Nov 1, 2018

This Is My Building (Now Posted Below)

24 comments

Edited: Dec 21, 2018

 

 

True, we asked if you had this track, to please not share or post it yet; we'll put it here soon enough. But that doesn't mean you can't tell us what you think of it!

 

Anybody here in Queens on Sunday? What's your take on 'his building'?

Nov 1, 2018

It's playing on repeat as this is written. Walter scatting! Amazing! First impression is wonderful. I'll need a few more listens to get all of the lyrics. "My body's broken like a tired punchline..."

Thank you for releasing it. What a treasure.

Nov 1, 2018

super -- thanks! PS There's a lyrics file on the drive.

Nov 2, 2018

I was there and got one of the drives. I hadn't heard Becker's solo stuff and now I can't get it out of my head. Thank you for this. Turns out I had one more bang to give.

Nov 3, 2018

one more bang. lol.

 

ok, cultural touchstone, anybody; without looking it up on the google machine: where's "Big Daddy's gonna live!" come from?

Nov 2, 2018Edited: Dec 14, 2018

lizking593 - can't tell you how good it is to hear this....thanks for checking in; means a lot

Nov 3, 2018Edited: Nov 3, 2018

Martha! you were there?! if your email has changed since '09, please get in touch!

Nov 4, 2018Edited: Nov 4, 2018

Greetings and soulful appreciation (deeper than heartfelt) for these efforts. I grew up a few stops down Union Turnpike on the Q44A from WB Way and it was a great pleasure to attend the naming ceremony (I was the one who correctly responded "cup of spleen"). Howard Rodman's lovely comments alone were worth the drive from Ann Arbor in torrential rain. Perhaps his words could be posted on this site.

 

I finally had the chance to plug in my flash drive and scroll through the titles. I started with "This Is My Building" since I had just been standing in front of Walter's. I believe I understand reservations you might have had putting this one out considering the paucity of production. However, I hear so much more than a drum machine, dissonant note clusters on time-worn synth patches and a relatively dry mic. The under-production works more effectively without orchestration- it's a Rorschach blot: listen and extrapolate as semi-tones clash (and harmonics blossom like tubes in a boutique amp) the greater musical context with a third ear.

 

Considering the protagonist (the subject of the abject subject matter) it doesn't need further embellishment. The voice. In this simple demo, Walter's voice is fully exposed- drenched with raw nuance and expression. We can hear the rasp, the breaths and breaks- perish the thought of that good stuff getting buried in a bigger mix. Like Bob Dylan with just a guitar and a harmonica, no one but Walter could properly sing this song. The voice is alone as this guy is alone: a naked singularity of a soul at liberty- and he's okay for having gone low. He's playing falsetto tuba, scat singing! This is yet another "darkling" down. He's accepted it, then embraced it and, finally, celebrating it! Why not float the little flag on the buoy at the surface so everyone knows there's a diver down there. Bulls and Bears make money; Pigs like this get slaughtered (or kill themselves with three-martini lunches) Fo weal!

 

If there are more like this- please be encouraged by these reviews and kindly set them free.

 

cheers

David

ps: that would be Big Daddy from Cat on a hot tin roof. However, Big Daddy learns that contrary to what he thought, he will not live to celebrate his next birthday. Perhaps this is another haunting specimen of Walter's "late show" metaphor. We've heard it in "Door Number Two" and "Circus Monkey" - oops, I meant Money. Perhaps if our short-seller's wise-cracking heart was leaking like a sieve with one more bang to give, then maybe he's not destined to make it to the opening bell after all...

pps: hello Martha, it would have been nice to shake your hand.

Nov 4, 2018Edited: Dec 14, 2018

Thanks for the kind words David...and good fever dreaming :-) Seeing as you're relatively new, you may yet to fully plumb the "Rarities and Unreleased" category, which carries a wide range on the unfinished - > finished continuum. Welcome!

 

[Edit to David] In case you missed it, text of everybody's speechifyin' now on walterbeckerway.com and you can find video on youtube

Nov 4, 2018

Great to hear that people are enjoying This Is My Building. It really hit me hard, and I really love that it became part of the Walter Becker Way festivities. I'll be forever convinced that Walter toyed with the idea of saying "Turns out I had one more fuck to give."

