willing to learn
2.
PUSHIN' 40 MID-CRISIS-LIFE BLUES © 2008 Acoustic Ross i was raised in a small ohio town went to school where they shot those kids down tv jobs in town after town, never intending on settling down till i moved here, and my pace slowed down i know i just rhymed 'down' with 'down' three times - i don't play by the rules i'm better than i want to be at suffering fools i'm not gonna change my life in a day oh, calgon, take me away i was brought up on music, and star trek too three older sisters and i learned soon to spend a lot of time in my room if i was a comic then, my thought balloon would read: this childhood thing is a drag this growing up crap just isn't my bag i wanna be older and wiser, fast these formative years need to be in my past i was awkward and sad, and development bored me even then i wanted to be pushing 40 they used me as a human remote control i thought that music might save my soul so i locked myself away with my collection and memorized everything from abba to zeppelin i didn't care about style or forms, my favorite stuff never fit any norms music was power, and if it was done right i would listen and study it every damn night metal and jazz and punk and new age and folk and funk and i dreamed of the stage i couldn't dance, but i had my own car i stopped caring how lucky the kids with dates are i got older in time and i bought a guitar and i moved to the stage from the back of the bar and i moved to missouri, a solo act wrote some funny songs, most were just crap moved on to tulsa, started building a life while most guys my age were already taking wives but following rules always did bore me still just wanted to be pushing 40 it's not always fun and games in my head some days i think i should put this to bed i get what tom lehrer meant when he said: when mozart was my age, he was already dead you damn kids, get off my lawn don't make me turn around this song i wait and i wonder and i feel myself age and i realize i'm ripening right here on stage my thirties were chaos, but at least they didn't bore me holy crap, now i AM pushing 40 my life was in turmoil, it was all my damn fault the good times seemed like they'd screeched to a halt so i gathered my gear and set out to record a new record that i could maybe adore and i brought in some friends, we were right on the verge new ideas came up and a new sound emerged suddenly i had it, one more new trick, a new 12-bar blues to make this thing stick i'll put it up front so we get to it shortly i'll sing about how i LIKE pushing 40.
3.
+3 SWORD OF PROTECTION © 2008 Acoustic Ross i wish that i could get my first tattoo i wish i didn't have to work the drive-thru i'll see you in study hall, bring your monster manual i've got a new spell i wanna try out on you you have the blackest hair i've ever seen it sticks up above your dungeon master screen i named a character after you in the script i sent the buffy crew if it gets made i'll take you there with me i've got a +3 sword of protection dr. who tapes and a box of old x-men my brother's lord of the rings and my very own x-wing and seven of nine's autograph from the last convention i wish that i could take you to the dance i'd take my sword and you could bring your lance but all that i can do is write elvish hymns to you and use the klingon word for necromance i've got a +3 sword of protection dr. who tapes and a box of old x-men my brother's lord of the rings and my very own x-wing and seven of nine's autograph from the last convention we made a pact and sealed it with our blood together always our unending love the tallest peak around, i tried to chicken out you said come on and gave us both a shove i broke my legs you broke a collarbone our parents broke us up now we're alone but when i'm up to snuff i'm gonna steal your father's truck we'll take our stuff and find ourselves a home i've got a +3 sword of protection dr. who tapes and a box of old x-men my brother's lord of the rings and my very own x-wing and seven of nine's autograph from the last convention shatner's autograph sulu's autograph from the last convention
4.
*blushes* 03:51
*blushes* © 2008 Acoustic Ross i was walking past your desk one afternoon don't know where you were, you must've been in the breakroom i always had an office crush on you i had a latte in my head and i was humming a tune i tripped and spilled my coffee on your desk keyboard with double cream, my khakis a mess to get a better look i quickly undressed and started drying off with your whole box of kleenex that's when you walked in and you let out a scream i shouted 'what you think you saw you did not see' i told the story ten more times on the way to the unemployment line that what you think you saw you did not see it's not how it looks after a couple months i missed my old work friends i thought maybe we'd catch up some random weekend one night i saw you at the bar with your new boyfriend six shots later i knew i was on the mend six more shots later, six more shots later i woke up in a park at half past noon kinda breezy out, i'm not feelin too good on my chest a brand new 'thug life' tattoo that's when it occurred to me my pants were gone too i quickly found a house on the next block it looked empty, all the doors were locked a tall oak tree, an open window way up high i climbed and reached and much to my surprise... that's when you walked in and you let out a scream i said what you think you saw you did not see i told the tale to no avail for 20 blocks to county jail that what you think you saw you did not see it's not that i'm complaining but your order is restraining and what you think you saw you did not see it's not how it looks
5.
