What We Do Around Here

by Bill Michalski

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04:43

credits

released December 10, 2013

All songs by Bill Michalski. All sounds made my Bill Michalski except where noted. Recorded in Worcester, MA.
Mixed and mastered by Steve Hoover at Steve Hoover Productions, Edwardsville, IL.
Cover photo by Matthew Clowney, www.matthewclowney.com
Back cover photo by Patrick Boyle

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all rights reserved

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about

Bill Michalski Saint Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, MO musician Bill Michalski combines an acoustic singer-songwriter style with the energy and color of new wave pop. Michalski's lyrics feature a sometimes nostalgic, often wry view on WHAT WE DO AROUND HERE in day-to-day life. Michalski has been recording and performing music since his high school days in 1993. WHAT WE DO AROUND HERE is his first release since 2011. ... more

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Track Name: Just Be Awesome
I’ll give you thirty tries in thirty nights
To break yourself from your daily plight
All you have to do is just show up

It’s fun for all, if it’s fun for you
But do whatever you want to do
And if you miss out, well I guess it’s your loss

Why you sitting there at home playing possum?
Just get your ass out here and just be awesome

They used to pick on us
But look at us now
We’re the gang who runs this town
Hell, maybe not, but at least this neighborhood

All I want to do is have a blast
For anyone and everyone
A rotating cast
Everyone who’s in on this joke

Why you sitting there at home playing possum?
Just get your ass out here and just be awesome

I’m sorry man I missed the show
I really would have liked to go
Maybe we could meet up for a beer
At a quieter place where I can really hear how you are
So how are you, man?

I swear to god you’re missing out
Get over here man before the time runs out
I’m glad to help you break out of your rut

The gang’s all here and the drink is on
Screw the fact you’ve got to work at dawn
Screw anything that knocks me off of this buzz

Why you sitting there at home playing possum?
What are you doing man moving to Boston
Quiet conversation just isn’t an option
When you could get your ass out here and just be awesome
Track Name: Drawing A Blank
I forgot to bring my lunch today
Guess that I’m going to have to pay
for a soggy sandwich
at a flat and dusty desk

Today the clouds have come to earth
and I’m dreaming in the upper berth
Waiting on an epiphany
Epiphany that just won’t come

Can you forget how to be happy?
Sometimes it’s as easy
as drawing a breath
But now I’m drawing a blank

I forgot to do my work today
I still sat there anyway
Safe and bound
To the order of the day
Drifting down the right of way

Angel be my guardian
Tell me please what could have been
'Cause now I'm adding up the costs
The price of never getting lost

How can you forget how to be happy?
Sometimes it’s as easy
as drawing a breath
But now I’m drawing a blank

You'd have thought I'd know this heart by now
But I guess it slipped my mind
Happens all the time

You'd have thought I'd know this heart by now
But I guess it slipped my mind
Happens all the time
I guess it slipped my mind
This time
Track Name: Backyardin'
There’s a place where we come together
Depending on the weather
and a message or two when the day is through
When the time has finally come for nothing to do

We make a stop at the 7-11
For the wine and the bread of heaven
We do this in memory of friends gone by
Distance and marriage and the ties that bind

They don’t worry about if I’m gonna finish this song
They’re not there to judge right and wrong
We’re just backyardin’

come around back when you get off of work
lay down your burden, untuck your shirt
A cigarette or two just seems more true
The neighbors’ house glows ‘cross an alley view

Won’t you tell me that story again
I don’t-know-if-this-makes-us lifelong friends
I don’t know if the circle transcends
In daylight, everything bends

They don’t worry about bout what sort of job I’ve done
They’re not there to string me along
Taking over the land of the starling
A plastic chair in the backporch light
No more pressure to make things right

So what kind of story can you weave
What’s the craziest bullshit we’ll all believe
It’s all the meaning that I need
It’s all the doctrine I want to believe

Won’t you tell me that story again
I don’t want to think that this all will end
For another season, or another trip home
Why do we have to try going it alone?

They don’t worry about where I’ve gotta go right now
At least I don’t think so, but anyhow
We’re just backyardin’

I’m going in, can I bring you something?
To your plastic chair
In the backporch light
No more pressure to make things right.
Track Name: One With the Grass
We were one with the grass, we knew the brick
We knew the bugs that sucked your blood
The smell of a dusty rug, a punk and a dud
We shot ‘em off

We knew just how the sidewalk tipped
We knew a plastic whiffle ball grip
the whap of a ball in a glove
And how to climb chain link

We knew every inch of our yards
Spent our money on baseball cards
We hit the blacktop pretty hard
And scraped em’ up

We ate hot dogs with potato chips
Lik-m-aid, freeze pops, and pretzel sticks
We knew if you mixed 7up and Coke
That you’d get alcohol

In the gap between the back yard fences
A secret path, if you knew the entrance
Rode our dirt bikes in between
And never be seen

We wore out the grass around home plate
We picked teams on the sewer grate
Play until someone hit the ball up on the roof
Ain’t it the truth?

On afternoons with a tornado watch
We’d watch the sky grow dark on the front porch
Wonder what it would be like
If a twister blew this all away?

You might get a bloody nose
Take a drink right from the hose
Gladly sweat right through your clothes
on a muggy afternoon

Dressed all in black, we’d go out at night
Playing tag with a flashlight
Spray our arms for mosquito bites
Fight the good fight
Track Name: Ordinary
What’s so trivial about the day to day?
(It doesn’t get no songs)
What’s so boring about two people
Who generally get along
Didn’t I learn something
Since high school?
Something ‘bout
history over destiny?

