Something in the Moonlight

by Steven Grossman

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1.
Buena Vista 02:09
Buena Vista Words and music by Steven Grossman There’s a chill in my bedroom a storm in the park What with these guys in their Levi’s just out for a lark Well I know I’ve missed my dinner I know you know that I’ve been in Buena Vista striking matches in the wind Well it’s a series of signals innuendo and keys It’s a lovely combination of romance and sleaze And I can always take those scratches with a silly kind of grin In Buena Vista striking matches in the wind Now don’t you go passing any judgement don’t go cutting down the trees For I’ve seen you from my window brushing the dirt from your knees I’m in control of where I’m going hey, it could end or begin In Buena Vista striking matches in the wind In Buena Vista striking matches in the wind © JUCA Music
2.
Truce With the Moon Words and music by Steven Grossman Truce with the moon I’m calling a truce with the (Calling a truce with the) Truce with the moon I’m calling a truce with the (Calling a truce with the) Maybe it was the Buena Vista fog Or maybe it was the power of muscle-house steam That prairied the hard and mysterious hills we put between us and a loving dream Or perhaps it was the glow of Mission Rock shine that cataracted the vision when we fell out of time Chorus: I balance the hourglass And I cradle this tune My impossible lullaby Calling a truce with the moon I’m calling a truce with the moon Doesn’t it feel like the first time again this revving of such emotion under summer skin Not a second to tarry in this moment of Bay bridging the long expanse between these holidays And I want you more than heaven and eternity to see me as I see you, wanting you wanting me Chorus I’ll take the night and the clouds from your sky and see your morning eyes Take the promises and pins and all the could-have-beens the sorrowful days and throw them all away I say aren’t we what we remember and speak an historical conversation of rise and defeats A perpetual chatter, an original voice enhancing or undermining each and every choice And surrender is the tender I barter tonight for passage to the moon, to remain in the light Remain in the light, remain in the light Chorus © JUCA Music
3.
California Now Words and music by Steven Grossman I’ve been going out nightly doesn’t much matter where I get home every day or so to water the plants and check the mail Go out for the evening paper watch the children at the candy store Pass the grocery and the fruit stand I don’t shop much anymore It seems we came to a decision but I swear I don’t remember how I know it’s selfish to ask but must you be in California now We called it a vacation I needed time to be alone I said I’d come to live with you in half a year when all my work here is done My producers gave me this piano my writing – well it’s coming along But for this sad preoccupation that finds its way into every song It seems we came to an agreement but I swear I don’t remember how I know it’s crazy to ask but must you be in California now Must you be in California now? There are others who dream of you others who know your nights I don’t suspect you’ll be lonely or that I can see you before our time I go with men from the bar who ask me for my company But there just isn’t that connection You’d call me “Blood” I’d call you “Family” It seems we came to a decision but I swear I don’t remember how Yet I believe we’ll be together even though you’re in California now I believe in California now © JUCA Music
4.
Winter Story 03:32
A Winter Story Words and music by Steven Grossman There’s a storm in the making my windows are shaking newspapers swirl in the sky The radio this morning gave overcast warnings I was never good at taking goodbyes Goodbye Do you remember when we first joined plans? My friend we had no way to know, to know, to know If a summer’s worth of kisses in the sand could build us a castle in the snow It’s a winter story the jealousy, the fury Camphor the soul, a season to hold It’s the numbing of life, flowing water to ice The muffler and the sneeze and a damp ominous breeze I was never good at taking goodbyes Do you remember when we were together last? My friend there’s no way I know, I know, I know That the flower of the seed miscast can carry its own through the snow It’s a winter story the trickery, the glory Credit at the store and blankets for the poor It’s the chilling of blood cleansing water to mud The tinsel and the star and an ominous wind from afar – Oooh It’s a winter story the jealousy, the fury Fire in the trash and flurries on the lash It’s the coming of frost and I’m missing you Austin Your quiet and storm Your body so willing and warm, willing and warm – Oooh I was never good at taking goodbyes Never, never good at taking goodbyes I was never good at taking goodbyes © JUCA Music
5.
In Defense of Spring Words and music by Steven Grossman There’s no sense in us fighting, we either do or don’t and there is no sense in hoping, we either will or we won’t And when it comes to getting better being only better when the times are full of other times, it’s time to pause again. Chorus: To make a memory, an agreement with the heart on which to gauge all memories to come Let’s incriminate the winter investigate the fall but rally in defense of spring There’s no sense in us fighting, someone’s going to lose Another way than right and wrong is another way to chose And when the judge and missionaries pass sentence on our dance we’ll offer them as evidence the night we took a chance Chorus Now the heart it is a ticket you can pay for with a dream And dreams, well they are avenues of intention and means And when your season changes, don’t you buckle at the bone You give them notice any way that baby’s coming home Chorus © JUCA Music