FAULT COUNTRY © 2008 Acoustic Ross don't let this be over this is not how it ends think about it a minute can we still make amends? i know that you're leaving, storming out in a flash please just leave me some elvis and some old johnny cash back in the beginning it was all sweet and nice you were a zevon i was a wainwright we huddled together with one set of headphones in one small apartment with one old gramophone you were my bonnie and i was your prine your john wesley harding my own patsy cline till that night in august at the start of the end i brought home some son volt you brought wilco instead it was clear from that moment it was falling apart i broke out the buzzcocks you tore out the heart i fired the pistols you shot out the lights till, like richard and linda, we ended the fight now i'm all alone in this bedroom tonight and i've learned a lesson about music and life for each upbeat single there's another sad tune but for each broken record there's a johnny and june don't let this be over don't let this end rough we agreed on todd snider couldn't that be enough? if i can't stop you leaving, throwing me in the trash please just leave some elvis and some old johnny cash.
6.
ROUGH WEEKEND © 2008 Acoustic Ross i went out drinking last saturday night in the same bar i always visit my friend tony's band was putting on a show, i didn't wanna miss it i got kinda drunk after a couple hours, so i figured i should leave but when i got to the back, i nearly dropped in my tracks i saw something made me wanna heave it was the manager of a boy band i used to be in i should have given him a kick in the gut we were bigger than backstreet when he threw my ass out now i'm bigger than jabba the hutt i stumbled back to my car, parked behind the bar, started reaching for my keys i dropped them in the snow, started searching high and low, and i got down on my knees i saw shiny black boots in front of my face, it was officer fang he said 'what are you doing you slobbering drunk?' i said 'nothing!' he kicked me in the teeth, took away my keys, and told me i could sleep in jail but when he turned his back i made my attack i took off down a snowy trail i had a rough weekend i had a rough weekend i had a rough weekend once again. i went back to my place, splashed some water on my face, and i threw up 5 or 6 times i slept the whole next day till my girl stopped by and we drank ourselves some red wine (hair of the dog) she got loosened up and told me 'don't get mad, but i think i'm in trouble' i said 'there's just one thing, then, that we oughta do, is get married on the double' and i thought to myself 'what else could happen to make my weekend rougher?' my girl answered that one, she said 'just hold on, cause i've got another lover' i had a rough weekend i had a rough weekend i had a rough weekend once again. well i took off running for my car - which i forgot, it wasn't there (it was still back at the bar in the first verse) i got into hers, it's a little blue thunderbird, and i headed straight for nowhere i was moving pretty quickly when the lines got squiggly and i couldn't see where to go and the snow didn't help cause it just wouldn't melt and i skidded right off the road i crashed into a ditch, shouted son of a gun, i thought it was the end but the story ain't over till the fat guy sings about his rough weekend. i had a rough weekend i had a rough weekend i had a rough weekend once again.
7.
MAKE IT CRISPY © 2010 Acoustic Ross DEATH will be defied let the Crispy Family be your guide this will be a ride like none you've ever tried amazing feats will be... feated now please remain seated tonight... make it crispy! SWORDS (of many sizes) will be swallowed fire codes (mostly) followed something gross, something grotesque a little vaudeville and a little burlesque our lovely assistant brought her favorite straitjacket wait till you see what we do with a tennis racket tonight... make it crispy! we loaded up our staple gun and we strapped all this stuff to the strongman to bring this show to you right here tonight KNIVES will be flung songs will be sung (mostly by me) pins poked into places normal people don't poke pins into it's not a magic show it's real, it's art this show's not for the faint of heart tonight... make it crispy!
8.
