Big Small Town

by Urban Blight Players

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1.
Saturday morning The radio, the car wash Saturday morning The radio, the Cards game And it looks like I might be getting My soccer legs back I might be getting them back I get the grows again When I’m sitting around thinking Tired of the same exit on the highway Like the houses built in rows You’re like part of the family You’re like part of the family She told me Saturday evening Florescent eyes, hopes high Saturday evening Looking for love like always When it feels like I might be getting My softball arm back (He might be getting his softball arm back) I might be getting it back I get the glows again When I’m sitting around thinking Thinking about living in your house CHORUS Are we more like Saturday morning… Than Saturday night?
2.
From Oakville to Affton The girls are wearing shorts again And their legs are shiny white in the sun Kids are in the park again Where leaves are turning green and then We drive around the town with the windows down Sometimes we intuit life so well It makes me want to take my silly plans And send them all to hell But I wish I had better stories to tell (Sitting on a dirty couch) Just you and me and the thought that things Might get better The girl in the car behind me She’s really rocking out And maybe she’s watching me watching her In her rear-view mirror I don’t recognize the bands on the bumper of her car But I’m sure if we’d get together We could figure it out CHORUS From Oakville to Affton Kids in pickup trucks are laughing And the girls are smiling brighter, louder still If there’s one thing I could intuit If I could see right through it I’m never ever gonna get my fill CHORUS
3.
Don’t misunderstand my worried look It’s something I’ve had since I was a kid When my principal asked what’s wrong And I said that’s just the way I look When my mind wanders away But I’m actually okay… You’ll just have to trust me Don’t misunderstand my smiling face It’s something I’ve had since I was a kid When my mother would get embarrassed She’d flash that phony grin And I picked it up along the way But I’m not actually okay… You’ll just have to trust me I'm the happiest person generally That you'll ever see I'm the happiest person generally That you'll ever see Don’t misunderstand my worried look It’s something I’ve had since I was a kid When my lover asked what’s wrong And I said that’s just the way I look When my mind wanders away But baby, I’m really okay… You’ll just have to trust me
4.
Maid of honor Of a small house Maid of honor With the big sad eyes I used to sing about those big eyes Now they look so sad I don’t know what goes here Something’s gotta happen in this life Something’s gotta happen here I’m tired of this house The maid of honor says I’m closing all these books The loved ones, what they said Keeps me constantly on guard Framed and airbrushed On the mantle A happy history In past tense time I used to sing about those good old times But now they look so sad I don’t know what goes here Something’s gotta happen in this life Something’s gotta happen here CHORUS
5.
03:45
I’m driving down highway 55 My straw’s sucking dry in a cup of ice I wish the world could always be so nice Every guy needs some sun and space Junk food and a slower pace To get away from the carbon paper days Days… days Ahhh Gonna see our friends we sure used to be close Now miles of farm keep us apart It was hard We had to make new starts But we got Giants in the tape deck And the sky is chalky white I can’t think of nothing better than seeing me old friends tonight Tonight… tonight CHORUS That star burnt out when the Romans fell When Caesar was squelched by the infidel You can read that in the blue blanket sky On this hooded sweatshirt night And I think to myself it is amazing That our collections of atomic particles Found their way through time and space To this chilly night and this same place CHORUS I’m driving down highway 55 My straw’s sucking dry in a cup of ice I wish the world could always be so nice
6.
Well it’s been quite a while Since we really talked I guess it could be maybe a year or two And I know you’re so busy I know you’re so popular I know you’re wrapped up in a life that isn’t mine You were the pitter-patter raining A train that’s not coming You were a candle when the power’s out You were a lazy Sunday evening A worry in the night You are the worry that takes the little worries away And after all this time I worry And after all this time I’m tired And after all this time I miss you Thought I’d have figured it out by now I’d like to think it isn’t certain You’d pull back the curtain And show me the old friend that you really are But now we’re all big boys We’re all big girls Old enough to figure out our own ways in this world You were a beanbag chair The same curly hair A Saturday morning sleeping late You were a radio blaring a silly summer song Thinking about that summertime all night long And after all this time I worry And after all this time I’m tired And after all this time I miss you But you’re not coming back anymore
7.
I want you like pennies in the water Tossed myself A sweaty start Like a bike ride through the deep dark suburbs I’m turning red Red of a heart 'Introduce you to all of my friends She’s such a pretty girl Hope the attention tastes sweet Like chocolate vanilla swirl And a sweet sweet lip in my mouth A song in my head CHORUS Putting my hands on your head Fingers through scarlet hair Tangling passenger seat Seatbelts and glasses off The lights of a passing car distract me I turn my head CHORUS Girl in the passenger seat Girl with the tender foot Didn’t realize the pain you were in Sure didn’t mean to be a jerk So I let your red balloon go I watched float away I want you like pennies in the water Tossed myself A sweaty start Like a streetlight through The deep dark winter I’m covering up Quilt of a heart
8.
