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Planets Don't Twinkle

by The Granite Countertops

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1.
Chaos is not the thrill it used to be An insecure world, selling security Stop breaking, stop breaking, stop breaking everything! Stop breaking, stop breaking, stop breaking everything! Angry clowns strut and fret upon the stage Slash and burn in the name of the golden age Stop breaking, stop breaking, stop breaking everything! Stop breaking, stop breaking, stop breaking everything! Wreckers of civilization pose as keepers of tradition While you liquidate our future, selling us your austerity dreams The color of money matters none I supply your demands You demand, I supply You don’t buy, I don’t build I don’t build, you don’t work You build, I compete Price goes down, wage goes down Poor can’t spend, we all suffer Rich don’t spend, war ensues Stupid cycle, got another? Sucking out the juice, leaving us the shells We have to live in their garbage while they help themselves Kingdom rise and kingdom fall, it’s not happy hour, it’s last call Kingdom rise and kingdom fall, rise up, come together, one and all In the real world where we live our lives You try to choke us and split us into tribes Impose fake values to cut us down to size We’ve outgrown you and we intend to thrive Stop breaking, stop breaking, stop breaking everything! Stop breaking, stop breaking, stop breaking everything! Stop breaking, stop breaking, stop breaking everything! Stop breaking, stop breaking, stop breaking everything! Stop breaking, stop breaking, stop breaking everything! (etc) ©2014 J Neo Marvin and Davis Jones (BMI)
2.
I used to be a Catholic I married Jesus when I was ten In a beautiful white lace dress I loved him very much I have a more mature attitude today I know that he existed I know that he was hip I know his voice had been twisted And I know I had given that scene the slip I have a more mature attitude today My mother was devoted It got her in a fix A choice of excommunication Or make baby number six My father was indifferent She had her operation It left her chemically unbalanced He died alone in the kitchen I have a more mature attitude today I prayed a lot to Jesus I asked to bring him back I asked to make her happy Jesus never had my back I have a more mature attitude today I learned from Aristotle That Ethics, Logic, Passion rules The Three Offices Of Truth, yeah! Turns out religion is for fools Where guilt is your savior An excuse for some forgiveness A scapegoated mother Cannot ask for a witness. I used to love Jesus I...don't today I used to love Jesus... ©2014 J Neo Marvin and Davis Jones (BMI)
3.
Americans are not so smart 'Cause they don't know about Jean Paul Sartre Everything they'll ever know Football games and TV shows. In France they killed the King and Queen Jean Paul Sartre still makes the scene With his one true love, Simone All they are is all alone. Yeah, he won the Nobel Prize Beat out all the other guys Took a chance with libations All he sees are crustaceans. (Jonn Lunsford-Lisa Jackson) (c) 1996 The Crabs
4.
Brain in a chair, going nowhere Stuck in your brain and forgetting to care Get out of that chair and go get some air Better start treating your body fair Mind like a fire, ass like a stone Can't live on numbers and words alone So much to remember, so much to forget And somebody's wrong on the Internet. Eyes glaze as you're turning a phrase Limbs fold up as you gaze and gaze So much stress trying to get things done Brain in a chair ain't having no fun Box full of gremlins corrupting the files I’d think more clearly if I walked a few miles Waiting two hours for a file to upload If I can’t finish I’m gonna explode Haven't had water for twelve solid hours Riding the wave of my mental powers All my biology washed down the drain Nothing left in this chair but a brain Brain in a chair, going nowhere Time to stand up and get out of there Move your body and set yourself free Go into the bedroom...turn on the TV. EBone415: When I’m sitting in the chair for 8 hours a day My mind gets unclear and I don’t know what to say Apple and Dell, it’s like I’m in Hell They keep me chained up, it’s time to rebel Walk straight through the door, it’s an internet war Education for all, whether you’re rich or poor YouTube fame, more books, no user names Get rid of our passwords, I’m goin’ insane Turn off your power strip and let’s go for a skip Let’s stretch our legs and minds, universal space and time ©2014 J Neo Marvin, Davis Jones, and Eric Elio Robles (BMI)
5.
