Little Miss Blackout

by Upstate Escape

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    Upstate Escape's Sophomore Release, Little Miss Blackout!!

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All music and lyrics by John Norwood
Arrangements by Upstate Escape

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Cover photography by Pulane Mpotokwane
"Blackout" text by Milton Georges


released August 8, 2009

John Norwood - Vocals/Guitar/Percussion/Programming
Chris Bentley - Bass
Ryan Silvernail - Drums

John Norwood - Bass on "The Wisest Fools," "Tango Whiskey," and "Chicks and Elephants", Drums on "Chicks and Elephants"



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Upstate Escape New York, New York

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Track Name: Favors
I don’t mean to be cruel
But the way that you do me
Isn’t quite friendly in the least
See I’m not the middle man
And I’m not your garbage can
So why bother pretending
Like I couldn’t see that
It’s all in the way
You couldn’t say
“Hi” without “Hey, could you do me a favor?”
Cuz that’s what friends are for, anyways

Well, I’ve always been the nice guy
Thinking that I might try
Reaching for your hand
Laying out the olive branch
But since you can’t use a branch
To get you another chance
To climb higher up the social ladder
You still wanted something better
You’re a beggar
So you ain’t getting’ nothing more
Than scraps falling from the table
Why don’t you open up and swallow down
Look at you
You’ve got everything to prove
Can’t walk a mile in your own shoes
Too busy taking, taking
Thank you
Pick and choose
Wading through folks fake as you
Trying to find something to loose
Too busy taking, taking
Thank you

On this laptop I left
A stupid away message
About how angry I am
But nobody reads them anyways
So I laid this song down
To keep from cussing you out
The next time I see
You on the street
Complaining ‘bout how
Nothing ever quite seems to fit
You whiny little….
Almost let that slip
Bite my lip and turn and walk away

You wanted a ride
Cuz you’re not inside
Well, I won’t be comin’ round to get you this time
So sit there alone
You know there’s nobody home
And I won’t be coming around
To get you
This time, you ain’t gonna find me
I’m not coming around
There’s no use in saying “sorry” now
Track Name: Intellectual
I bet you think that it’s easy being enlightened
But it’s really a cross we have to bear
(Putting up with the rest of you)
Incompetency is always surrounding me
I smoke a pack a day
Just to clear out my brain
From your incessant questioning

And still you come to me
With your itty bitty dreams
And your get-rich-quick pyramid schemes
But the reality’s that

I don’t care what you think
And I don’t care what you see
Your opinions don’t matter much to me
Cuz I’m the belle of the ball
With three degrees on my wall
I’m a bonafide intellectual

And some still look at me as if I’m crazy
But if you can’t stand the heat all I can say
Is “Get out of the kitchen, babe”
I bet you wish you were me
In the intelligentsia
But we’re such an exclusive club
So leave your resume
And we’ll be in touch
If you’re good enough

To carve a niche with all the glamorous execs
And sign the big fat bonus checks
Until then, you know that…

And it’s clear now
That we can’t keep on this way
But I fear it’s too late to change
So harvest the wheat
And burn all the chaff
Sweep it away
And bury the ashes in silence
While we pray to God
But he clearly is not listening
And so we just are going to have
To act in his place
Track Name: Tyler's Song
Well they say that I don’t enunciate
When I step up on the stage
So just shoot me
And my mistakes are too easily displayed
By expressions on my face
But somehow I can get away
With imperfections
When the bass is leakin’ out the speakers
Cuz it’s all about the big picture
When you listen to this here
Rock and roll kinda music

So, Tyler
Take a look at all our faults
Like we’re in Hollywood
And stack us up with all the big boys, but
If you take the time to analyze
You’ll find we’re not that good
So can sit back, relax, and enjoy the noise

This ain’t bubble gum
That’s me chewing on my tongue
And if you’ve got a problem with it
You better take the exit out
Because it’s me
And until somebody pays
I ain’t ever gonna change my ways
It’s all the same
When people play that game
Of pin the donkey on the tail
Because it’s 1, 3, 4, 5, 6
In the progression
It’s simple, but effective
To keep the people dancing

So put down the Downbeat magazine
And I think that maybe you might see
What you’re missing
Take it from me