6.
Pearl Moon 03:07
Pearl Moon Words and music by Steven Grossman I’ve been cruising on a fantasy throwing all caution to the wind Knock on the door and there’s a man to see and he’s looking like he’d like to get me pinned I told him sometimes it can be so heavenly but other times you’ll just stay home and fight Then looking up I saw a pearl moon sitting in the throat of night I saw a pearl moon sitting in the throat of night I’ve been spinning on a carousel Dancing in a feverish high Never thought I could fare this well but tonight you set a course for the sky You come and pick me up and you take me out to dinner Leave me in the morning light Leave me thinking of a pearl moon sitting in the throat of night Leave me thinking of a pearl moon sitting in the throat of night You’ve been laying on my bed all ready while I make other arrangements on the phone Guess you were looking for something more steady but I tell you that I want to be alone Now maybe I’m not the type for settling down or maybe what we had just wasn’t right Now looking up I see a pearl moon sitting in the throat of night I see this pearl moon sitting in the throat of night I’ve been cruising on a fantasy Throwing all caution to the wind Knock on the door and there’s a man to see and he’s looking like he’d like to get me pinned I told him sometimes it can be so heavenly but other times you’ll just stay home and fight Then looking up I saw a pearl moon sitting in the throat of night I saw a pearl moon sitting in the throat of night © JUCA Music
7.
The Last Pioneers Words and music by Steven Grossman You control what I watch on the T. V. what I dance to at the bar Get your hand into everything try to get me to look like what you are Now I may wear your fashions and work that nine to five But I told you all along there are things that I won’t compromise Now my producers didn’t want me said I was too direct I went home and I trashed myself my friend J said, “What did you expect? They want you to live a lie so you’ll get on the radio But keep on doing what you’re doing and you’ve already stolen the show” I said, “I know, I know” Chorus: From the brothers who can’t disguise it even in men’s clothing and the sisters who just do not pass Comes the spirit of my people of courage over fear Comes the only trust I’ll find when the enemies are clear If the other struggles were over we would still be here The last pioneers Now you say I ought to have a present ought to have the pride But you were so disrespectful that on your birthday I just cried There’s a fleet of ships on the Hudson and a sailor’s open hand And when he offered me passage I said, “There is no promised land” And there are people on the rooftops holding cameras and drinks An SOS to Miss Liberty I said, “Let the old girl sink! Tonight I am feeling righteous I’ve got my music and my cause And though the sirens may be screaming though those sirens may be screaming I can only hear applause Chorus © JUCA Music
8.
A Greasy Griddle and a Short Order Cook Words and music by Steven Grossman In a Castro café after hours craving burgers, buns and fries I was reaching for hot sauce and salt on the counter when the flip of an egg caught my eye It wasn’t the crazy wrist action that started the attraction the sunny side over that got me to look I couldn’t ask for a better sight on a long and a cold Monday night Chorus: Than a greasy griddle, a short order cook, boy A greasy griddle and a short order cook He’s got a hell of a lot of work there’ll be a hell of a lot of perking tonight, tonight, tonight He’s got a hell of a lot of work there’ll be a hell of a lot of perking tonight Waiters in sneakers, trays in the air carrying water, checks, and change I was trying to stay steady but my seat began to swivel to the sound of somethin’ sizzlin’ on the range It wasn’t the fish deep-fryin’ that got me sighin’ but a voice so cherry that everything shook A Broadway evening couldn’t be finer than the show that was playing at the diner Chorus Now, how about another cup of coffee? – “No, No!” Another piece of pie? – I said “No, No There’s only one thing that I’m wanting to go” Well it’s a quarter to four and I ought to be at home cuddled up and cozy with some cuddly guy If the devil doesn’t get me before, then when it’s time to go I’m gonna look for that neon sign in the sky When the muffins are poppin’ and the kitchen is hoppin’ I will never again settle for a rocker and book The equator couldn’t be much hotter than the time I will make when I got, oh boy A greasy griddle, a short order cook, boy a greasy griddle and a short order cook A greasy griddle and a short order cook, boy a greasy griddle and a short order cook. © JUCA Music
9.
Mostly Like Children Words and music by Steven Grossman Alone with the TV alone in the house With make believe coffee in an oversized blouse Giggling in the mirror with a red runny nose Is a daydreaming child in grown-up clothes There’s a daydreaming child in grown-up clothes. Grown-up clothes Alone with the records alone in a room With a make-believe audience and a microphone broom Taking bows from the sofa in socks without toes is a child with visions in grown-up clothes There’s a child with visions in grown-up clothes. Grown-up clothes Alone by the window alone in a sheet In make believe love-light and a mysterious heat Heady with adventure and for a friend that often shows Dressed in childlike wonder and grown-up clothes Dressed in childlike wonder and grown-up clothes Well I believe that we are mostly like these children in grown-up clothes. © JUCA Music