Standing on a ship that’s going down Fighting bravely for the right to drown The house is filling up with fire and smoke While they throw bottles at the fire truck (This is why we can’t have nice things!) They don’t know what they’re talking about But they know how to jump and shout Raw meat raining on the angry herd “Liberty” is now a meaningless word Chasing demons in their wet fever dreams The future’s scary and it makes them scream Sincere citizens with godly goals Modeling hats and digging six foot holes (This is why we can’t have nice things!) Bag of hammers on a bed of nails Freedom trains are flying off the rails Jumbo packages of cheap concerns Country fiddles while the planet burns (Oh, damn it!) Don’t you know you’re being played for a fool… Bag of hammers, raging over nothing… It really doesn’t have to be this way… (Ytrap aet ton a si noitulover a.) ©2014 J Neo Marvin and Davis Jones (BMI)
6.
In the event that this fantastic voyage Should turn to erosion and we never get old Remember it's true, dignity is valuable But our lives are valuable too We're learning to live with somebody's depression And I don't want to live with somebody's depression We'll get by, I suppose. It's a post-modern world, but nobody's perfect It's a moving world, but that's no reason To shoot some of those missiles Think of us as fatherless scum It won't be forgotten 'Cause we'll never say anything nice again, will we? And the wrong words make you listen In this criminal world Remember it's true, loyalty is valuable But our lives are valuable too We're learning to live with somebody's depression And I don't want to live with somebody's depression We'll get by I suppose But any sudden movement I've got to write it down They wipe out an entire race and I've got to write it down But I'm still getting educated but I've got to write it down And it won't be forgotten 'Cause I'll never say anything nice again, how can I? And the wrong words make you listen In this criminal world.
7.
(Cool, this is really kind of a nice book! "Silence of direct sound...") "The fans find it necessary to locate their pleasure in relation to the ideology of mass culture. They 'internalize' the ideology, they 'negotiate' with the ideology, they use surface irony to defend their pleasure against the withering dismissal..." “A sound recording’s definition, in technical terms, is its acuity and precision in rendering of detail. Definition is a function of the width of the frequency band (which allows us to hear frequencies all the way from extreme low to extreme high) as well as its dynamic range (amplitude of contrasts, from the weakest levels to the strongest). It is particularly through gains in high frequencies that sound has progressed in definition; high frequencies reveal a new multitude of details and information, contributing to an effect of greater presence and realism.” “The arena of conflict was mass-produced urban culture: movies, advertising, science fiction, pop music…” (Yeah, break up the sing-song) “I am speaking of definition (a precise and quantifiable technical property, just like definition or sharpness in a photographic or video image) and not of fidelity. The latter is a tricky term; strictly speaking it would require making a continuous close comparison between the original and its reproduction, which normally would be difficult to physically arrange. Someone who listens to an orchestra on a sound system in his living room is not likely to be able to compare it with some orchestra playing at his doorstep. It should be known, in fact, that the notion of high fidelity is a purely commercial one, and corresponds to nothing precise or verifiable.” “The values, images, myths, and styles will be different depending on whether for example it is blues, country, dance, folk, heavy metal, jazz, rap, rock and roll, 60s rock, or soul. At the very least each genre of music would produce different political articulations in terms of class, gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality and generation.” “However, it happens that today definition is (mistakenly) taken as proof of fidelity, when it’s not being confused with fidelity itself. In the ‘natural’ world sounds have many high frequencies that so-called hi-fi recordings do capture and reproduce better than they used to. On the other hand, current practice dictates that a sound recording should have more treble than would be heard in the real situation (for example when it’s the voice of a person at some distance with back turned). No one complains of nonfidelity from too much definition! This proves that it’s definition that counts for sound, and its hyperreal effect, which has little to do with the experience of direct audition. For the sake of rigor, therefore, we must speak of high definition and not high fidelity.” “There was a blacksmith in a village who had committed a capital offense. The court decided that the crime must be punished. But as the blacksmith was the only one in the village, and was indispensible, and as on the other hand there were three tailors living there, one of them was hanged instead. In this example, the chain of association and effect has shifted