TALKIN’ DON’T PICK ON THE BIG GUY BLUES © 2004 Acoustic Ross Well since my baby left me I’ve found a new place to dwell It’s down at the end of lonely street in a house with my old buddy L L. Ron Presley, that is (no relation) So when Tom asked me to play this show, I thought “sounds like fun, but I don’t know any Elvis songs, guess I’ll have to write my own” So I asked L. Ron to help me out, he said “I don’t know what the fuss is all about, they call him The King, but I never saw no crown” He said “all I remember’s the way he died, out on that highway doing 95 With his wife, Jayne Mansfield, at his side” I said “Ron, you might be thinking of someone else…” So I called my Mom to see if she might have some thoughts regarding E I said “Mom, the show’s only seven days away” She said “oh, I remember Elvis, yup, that ‘Candle in the Wind’ song really sucked But that boy was the Liberace of his day” I said “Mom, hang on, that’s Elton John, you’re starting to sound a lot like Ron, Doesn’t anyone remember ‘Blue Suede Shoes?’” She said “what’s Marlin Perkins have to do with this?” I said “could you put Dad on the phone?” I asked this guy I knew from work, frankly he’s usually kind of a jerk, But he really knows his music so I figured what the hey He said “make sure you mention Lisa Marie’s ex-husbands, now she’s up to three, But that middle one Jacko, he’s weird enough for eight” I said “the music’s what I’m interested in” He said “what, you mean ‘Beat It’ or ‘Billie Jean?’” I knew I shouldn’t have come to him in the first place (frankly, I was starting to get a little bit discouraged) I went up to that big old record store The one that’s on the second floor of that bookstore where they also sell overpriced coffee There was just one clerk there who looked kinda hip I said “take me to where Elvis lives” She said “you looking for later stuff or early?” I’m thinking finally, progress! “Early please!” She says “that’s my favorite too” and leads me to a rack and hands me a CD On the cover he’s got the slicked-back hair, guitar and... glasses also there She says “his song ‘Veronica’ really means a lot to me” Elvis Costello. I really shoulda seen that coming. (You should have too.) I was starting to get a little tense Three days away and still on the fence about which way I want this song to go That’s when Woody G appeared to me, he said “talking blues, boy, gotta be” And I knew right then, you don’t tell Woody no He said “stick to the hits, skip the scandal A little respect – this ain’t Tony Randall, it’s the undisputed King of Rock ‘n’ Roll Save all the jokes about his weight, and the drugs, and the craziness For Brian Wilson’s birthday.” Woody said “say what you want about the Vegas trip, this guy had a hundred top 40 hits I think he’s entitled to a little eccentricity Yeah, and managers come and pharmacists go, and pretenders to the throne you know But Elvis never dangled a baby off a balcony” (Woody’s got a point there) So if you’re lonesome tonight, need a hunk of love Return to sender and rise above black velvet paintings and rhinestones all around Yeah, forget Graceland, forget the flicks, Ed Sullivan shooting from the hip The thin one, the fat one – just remember the sound Cause that’s the Elvis who’s never gonna leave the building.
9.
JUST THE THING © 2004 Acoustic Ross This old guitar has seen better days I broke half the strings trying to play ‘Purple Haze’ It’s kinda hard to play acoustic guitar up behind your back But these low ceilings made it easy to put a crack in the neck So I swung it around like Cobain or Townshend on stage Smashed it down on the floor like Loudon on a drunken rampage Next morning I saw the debris, I felt regret and I snapped But I thought, hey, I’ve got just the thing for that It’s stringy, sticky, and it smells like athlete’s feet The only thing in my toolbox, what else would I need? Got a roll in every room and one around my wrist It’s the only standing order on my shopping list It keeps the world together and it doesn’t suck Primer color like an elephant, but it’s made by ducks Can’t get enough of the gray stuff This old house has been through a lot Eighty years old and now everything is going to pot The leaks in the ceiling have now also ruined the floor And the crickets and the spiders ran my dog right out the door The outlets are shorted, my computer’s developed a glitch I’ve got birds in the belfry and the yard really stinks from the ditch The window’s still broken where the burglar he break the latch But I’m pretty certain I’ve got just the thing for that If makes me feel much better in uncertain times like this It binds us all together, keeps us safe from terrorists This old heart has seen better days since we went our proverbial separate ways I can still feel the spot where you tore those ventricles out You were the light of my life even after we burned out I almost never think of you at all anymore Only when I’m at home or at work or when I’m outdoors You left a hole in my life but I’m keeping it under my hat Cause I’m reasonably certain I’ve got just the thing for that It’s stringy, sticky, and it smells like athlete’s feet The only thing in my toolbox, what else would I need? Got a roll in every room and one around my wrist It’s the only standing order on my shopping list It keeps the world together and it doesn’t suck Primer color like an elephant, but it’s made by ducks Can’t get enough of the gray stuff
10.