We come together
Ordinary
Casually parked on the couch
Overflowing
with poisons
Poisons we brought home with us
So we lick our wounds
And sing our old tunes
Somewhere the world waits for us

What’s so trivial about the day to day?
(It doesn’t get no poems)
What’s so boring about two people
Who generally get along
Didn’t I learn something
Since high school?
Something ‘bout
history over destiny?

We come together
Unassuming
And I assume my grandparents taught me this
Make yourself useful... and amusing
'Cause no one owes you happiness
Fend off temptation
Use your imagination
No need
to feel sorry for yourself

What’s so trivial about the day to day?
It just doesn’t sell
What’s so boring ‘bout two people
Who know each other... so well
Didn’t I learn something, Lord
Since high school?
Something ‘bout
history over destiny?

Just an application
Of familiar kindness
From the medicine cabinet
Of our love
Track Name: Split Level
We went down in to the basement of that split level
With the TV in the wall
Our parents upstairs drink away their cares
They’re miles and miles away

That basement had a ping pong table
And a computer with a screen glowing green
We were in between
The lawn and the sweet brown earth

We’d go down into the basement of that split level
Got a TV in the wall
It had the big game, the excuse we came
there’s still forty channels to change

Down the stairs with our plates full of grub
Decorated like a country club
We were in between
The garage and the sweet brown earth

We’d go deep into the closets of that dark cellar
They went on and on and on
Our parents upstairs toss them back
As we go deeper in the underground

We grow a little bit older
Each step into the night
As the mists of middle school burn off
What could happen? What might?

We’ll go down into the basement of that split level
On the day the bombs all fall
Our parents outside, drink away their lives
As the sky glows red with fire

But us kids are more than able
We hide under the pool table
We are in between
Our lives and the cold dark earth
Track Name: Callow Days
Sweet cigarettes in the chill tonight
Underneath the harsh and holy light
Here in the little town that you come from

So you brought me here to see the ways
You lived your young and callow days
And they don’t seem much different than mine

So just for fun, let’s say it was you and Mr. Cowboy over there
Who married at nineteen, at the Elks Lodge canteen
And never left this town
And just for fun, let’s say it wasn’t you but Lady-come-before
Who I didn’t show the door, like all of them before
I learned a thing or two

CHORUS

So just for fun, let’s say that you were not the one
To guide my ache,
Til’ it would finally break
When I was laid out
and broken in the dark

And just for fun, let’s say we were not there for the play-by-play
Of an Autumn football game, and the daily day to day
And hon, I think it’s getting late

CHORUS
Track Name: The Depression
Your parents lived through the war
And the depression
Went to church Sunday morning
Communion and confession
And they raised you up
To work a good profession
Keep your chin up
And make a good impression

So the depression
Would never come back again
So why does it always
Always sneak back in?

You raised your kids up
To stay out of danger
No razor in the apple
No candy from strangers
When they came to you
With blues and melancholy
Tell 'em to keep their head down
And just keep busy

So the depression
Would never come back again
So why does it always somehow sneak back in?

And when you're gone, they'll say
At least she didn't suffer
When you're gone, they'll say
He sure was a tough one
Before you're gone, at least
Can you let down the buffer and breathe?

We lived through 9-11
And the Great Recession
We've got kids of our own
Give them our full attention
You might think it a selfish obsession
To burden everyone
With our self-expression

So the depression
Would never come back again
So why does it always somehow sneak back in?

And when you're gone, they'll say
At least she didn't suffer
When you're gone, they'll say
He sure was a tough one
When you're gone, I'll say
You were some kind of bluffer
Track Name: Blessed Mother
Blessed mother
At your service, at your need
Sovereign sister
Always there with a good deed

All that she wants
Is what’s best for everyone
And you my friend can be her daughter or her son
Just trust in her and you’ll work as one

Over your shoulder
Always there with her advice
Over your shoulder
Hard to complain when she’s so damn nice

She’s always KNOWN that she has a special knack
She’s right behind you to pick up your slack
Join her clan and you’re never going back
Never going back

Blessed mother
There to help you make your choice
Humble servant
Loves the sound of her own voice

All that she asks is to have the final say
What’s the point because she’ll get it anyway?
You can’t argue with the family way

Flit and flutter
Toss about til we crash land
Tell me you trust me
Then take the spoon right out of my hand

Blessed mother
No thanks, I’ll show myself the door
You kill ‘em with kindness
Til we’re all wiped out on the floor!
Track Name: Baby Blue
I don’t remember the night
We brought you into this life
It’s no concern to you
Little boy in the baby blue
Now in the summer
Now in the light
What can I do
To make things right?

Met her again
after all these years
My high school girl
And we shared a couple beers
And fell into each other
A familiar fall
Entangled our lives
Once and for all

Oh god, oh god
Tell me what is right
Every time I think I know
I lose it in the headlights
So what we do around here
Is shoot the shit and drink beer
Wake up and off I go
But I still don’t know

I’ll tell ya what, little boy
I love this town
‘Want you to grow up here
With love all around
I can’t speak for your mother
And all her goals
We woke up from each other
Everybody saw

She’s got her twelve
And I’ve got my ten
But whatever you count to
It all comes back to you
So what do I do
in the crucial hour?
admit I am weak
seek help from a higher power

CHORUS

As the months turn into years
As the years turn into decades
You and me and my father before me
There’s only so many hours in a day
I pick a song for you
And with this song I’ll pray