This is not our 9 to 5
Working hard just to stay alive
We just try to make you smile
If you don’t like it, change the dial
Put down your Downbeat magazine
And maybe you’d see what I mean
We play this way because we’ve got to
Track Name: Interlude I: Failure is Easier Done Than Said
She was asking me a simple question
I said I was fine, under the circumstances
And maybe confidence is key to making everything
Come off authentically
But each cut’s deep when you’re already bleeding
Lost in the whirlpool of circular reasoning

I stayed up for half the night
Thinking of why I get so tired all the time
And now I suspect I’m just narcoleptic
Or just unemployed

I’ve learned to be content with being uncontent
A blessing or a curse, either way its wonderful
See everybody has their price and I set mine too high
I’ve learned to let it slide
I’m happy as I am… as unhappy as I am

I stayed up for half the night
Thinking of why I get so tired all the time
And now I suspect I’m just narcoleptic
Or just unemployed … or just paranoid if being alone
Track Name: Little Miss Blackout
Wasted and still you keep
High GPA and BAC
How could it be?
23, a PhD and still the life of the party
An Asian with no sense of moderation
Drank the whole handle for a standing ovation
And peed it out, on the couch
In your sleep, but you see..

There’s no need to panic
Destroy the evidence
Walk out the back entrance
Then write a confessional

She drinks and drives on cruise control
Her seat reclined, that’s how she rolls
Her t-shirt keeps tabs on the toll
15 guys… and 7 hos

Ten drinks in and the rooms still spinnin’
You’ve got a hankerin’ for burnin somethin’
Lit a cross in the quad
And set off a racial PR jihad
Now there’s cameras flashin’, chain reaction
The public’s angry and they need satisfaction
What are you gonna do?
You just keep drinking with your friends
Till its through
Singing, “Jaeger bombs, sluts!
Let’s blow a line in the kitchen!”

We were born the same day
On different pathways
I went right and she went left
I was the preacher’s kid
While she’s gettin’ high and cheatin’ death
Cuz in her eyes it’s a matter of principle
To spend your life trying to prove you’re invincible

No need to panic
She’s Little Miss Blackout
Track Name: The Musician's Anthem
Don’t cry over spilled milk
You won’t last the day
And don’t fight for the big bills
Well, that’s what you say
But I recognize
Dollar signs in your eyes
So please keep your hands
Where I can see them
They call this a blessing
But it’s a curse to me
I’m tired of confessing
That I’d play for free
On most any stage
Just rig up the PA
Hand me a microphone
I’ll perform till the daylight breaks
But these empty pockets cry for change

We may not quite look like rock stars
So just trust me… we are
Guitar-swinging professionals
Born to be icons
A calling, you see
To be sonically free
But each show has a fee, man
So why don’t you please pay us?

Don’t fight with the old friends
That write bad reviews
And don’t cry when the sound man
Gets more cash than you
Cuz deep underneath
He’d give a leg to be
Rocking on stage
In your place

And don’t think since I ‘ve got a smile on my face
That everything we do is just fun and games
We’ve spent hours in
Little rooms, practicin’
Catchy grooves that the youth
Can shake their booties to
Wouldn’t you say
That deserves compensation?
And I don’t see free drinks as currency

Please pay attention
To our simple demands
All we ask is for what we are due
I guess I should mention
That we work with our hands
And these instruments merely are tools
That we use
Because money makes the world go round
Its so sad to say
But its true
Track Name: Interlude II: Raggedy Ann
You came into this small town
And at first seemed unaware
How that ebony skin and double Ds
Can make everybody stare
You left your boyfriend home
But kept him on a string
Cuz he’d give you everything
Even twice gave you his ring
And each time
You’d tell him “No,” but you’d kiss him
So he’d feel there’s still a chance
While you’d sneak out late with other men

But when your sultry pout
Wrinkles up your mouth
And you’ve tarnished those pearly whites
When that rack droops down
Twenty years from now
You’ll see what the real world’s like

You don’t pay parking tickets
Cuz you smooth talk to the cops
And you get free cappuccinos
At the local coffee shop
It seems with just a wink and wiggle you receive
Almost anything you please
Except the one thing you need: a lobotomy.
To extract out all that bullshit
That makes you think you’re a star
While they fight for bragging rights down at the bar