Over You Now 01:58
OVER YOU NOW © 2002 Acoustic Ross I stole your car and blew up your house but I think I’m over you now I stalked your friends and I ate your dog but I think I’m over you now I watched you at school for a week or two until I knew that it was true That this was love and we had to be together in spite of you I painted your name on the walls of the school but I think I’m over you now I sent a few notes, I sent a few bombs but I think I’m over you now I followed you home and I followed you in and I watched from under the bed I sent you my ear, I sent you my arm and I taped everything you said I painted my name on the back of your car but I think I’m over you now I shaved my head and burned down my house but I think I’m over you now I burned you in effigy (into my flesh) and I kidnapped your mom and dad I went to jail, I flunked my test and now I think I’ve got it bad Now the shrink says I’m obsessive, but I don’t know I guess I just fall in love too fast So if you still want me I’ll be out in 8 years maybe we can have another blast Well I hung myself in prison so I could get out and I’m just a spirit now I’m gonna haunt your house for the rest of time I guess I’m really over you now And I’m watching over you now And I’m hovering over you now I’m really over you now
11.
NOTHING EVER HAPPENS © 2002 Acoustic Ross I lost a toe in a bar fight My drug-addicted ex-wife is a porno star She got abducted by the mother ship and my evil twin stole my car My sister’s been dating a sasquatch He treats her really bad and you should smell those shoes The people around me make daytime TV look like the 10 o’clock news My uncle spontaneously combusted the spirit of grandma just won’t leave us alone I’m pretty sure my kids are children of the corn and the CIA tapped my phone My neighbors are plotting against me Mom got pregnant by her former ex-husband My teeth and hair all fell out today and I got kicked out of a one-man band Now I used to wish that I could be famous and I waited for a sign When I wished for a life that would put me in the tabloids this isn’t what I had in mind They airbrushed me out of the yearbook the psychic hotline isn’t taking my calls I lost my job at the asbestos plant and I’ve got this rash on my back My girlfriend got killed by the Blair Witch My feminine side just wants to be friends I wrote a hit song that misused the word “ironic” And this one has a kinda crappy end.
12.
Pieces of Me 02:43
PIECES OF ME © 2002 Acoustic Ross It’s time I got my ass in gear I don’t have the stomach for this business It’s been six weeks since you were here And now my heart’s not in this I’ve got one foot in the grave but the rest of me might be saved Baby I go to pieces when you’re around Butterflies in my stomach, both hands on the wheel What happened to my nerves of steel? My foot in the door, my lips are still sealed My head up my ass is still technically head over heels I grease my hair with Crisco* I left my heart in San Francisco Baby I go to pieces when you’re around (EKG solo) I bury my head in the sand and all my combat’s hand to hand Baby I go to pieces when you’re around Now I’ve got my head in the game Got my nose to the grindstone, and I’ll shoulder the blame It’s all in my head, but my head’s in a vice I’d lift a finger, but it wouldn’t be nice So you can kiss my ass in traction my body of work is out of action Baby I go to pieces when you’re around I asked you to remember me you thought I said “dismember me” Baby I go to pieces when you’re around You took my hand You stole my heart You buried the rest in a box in the yard Baby I go to pieces when you’re around. * sorry, I very apologize for this line.
13.