10.
Out to Play 02:44
Going Out To Play Words and music by Steven Grossman It wasn’t my intent It’s just a familiar inclination to be mean The malcontent full of these inflammations What a scene to be this spent and prematurely bent Going out to play Perhaps it’s a device Only a failed gesticulation To be seen a Fanny Brice With manic complications What a fumble, how inept a secret better kept Going out to play When the core is too fragile the anger too real When the memories are too vivid and there’s too much to feel When the vision in the glass gets haggard and muddy I go within and I call this old buddy The idiot savant the laughing Pagliacci So obscenely bon vivant assuring that you not see the synapse that was skipped the rainbowed makeup kit Going out to play Going out to play Well it’s a stiff or busted lip in the gladiator’s pit Going out to play © JUCA Music
11.
Go On A Holiday Words and music by Steven Grossman Whoever told you you can get away acting so carelessly Must have had their head up [their/there] really is a lesson in every experience A lesson and another action So when Surly gets your tongue to talking trash like that You tell Surly to get back tell him to stay away Be a friend to yourself (Go on) A friend to yourself (Go on) A friend to yourself Go on a holiday, go on a holiday Take a vacation an emotional excursion to a magic place Where vision is the food for your taste of new adventure and a stronger security Away now! To a happier day now So when Moody comes around and gets you feeling low You tell Moody where to go tell him to stay away Be a friend to yourself (Go on) A friend to yourself (Go on) A friend to yourself Go on a holiday, go on a holiday So when are you leaving? – Don’t know Did you hear what I said? – Guess so You need to be waking up somewhere new in a comfortable bed – Is that so? Well I got me no ticket Just go – And I got me no clothes Just go You just take my advice and you do something nice to advantage your soul, to advantage your soul There is a center a quiet place connecting you to right ideas You need only change the habit that fears the dance of freedom and another reality that moves now, in a positive groove now And when Junkie comes around and wants to spend the night You tell Junkie, “Take a hike!” Tell him to stay away Be a friend to yourself (Go on) a friend to yourself (Go on) From now and here after we’ll bury the past for a new bit of laughter and holiday Go on a holiday Go on a holiday © JUCA Music
12.
Step 03:29
Step A song for Paul Carey Words and music by Steven Grossman It started at the office, proceeded to the gym Everybody asking, “Where’s that red-haired boy been?” Some of us were wondering could this be the big – A All of us were hoping that he wouldn’t stay away What good is the office, why bother with the gym? If you can’t concentrate and you keep getting thin? What good is the air if you can’t catch your – breath? What good is a pillow if you can’t get your rest? Chorus: Step, step. Look at all we have got Step, step. Will we make it to the top? Step, step. One at a time Step, step. It’s a mighty hard climb Mitzi doesn’t speak and she doesn’t get tense with limited knowledge and infinite sense She waits on her dinner and welcomes the - leash and somehow we know that this dog do capeesh Red isn’t fearless, he just takes it in stride and he surely isn’t careless with matters of pride He dreams of Australia in his mechanical - chair of grabbing his lover and taking him there Chorus Gravity will pull you and moods they will shift a friend with compassion is always a gift A cure is for the moment and always on my - mind when miracles are tardy and nature is blind Well the office is for earning and working what you know the gym is for the body and watching it grow Forever is elusive and happens to - day Death is made for living and just a step away Step, step. Look at all we have got Step, step. Will we make it to the top? Step, step. When you step to the stars I’ll be watching the sky just to see where you are © JUCA Music
13.
Something in the Moonlight Words and music by Steven Grossman It’s not that you’re here though I know you’re away Why do you take up my time? Have you come to stay? We don’t talk like we used to In fact you never say a word But I feel you crawling in beside me climbing up the stairs They try to tell me you couldn’t be there But it’s the same preoccupation I think of you the most When they ask me, I ask them Do you believe in ghosts? Chorus: Something’s in the moonlight just outside the door Parachuting silently coming to haunt me some more Something’s in the moonlight Could it be a rebellious star? Come to earth to tell me of a home afar Everyone who ever was everyone to be What do you do with your time in eternity? Is it thoughtless, in limbo? Are you screaming to return? I wonder do you have feelings and do you have a form Have you transcended right and wrong? Does it matter how it happened in a war or overdose? When they ask us, can we tell them we want to be a ghost Chorus: Will I recognize you? How much more can you see? When I make up my mind will you come and get me? Will I truly be ready? Will it happen too soon? Will I be complete and reconciled or have to pay for what I’ve done Will I perceive it as judgment or celestial fun? To spend forever in the light or forever will I roast When they ask me, I’ll tell them I believe in ghosts Chorus © JUCA Music