 

And I love the bass on the track. Thanks for the feedback, Lizking and jake, it really does make all of the effort that went into putting the event and the usb drive for the event together worthwhile.

Nov 4, 2018

...and right you are, Matt: .says so right here in my notebook of hand-written lyrics. "one more fuck to give". Not one for editing himself just to get an R rating, I can't help but think that he made the right choice in the change; "bang" does indeed give the better scan to the line.

Dec 14, 2018Edited: Dec 14, 2018

This Is My Building

Becker/Klein

 

First, a very rare exception for this otherwise vociferously hi-fi site:

this demo is going to be the worst sounding thing you’ll ever hear at this location!

 

But…but….it's a special one we think;

 

This Is My Building is a very rough demo of a song

written for “Circus Money” (2008) by Becker

and Larry Klein. This recording is unique (on this site) for its extremely

rudimentary form and rough audio quality, which includes some media

damage we’ve been unable to correct. It’s the only copy on either

Larry’s or Walter’s hard drives or collections of CDs.

 

 It was first released exclusively on a

USB Drive given away on the occasion of the dedication of 

Walter Becker Way” on Oct 28; its appropriateness to the 

occasion was obvious and undeniable. Moreover, 

its rough quality aside — vocals were recorded in 

 Becker’s living room! — both Walter and Larry were 

greatly amused by (and proud of) this song and worked to

 complete the lyrics — and put down this rough demo— even 

though it was almost certainly too late to include on 

 the recording. 

 

We —or maybe a guest — will have more to say about the etiology of this

great tune later on.

 

We hope you agree that shortcomings

aside, it was well worth presenting to mark the

dedication of Walter Becker Way — and is worth sharing with you all now.

 

 

 

 

This is My Building

Walter Becker and Larry Klein

© 2005, 2018 Zeon Music LLC/Strange Cargo/Downtown Music

 

 

On a so-so day with the best among us selling short and cracking wise

And the also ran's are going belly up bust with the dollar signs in their eyes

Look at God's good fella in a push position drawing dead on an inside straight

Trading three martini lunches at L`upo for a South Beach diet plate

 

I love my job here

Hope I don't blow it

This is the good life

You'd never know it

 

So I hit the the street on the blazing backend of a drop dead margin call

Where I take my chances with a black car bandit with the deep Punjabi drawl

Now we zoom uptown hurry up slow down til brakes begin to smoke

Til my body's broken like the tired punchline of a bad cabdriver joke

 

God bless you Chandalur Singh

Thanks for next to nothing

Smooth ride notwithstanding

All the way all the way all the way all the way home

 

This is my building

I stake my claim here

Look on the mailbox you can read my middle name here

This is my building

This is no trash talk

This is me standing on my chunk of god's own sidewalk

 

So I settle on down with my brandy snifter and my beak packed full of cake

With the Knicks game over and I guess it's time for my poontang popcorn break

So I swallow my pride and I dial the number which has never failed up ’til now

And the girl on duty says I'm pleased to please you if you'll only tell me how

 

My soul's been broken

My skills all rusty

Who's young and curious

Sleek blonde and busty

 

So a half hour later when the door swings open and she's framed in golden light

With a smile on her lips and a song in her heart and a cash-driven appetite

As I whisk her bedward in my classic seven and my prospects start to float

And I tell myself ain't it lucky buddy that your old man caught the boat

 

Good evening star eyes

Your dream has come true

Please let me rock you

All the way all the way all the way all the way home

 

This is my building

You're very new here

There's only one thing for a monkey girl to do here

This is my building

This is no freak thing

This is no jokey play on words or tongue in cheek thing

 

My heart was leaking like a sieve

Turns out I had one more bang to give

Hallelujah honeychile big daddy's gonna live!

Ever and ever and ever and ever and more

 

This is my building

Can't be improved on

So hows about you make like a tree and get a move on

This is the real deal

This is no fakeout

This is the eight PM at God's own bloody steakhouse

 

This is my building, baby

(Fo Weal…)

 

 

Dec 14, 2018

This is fantastic! God, I miss Becker! ...and the sound quality is sooo much better than I was expecting. Absolutely, no complaints here!