83 Ribbons 03:18
83 RIBBONS © 2002 Acoustic Ross I’ve got 83 ribbons every color from here to there One for every concern but I never know which one to wear I say just what I think (at least what I think I think) I stand for my beliefs I stand for everything I got the first ribbon for AIDS awareness two was for abstinence Three and four, pornography (one for and one against) Five and six, drugs and alcohol seven fur, eight for the environment Nine is anti-smoking ten ten ten ten for everything everything everything everything (Eleven for plagiarism) Everyone’s gotta believe in something but I can’t make up my mind Everyone’s got a cause to fight for and all of them are mine I've got a song in my heart and my heart on my sleeve and I know one thing for sure: My cause is bigger than yours. I buy a lot of records but only if they’re benefit I donate my parents’ money but all of it’s nonprofit I’m Sinead, I’m Sting, I’m the Cranberries I’m Rage Against The Machine I know my side will win one day cause I’m on every team Everyone’s gotta believe in something but I can’t make up my mind Everyone’s got a cause to fight for and all of them are mine I've got a song in my heart and my heart on my sleeve and I know one thing for sure: My cause is bigger than yours. I’ve got one each for the Bill of Rights which brings it to 21 A green one for the rainforest the blue one’s got something to do with guns There’s one for every state in the union nine for the Supreme Court The last one’s for independence cause I’m against any kind of support Everyone’s gotta believe in something but I can’t make up my mind Everyone’s got a cause to fight for and all of them are mine I've got a song in my heart and my heart on my sleeve and I know one thing for sure: My cause is bigger than yours.
14.
Idiot 02:14
IDIOT © 2002 Acoustic Ross I sent a big check to a TV preacher Don’t play the game, I watch from the bleachers I hate teachers cause I’m an idiot I don’t rock the boat I don’t wear a coat I don’t even vote cause I’m an idiot I’m an idiot and I like my life just fine I’m an idiot, won’t you be mine? Spent all my money on a really nice casket Put all my eggs and then dropped the basket A tisket, a tasket I’m an idiot I o.d.’d on sugar I’ve eaten a booger proposed to a hooker cause I’m an idiot I’m an idiot and I like my life just fine I’m an idiot, won’t you be mine? A box of rocks, I’m dumb as an ox I don’t get the joke, hooked on secondhand smoke Believe everything I see on TV I don’t read books I watch movies I don’t understand cause I’m an idiot Put another crack in the Liberty Bell They took me away, put me in a cell I’m going to hell cause I’m an idiot I bought a big mansion just outside of Branson I got kicked out of Hanson cause I’m an idiot I’m an idiot and I like my life just fine I’m an idiot, won’t you be mine?
15.
TIME FOR ONE MORE © 2002 Acoustic Ross One last song and then I’ll be on my way One last song then I can get on with my life I’ve had enough of this lukewarm appreciation for one night I’m packing up, I’m heading out One last song and then we’re all on our way One last song then we can pay our bills and leave a tiny tip You call this entertainment? Yeah right Sounds pretty much like crap to me There’s two guys who do covers but they get the words all wrong There’s three guys who do improv thank God the sets are only ten minutes long Then there’s that guy who sings that stupid “Idiot” song I saw this once before, but that time they had a gong One last song and one more wasted evening No free drinks, no cash, no audience at all except the boyfriend of the waitress who I thought was cute Oh well, I’m packing up, I’m moving on One last song I wonder where the gang from work was? I guess it’s better anyhow Forgot the words again, a string broke, and I dropped a pick And I drank too much coffee and played too fast There’s two girls who were pretty good and they played my favorite song There’s one kid who reads poetry and pronounces ‘angst’ wrong Then there’s that guy who sings that stupid “Idiot” song I saw this once before, but that time they had a gong One last song and then we’re all on our way One last song then we’ll forget about tonight It’s thrilling, disappointing, painful, and endearing And I won’t be back until tomorrow night.

about

A smattering of selections from the first three albums.
Mostly remixed and remastered.
Click track titles for lyrics, credits and notes about each track.

credits

released December 16, 2014

All tracks written, arranged & recorded by Acoustic Ross.
All vocals & instruments by Acoustic Ross except as noted.
Yes, it's another Twilight Zone reference.

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Acoustic Ross Tulsa, Oklahoma

Either Tulsa's funniest musician or its most musical comedian, Acoustic Ross has written & performed original AntiFolk/comedy music for 25+ years, released 7 albums, served as house musician/MC in carnival sideshow, & played nearly 400 shows in venues sizing from Cain's Ballroom to a school bus.

Check out acousticross.com/category/media for a handful of tracks not available here!
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