dramatically.” “In the cinema sound definition is an important means of expression with multiple consequences. First, a more defined sound, containing more information, is able to provide more materializing indices. And second, it leads to a more lively, spasmodic, rapid, alert mode of listening, particularly to the agile phenomena that occur in the higher frequencies (e.g. , a feeling of temporal acceleration, very distinct in recent films.” “She likes to read short pieces about people who have had certain problems, and how such a problem can be solved: ‘I like to read about how people deal with things. You learn a lot from other people’s problems, and the advice they give.’” “What is rendered is a clump of sensations. Why is this so, and why should sounds ‘render’ their sources all by themselves—a belief that sound effects people are obviously completely disabused of? No doubt because sounds are neither experienced objectively nor named, and through a magnetism related to all the vagueness and uncertainty surrounding them, sounds ‘attract’ affects for which they are not especially responsible.” “It might be believed that the question of rendering boils down to that of translating one order of sensation into another. For example, in Truffaut’s sequence, rendering would involve ‘transliterating’ tactile sensations into auditory sensations: the rustling of nylon stockings would have to render the touch of legs sheathed in silk.” (SIGH) ©2014 J Neo Marvin, Davis Jones, Frank Lev, Michel Chion, and John Storey (BMI)
8.
Well come on now, take a look around Well come on now, take a look around There’s so much to be done And there’s no excuse for being bored They might tell you there’s no future for you Don’t be too sure when the future comes That you won’t be right there too, So what do you want to see around you? Well I’ve got a few ideas And I’m not the only one who does here There’s a time for shifting gears And this bad book is overdue! Sometimes I feel that we’re all pushing a boulder up a mountain And sometimes I feel like I’m cleaning a giant toilet with a toothbrush But don’t forget, my friend, when nothing seems effective Everything we do has an unexpected impact There is no meaning, baby, there is no script to follow There is nothing but the sum of all our choices The feedback from our heartbeats, the ripple from our voices Everything we do has an unexpected impact Everything we do has an unexpected impact Everything we do has an unexpected impact Everything we do has an unexpected impact Everything we do has an unexpected impact Everything we do has an unexpected impact. ©2014 J Neo Marvin and Davis Jones (BMI)
9.
You started dying slowly When you took a ride on that machine You shot off like a spark Aimed straight into the dark Weaving down the highway All overcast with dreams It's a cycle that goes nowhere Burning youth into exhaust Such a raging rebel sinner You almost were a winner But now you've lost the path, can't read the signs And don't know that you're lost Friends wait along the roadside Faces blur in the flash Tunnel vision turns to blue One last exit left for you And on the south side of the highway A soft shoulder when you crash. ©2001 J Neo Marvin and Maati Stojanovich (BMI)
10.
There’s a whole lot invested In the building of a narrative If you spin the right fable It’s transparent but effective Sit and watch, dreaming of badges See a boy out walking You can tell by his color That he must be up to something Zero in on your target Never have to say you’re sorry You can say anything He won’t be there to tell the story ‘Cause you’ve got good connections And the state sympathizes Oh, they’ll go through the motions But the outcome, it never surprises It’s the trial of the victim We can find out all about him We’ll invent a real good reason We’re all better off without him On a rainy night in Florida A young life’s blood is draining Now some people are rejoicing Other people are still waiting… For justice (whisper) Justice Waiting for justice (whisper) Justice Waiting for justice (whisper) Justice Waiting for justice (whisper) Justice Waiting for justice (whisper) Justice Crying for justice (whisper) Justice Shouting for justice (whisper) Justice Screaming for justice Justice. ©2014 J Neo Marvin and Davis Jones (BMI)
11.
FFS 11:26