But when your sultry pout
Wrinkles up your mouth
And you’ve tarnished those pearly whites
When you’re all stretched out
Thirty years from now
You’ll see what the real world’s like

You said that you’d marry for security
Cuz there’s no guarantee on love
But when your sugar daddy sees you hit thirty
You’ll be tossed out for some younger desperate broad

When your sultry pout
Wrinkles up your mouth
And you’ve tarnished those pearly whites
When your hair falls out
Forty years from now
You’ll see what the real world’s like
Track Name: Tango Whiskey
She pressed her fanciest dress for this
Now drenched, all covered in sweat and beer, my dear
Synaptic reflex is all she has
Catholic pretense left beside the bed
She said “Pretty boys send pretty girls to hell,
But I can’t resist, I guess I might as well.”

Sweetheart, don’t you say the darndest things to me?
Follow me back to my room and we’ll see what they mean

I swear I’d seen more class in Motel 6 doormats
As she screamed at me
To go buy her an aspirin, I just sat laughing and asked her to leave
Cuz the fact of the matter is I don’t like taking out trash, anyways
There’s the door, pack your bags
Find a spot by the dumpster and wait
Track Name: The Wisest Fools
They say you reside
In sun and sky
And sneak on by
Where time wraps in circles and unwinds
Far too quick to catch a glimpse
Until I caught you looking in my life
A split-second shadow on the tip of my tongue

And now they force the key
I left only to turn in your hand
Should you come around again
The lines between unreal and unseen
Are too fine for me
Would you come around again?

No more middle men
No charlatans
No more government interpretations
Just speak for yourself, I swear we’re listening
It’s just so hard making sense out of what you can’t envision
And why leave the dark when the light’s just as blinding anyway?

And the wisest fools
Sang of all they knew
And we liked the tunes
Wishing they were true
Track Name: Amateur
And luggin these heavy amps again
I stop to rest my tired hands
And think of how I’d rather leave them
Right here in the garbage can
Because it doesn’t make a lick of sense how
I could spend so much time
Doing all of this
When people wouldn’t give a dime to hear me sing
Much of anything
It’s like I live in a mystery
So beautiful
And out of focus
So, is this how we grow?
I don’t know
But if we fall tonight
I won’t sit here weak and teary-eyed
Because I’ve already looked back on tomorrow
And tomorrow looks just fine

Sippin eight ounces
From a skinny little metal can
And it cost me two-fifty
Took me every last cent just to pay for it
And then
I slipped and spilled it on the pavement
Maybe I’ll never be anything more
Than an amateur
But that’s ok by me
It’s like I’m painting a masterpiece

Step off of the stage
As the spotlight slowly fades away
And my mind keeps concentrating on
My stupid little jokes
And that string of wrong notes I played
Until a person that I’ve never met
Says “Hey could you play that song again?
Cuz there was something I was feelin’ in it, man”
And I see that I’m still living my fantasy

Secret Track: Chicks and Elephants
Way back in the era of the biblical times
A man named John the Baptist walked the countryside
He hit up all the cities with a message so clear
“Brace yourself, chumps, cuz Messiah is near”
The people came out by the hundreds to see
What John had to say and get dipped in the sea
Until he talked smack ‘bout the king and his wife
They didn’t find it funny… locked him up for life

Poor little John, all in shackles and chains
Until a guard unlocked him to take him away
See, the princess requested his sentence should end
He thought he had a pardon, she said “off with his head”
The moral of the story is that girls don’t forget

Cuz he thought that this time, she might be nice
Cut a little slack and let his ass off the line
And that’s what he gets
No disrespect, but chicks and elephants are never gonna forget

Fast forward just a couple centuries
A man named John Bobbitt did the very same thing
He cheated on his wife and even showed her the proof
See, John was pretty much a big bag of douche

One night John came back late from drinking with friends
He told his wife to give him some lovin’ and man,
She must’ve seemed kinda kinky bringing a knife to bed
He thought he had a pardon, she said off with his head

Wiseman or douchebag, it really don’t matter
If you mess around with chicks, they put your head on a platter