Jan 9Edited: Jan 9

Lyric File Tailpieces

I can’t find it now, but I’m pretty sure a while ago I said that some of the funniest/most illuminating/ most amusing things in Walter’s computer files were the tail ends of lyrics files — where the final lyrics, cleaned up, appeared from the top of the page, and bits of rejected lines or sometimes just idea themes, having been typed as “inspiration” or backstory, just never got deleted.

 

here’s a few from the end of his lyric file for “This is My Building (thanks to Larry Klein for approval of posting this work product) ©2017 Xeon Music LLC/@ 2017 Strange Cargo/Downtown Music Downtown Music/

 

this is what I like

sure I did it my way

no use pretending

where's my gal friday 

where's  my happy ending

 

 this is my building 

this is no rental 

I know it' s a funny time for getting sentimental

 

you must be new

 

please take a dollar 

send it straitaway to the folks in guatemala

 

this is my building

my dream came true here

and now we don't need another wannabe like you here

 

 

this is my crib now

 

and talking to joe blow off the streets aint why I came here

thus its not possible that I'm the one to blame here

quite impossible that I should be to blame here

I look at the mailbox and i do not see your name here

 

big  daddy's gonna live

 

when I was a prince of the unemployed

 

doncha give me no back talk spare me your backtalk

 

 

Load more replies
Dec 14, 2018

I love that my Knicks have made it into a Walter song! My Yankees already made it into a Donald song (Morph). I wonder if WB ever attended a Knicks game or was a fan?

Dec 16, 2018

So very yes. Fantastic. Will you be making it available in the regular download section by any chance? Not to be greedy. Or, no, yes, to be very greedy. Plus greedy enough to ask about many other potential holiday goodies for us Becker diehards who who may have hit the right naughty behavioral target to, hopefully, catch the eye of whomever's hanging in the multi-directional frozen polen ever-watching?

This oversight has been corrected and this wonderful track is available for download in FLAC or MP3(320) over on the downloads page.

Dec 21, 2018

https://www.sdarchive.com/deskof.html

"God bless you Chandalur Singh/Thanks for next to nothing."

 

For any who didn't immediately catch the little reference.

 

And a quick nod to Eric "Rudy" Schuttler who designed the graphic on that SD page, along with many of those that made the site so special. Rest in Peace, Eric.

Dec 24, 2018

Thanks as always. I really enjoyed this one. Additionally, I really want to go watch the Back to the Future movies again after hearing "So hows about you make like a tree and get a move on."

Jan 28

Being from Atlanta, I had never heard this term nor had any idea what this was, but had been curious ever since I read WB's lyrics, just hadn't bothered to look it up until now. Apparently, a Classic Seven is a a seven-room apartment floor plan one can find in buildings built in New York City prior to 1940 consisting of a formal dining room, living room, kitchen, three bedrooms, maid's room and two or more bathrooms. There's also a Classic Six, which has one less bedroom. Learn something new every day!

Feb 6Edited: Feb 8

 

Give that man a Kewpie Doll!

 

[and being from <1940 it's also going to have another highly-desirable NYC real-estate feature -- it'll be in a "pre-war" building: solid old-style construction often w/ high ceilings, good stone or marble, maybe tall windows, fireplaces or other architectural ornamentation, etc]