Living in a box Dreaming of wide open spaces Found a place to land Found your psychic homeostasis Keep the lid clamped down While your eyes betray your fear No one ever tells the truth About anything at all around here Keep your mind shut down and expect me to shut up You keep your mind shut down and expect me to shut up Question time is over now Excuse yourself, your brain is full Everything you know Has to fit in the right sized bowl School’s out forever, man You don’t need no education Things are really bad out there You’re better off not changing the station Keep your mind shut down and expect me to shut up You keep your mind shut down and expect me to shut up Put the blame on me For putting on those special glasses See things as they are Point it out and lose your access Façade of a brand new normal Shut your eyes and call it tradition If you’re wrong about everything You’ll always have a secure position Keep your mind shut down and expect me to shut up You keep your mind shut down and expect me to shut up Well, it’s too bad for you, ‘cause we’re not going to shut up Yeah, it’s too bad for you, ‘cause we’re not going to shut up Here, have some noise. ©2014 J Neo Marvin and Davis Jones (BMI)
12.
Daredevil 05:11
Make it happen now, don’t turn to the past Treasured youthful antics fade away so fast Gorged memories of swells, pops, swigs, sniffs Mixed up in churning news, forging attitudes My youth was such a gas I make it happen and I get there first Call me a lemon but I’ll quench your thirst The hands on the switches see me and get nervous They shut off the power when they see me on purpose But I get my job done. The statue of liberties taken The statue of liberty is taken My integrity is high and I take liberties I put my feet down and claim my space So don’t give me that blue screen face When you’re in this place! What people think is only important if you’re not! The goal is to not be one of those chickens Looking for approval and getting the axe Ain’t nobody here but us breakthroughs! And if we don’t go out tonight, well that’s all right. Our job is to create the “out” That people need to go to. Life is a theater Especially when it comes to war It’s all staged, you know. No doubt the commitment factor Props up the ability to be an actor A shared reality that lives in agreement To make a stand and then convene on it You are not subhuman You are not superhuman You are quintessentially human So slap yourself! You need to be aroused! The twisted concaves convoluted Cover up the mustard cutting blues Inside this couple’s nuptial dreams, They are just Harry and Bess. Be nice to them. ©2014 J Neo Marvin and Davis Jones (BMI)
13.
Love is a verb, it’s a thing that you do Love’s not just something that happens to you Love is a verb, not a hole you fall in You can wait for an angel to dance on a pin, but listen: Do you love? Do you love? Do you know what that requires? Do you love or are you only chasing blind desire? Poisoned by pop songs and fairy tale clichés Building pedestals of Babel till you’re mugged by malaise That’s a con that’s designed just to sell you a sack of dreams You’ve got a whole lot to learn if you think that’s what love means Love is a verb, it’s a choice that you make It’s not a monument of gold, it’s an action you take Do you love? Do you love when you say that you’re in love? Do you love? Do you love the one you claim to love? Be my mirror, reflect me back See me clearly, keep this monkey mind on track Love is a verb you create every day In everything that you do, in everything that you say Open up, let it go, every moment is a brand new start Zero in on the reasons this one thrills and warms your heart Love is a verb, it’s a real activity It ebbs and flows like the tides, pulled by your own gravity And it’s light and it’s heavy and it washes over you So run in, take a swim, get wet, get dry and renew. Be my mirror, reflect me back See me clearly, keep this monkey mind on track ©2014 J Neo Marvin and Davis Jones (BMI)

about

The second Granite Countertops album is here. Our intrepid explorers of sound and thought J Neo Marvin and Davis Jones concoct a stew of skittering rhythms, jangly guitars, shrill organs and lush orchestration, sometimes in the same song. There are epic rants, somber ballads, mind-bending sound collages, and bouncy inspirational anthems. There are new songs, and a couple of reimaginings of old favorites. This time out, the duo takes on David Bowie and the Crabs and finds profound new corners in their songs. Special guest appearances by rapper E-Bone415 and saxophonist Frank Lev. Plus, we collaborate with two brilliant academics who very graciously consented to let us play with their words: Cultural Studies Professor John Storey and composer/film critic Michel Chion. The cover art is a stunning backlit photo of Saturn taken by the Cassini probe and used by permission of NASA/JPL Caltech. A feast for your heart, mind, eyes and ears.

credits

released February 1, 2014

J Neo Marvin and Davis Jones: Vocals and instruments
Plus guests:
Frank Lev: Soprano sax on High Definition
E-Bone415: Rap on Brain In A Chair

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The Granite Countertops San Francisco, California

The Granite Countertops are dark, whimsical, tender existential action heroes J Neo Marvin and Davis Jones, exploring the outer limits of what a duo can create.

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