credits

released June 2, 2011

Steven’s vocals recorded:
Paul Dresher Studios, Berkeley, CA, May 2–6, 1991
Judith Casselberry, engineer
Christopher Bergman, assistant engineer
Mimi Fox, electric guitar

Digital vocal editing:
Hip Records, New York City
July 1993, January and February 1994
Elliott Goldkind, Engineer

Instrumental tracks recorded:
Waterfront Studios, Hoboken, NJ, July 1993
Doug Conroy, Engineer
Looking Glass Studios, New York City, July 1994, January 2003
Dante De Sole, engineer

Mastering:
Absolute Audio, New York City, April 2004
Fred Kevorkian, engineer

Musicians:

Annette A. Aguilar – percussion (Go On A Holiday)
Matt Balitsaris – electric and acoustic guitar (Winter Story, Something in the Moonlight, Going Out to Play)
Bob DeBellis – baritone saxophone, bass flute, flute
Dave Douglas – trumpet
Richard Dworkin – drums, percussion
Ron Gonzales – electric guitar
David Hofstra – bass
Phillip Johnston – alto and tenor saxophones; arrangements (Something in the Moonlight, In Defense of Spring)
Toshi Reagon – acoustic guitar (Step)
Joe Ruddick – organ, piano (Last Pioneers)
Bill Ruyle – marimba, vibraphone
Steve Sandberg - piano, keyboards; arrangement (Winter Story)
Steve Swell – trombone
Deborah Weisz – trombone (Going Out To Play)

The Bobs – vocal accompaniment (A Greasy Griddle and A Short Order Cook)
Aleah Long – supporting vocals (Go On A Holiday, Truce with the Moon)
Michael Finch, Sally A. White, Aaron Williams – supporting vocals (The Last Pioneers)
Janis Russell – supporting vocals, vocal arrangement (The Last Pioneers)


Special Thanks:
Christopher Bergman, Randall Bourscheidt, Chris Cochrane, Billie June Damon, Joseph Dalton, Jim Fouratt, Brennan Gerard, Claudia Hickey, Barbara (b. g.) Nabors Glass, Danny Nicoletta, Austin Noto, Susan Schulman, Elliot Sokolov, Chaya Spector.

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