Sensitive folk singer You always look so serious Has life kicked you down ‘Cause you’re so different and proud? Sensitive folk singer You always look so passionate Except when you miss a chord And you furrow your brow So much feminine sensitivity But analytical like a man You’re gonna kill yourself thinking so hard Sensitive folk singer Doing “Blood and Fire” Now she’s closing her eyes ‘Cause she’s feeling the song She’s not a really great singer Oh, but she’s trying hard To be honest with you ‘Cause that’s the most important thing to do So much feminine sensitivity She will communicate if she can Hope she doesn’t kill herself thinking so hard Sensitive folk singer She’s really got me with this one About falling in love But you’re scared because… What a pretty girl singing Oh, she looks so smart And not obsessed with that bullshit All those other girls with the big chests But in the brain not big at all With their big boyfriends smiling so hard Sensitive folk singer She’s probably a lesbian But still “I’m calling you, calling you From ten thousand miles away Won’t you wet my fire with your love today.”* From “Blood and Fire” by Amy Ray, Indigo Girls
9.
03:45
It’s a long long way from my house To find me a new home But in the heat and the sun and the cold and the rain It’s been a year and I’m back again Some people know me Most people don’t But if you’ve got a smile and it’s been a long while Then you’ll be welcome here We all love the music The acoustic guitar strum But the sun’s so bright today Better get under the tent Better get out of the way And love becomes music It’s in the air In the quiet steady conversation everywhere I’m a shantytowner No longer a loner I’m a shantytowner No longer a loner We’ve all got grown-up jobs now Some with and without heart Some people got their own kids Hell, I wouldn’t know where to start Then I see you walking in I think I’ve seen you somewhere before Well sit right down There’s no one around Let’s talk though we’ve never talked before And we’re getting hungry Let’s go into town You know the everyday things Are so much more fun with someone cool around CHORUS Well I drove away for some quiet days In the July haze Some quiet days It’s been a long long way from my house To find me a new home But in the heat and the sun and the cold and the rain In a year I’ll be back again ‘Cause you are my family If just for a few days Then it’s back in the car And right back home for the everyday ways CHORUS Well I drove away for some quiet days In the July haze Some quiet days Well, I’m playing my guitar Out underneath the stars In the July haze Some quiet days
10.
(Suddenly) A problem where there wasn’t one before (Not exactly a problem) But a little bitty baby inside her (Honestly) It’s not the way that they wanted it to go But can you say that’s much different from the way life usually goes? Suddenly she’s sleeping warm next to me I wonder who she is Why does she think that she knows me? My baby lives on the south side (On the first floor) Of a two-story red-brick kind of life I got a feeling you and me would be so right (Suddenly) She’s liking me and whoa things are right (My classes are going to shit tomorrow) ‘Cause we’re staying up all night (Now that dream) Has become the day to day What do I do when I look at her and I ain’t got nothing to say? Driving all night on the interstate with her With just her quiet love sleeping next to me CHORUS I buzz my girl in the lobby (She’s coming down) I sure don’t know what we’re doing tonight (We’ll figure something out) I’ve got a feeling you and me would be so right Suddenly a tale of two young kids He was enthralled by her She knew all the same bands Seems everything he thought vague and abstract Well, she could understand He would have rather sat and listened to her talk Than getting in on with some other girl CHORUS My baby sleeps on the right side (Our love’s so much less fun) My baby wakes up so early (Don’t mean our love is done) I’m still working You and me will be so right
11.
04:48
Urban White flight Everybody’s moving out to St. Charles I guess it’s just the St. Louis way We move farther and farther out each day Urban sprawl Nothing at all We just want another shopping mall Hey son don’t you curse We need another Bath and Body Works Mr. Yuppie and me in his S.U.V. Four wheeling down 270 From his way you’d better get the hell out He was the first in his Catholic grade school class To sell out to… CHORUS You don’t have to dial 1 before 636 Crossing the Missouri River Styx Do you know where I can find a Walgreens store There’s one on every block But we could sure use more Prescription ready for Mr. Michael-ski So I just got back from North County Where they have ‘bout 57 municipalities (really, I counted) Have you been to Bellfontaine Neighbors… Bel-Nor, Bel-Ridge, or Bel-Acres? CHORUS Macaroni Grill or the P.F. Chang’s Chain restaurants are where the Yuppies hang For about twenty bucks a platter But when you’re a neurosurgeon from Ladue Hell, it doesn’t matter CUSTOMER: I’ll have the Tuscan Tortilla Salad WAITER: Is that all? CUSTOMER: Yes, thank you St. Louis Centre was great When Vince Coleman was great Yes, a seven-story Famous-Barr right up the street It’s still there if you want to go shopping You can spend all day But it won’t be hopping Now, St. Louis Mills There’s the mall to beat Out where 270 and 370 meet Shop til’ you drop at stores galore ‘Cause St. Louis Centre ain’t the shit no more CHORUS So let me take ya’ll now To downtown There’s no urban blight It’s urban renewal around! Just check out the Washington Avenue sights: Brand new sidewalks and runway lights Think of the brand new things to come Luxury lofts and a new Busch Stadium But remember folks though it might look pretty It takes more than bricks and mortar to build a city That’s why I’m talking about the… CHORUS St. Louey! Everybody!

about

The one and only album by St. Louis pop-rockers, Urban Blight Players, Big Small Town featured songs by Bill Michalski (vocals, guitar) backed up by the crack rhythm section of Benjy Portnoy (drums) and Wally Schwartz (bass) joined by Trung Tran on backing vocals.

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released December 5, 2004

Produced by Bill Michalski
Engineered and mastered by Jack Petracek at Smith-Lee Studios, Maplewood, MO: June-September 2004

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Bill Michalski Saint Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, MO songwriter Bill Michalski exorcises his demons in his new EP, CRANKY. By (almost) entirely eschewing the acoustic guitar in favor of electric and working with a crack live rhythm section, Michalski's songs reach a new level of energy. Mr. Michalski has been recording and performing music since his high school days in 1993. CRANKY is his first non-single release since 2013. ... more

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