New Posts
  • (Surprise Piano Version) This extremely early rundown of Book of Liars by The 11TOW band [Adam Rogers (Guitar): Fima Ephron (Bass): Ben Perowsky (Drums): John Beasley (Keyboards): Dean Parks (Guitar)] is interesting on several counts, not the least of which is the peek it affords into the studio process . Walter enjoyed almost everything the band played as it emerged from their interaction, rather then from any strong a priori “instruction” he offered. The rule seemed to be: Let’s just play it. See what we see. It’s interesting, for example, to hear one of the first rundowns of this tune took on a sort of calypso vibe. Yet all the tracks invariably developed, changed —through a combination of the creativity and explorations of the musicians playing together, and the small, subtle shaping that Walter would occasionally offer. It’s probably too obvious to observe that the feel of the final versions as we all know them from Whack and Alive in America traveled quite a distance from this earliest rundown. The 11TOW recorded version of this song has also long inspired speculation a’plenty about that rather unique keyboard solo. Here, on one of the earliest rundowns — and with only the above musicians in the room — we hear what might be its etiology. The quasi-comic conducting Walter would often exercise is in evidence here — “big piano passage”….then “Piano solo. Surprise piano solo!” (sandwiching an expression of juvenile gun-lust). A playful response follows, and that we hear a “yeah” during the staccato playing leads one to suspect the die on this one was cast early on; there was just something about that general vibe of this early keyboard part that he wanted preserved in the recorded version. We'll leave it to the listener to hypothesize who did or did not play the recorded solo or, at the very least, from whence its inspiration sprang. We see it springing right here. Then there’s “Fima’s got it” as a few players seem to momentarily lose their bearings in the unfamiliar chart….and of course the wonderful end-talk about different ideas for “the bridgy kinda thing”….and, well, from 5:14 out…that’s our Walter all over, isn’t it? Hope you enjoy. D-Mod P.S. Speaking of Book of Liars: Don Breithaupt's band Monkey House released a new album TODAY with their own cover of Becker's Book of Liars! You may know Don from previous Monkey House albums or from his insightful look at Steely Dan's Aja album for the 33-1/3 series. "As a lifelong Steely Dan fan, Walter's death hit me hard," said Don. "I thought it'd be a nice gesture to do one of his." The new album, " Friday ," also features the talents of Steely Dan musicians Michael Leonhart and Drew Zingg. It's a damn fine album, and it looks like listeners agree—" Friday " is currently sitting at the #1 spot on iTunes' Jazz charts. Congrats to Don and Monkey House! - Matt
  • 1997 He Wants You (Out) words & music Walter Becker (1997) © Zeon Music LLC 2018 Well we all ride together in this world Fall together where we stand And we all got one slim chance to be heard It's all written in the plan This is all I ask of you Tell me sweetness tell me true From that very first soul kiss You knew it would be like this We all ride together in this world Well didn't we just girl He reads you — he reads you loud and clear He wants you — he wants you out of here He needs you — you and what army dear He wants you — he wants you out of here Well we all need protection from the pain For protection we will pay And we all seek the shelter from the rain Here comes that rainy day It won't make it real again Not all the horses all the men It won't do you any good Not all the pills in Hollywood We all need protection now and then Here it is again He loves you —he loves your story dear He wants you — he wants you out of here He sees you — he sees you disappear He wants you — he wants you out of here Well we all ride together in this world Wait forever on the curb And we all ask for much more than we need And we get what we deserve He hears you — he's seeming not to hear He wants you — he wants you out of here He's got you — he's had you up to here He wants you — he wants you out of here He needs you — you and what army dear He wants you — he wants you out of here He reads you — he reads you loud and clear He wants you — he wants you out of here Another one of Becker's infamous "Love Songs"! Anyone woman at all familiar with his Whack work and demos would think long and hard before sweetly trilling "write me a love song, dahling!" -- knowing she was as likely to get one of these than an Almost Gothic  or a  Paging Audrey . That musical bouquet of his was always as likely to conceal a shiv than sweet-nothings. This tune was one of three demos Walter sent me on a DAT in late 1997  (ever-thoughtful, he bundled it with a portable "Walkman"-type DAT player. Sort of like Voyager. I was impressed). I asked him: "so these are rejects from Whack ?" to which he replied nah,  just a few things he'd been working on lately. By this time he was  deep into writing for Two Against Nature  with Fagen, so it took me a couple of beats to realize that after his Whack  work, he and his Opcode had apparently just kept on trucking along.  He must have liked this one, must have been keeping it on his "potentially active" list, since he was still occasionally listening to it few years later...  ...as he was one afternoon in late '99 .... PS: His vocals on these three '97 demos were uncommonly lackluster, to put it kindly.  One of them, in fact -- a tune called The Love You Ax -- will remain forever sealed, falling into the rare category of the demo vocal  he would never allow out of the box. It's a nice tune though; perhaps one day 'll post an instrumental of its solo and outro, for a sense of its feel. I just have to guess first  if that would make more of you pissed or pleased.