Roll with it

 

Steve Winwood did it once. Oasis wasn’t bad. But ‘Roll with it’ by JustVera is something else…
Ray Kaliss at his best. Both lyrically -parental advisory- and vocally. With the help of Joeysix (guitar) and Bil McCarthy (drums) of course. Three minutes of powerpop with a wink. Just love it.

Walking down Hollywood and Vine
Just trying to score a good time
Had nothing particular on my mind
When a hot girl drove up beside me
She opened the car door, and she said

Roll with it, Go with it, Roll with it, Go with it

She said, why don’t we go to my place
It’s a real safe space
When we’re there I’ll sit on your face
And I said ‘Oh my goodness
What are we gonna do about this?’
Well I guess I’ll just aaa…

Roll with it, Go with it, Roll with it, Go with it

Said her name was Jack
That nearly gave me a heart attack
Said ‘Why don’t you drive me on back’
I opened the door, I got out
And I said ‘Listen lady, you just gotta live with it… sooo…’

Roll with it, Go with it, Roll with it

Go with it, Roll with it, Go with it, Roll with it

People are too damn sensitive. Hit that solo.

(Lyrics & vocals by Ray Kaliss)

Drops of Rain (Therese Marie)

(Troubles with SoundCloud? Try the player at the bottom of this post:-).

‘Drops of Rain’ is the heartbreaking story of the tragic loss of John Heavern’s little sister. Words that cut, recited by himself. The singing part is convincingly performed by Louis Marchena. JustVera with a bleeding heart.

Eyes of flaming embers
seek fuel, as others wonder
the cause of crystal stares
I place their faces under.

A stepping stone too far
for most to blindly reach
must somehow come ajar,
move outward, and beseech
a helping hand, still unknown
by others, and myself.
My heart and soul softly moan,
as dreams cry out for help.

Time marches to my door
and feeds upon my doubts.
The answers I’ve ignored
must cast the shadows out.

Life can traumatize,
when life delivers dread
and when all faith inside
leaves a heart misled.

I shiver, shout, cry and plead,
as a piece of my heart is pierced and bleeds.

Caught within a tragic dream,
cast among the dust and haze.
A zombie’s eyes look longingly,
emotions black and thoughts of grey.
Consoling souls give words of hope,
their pity falls like drops of rain,
it soothes the flesh to some degree,
but doesn’t seem to ease the pain.

Please help me to awake from this,
into a world I knew before,
where ignorance was silent bliss
and death sailed towards a distant shore.

Caught within a tragic dream,
deep emptiness in misery.
No isolation too extreme
in traumatized reality.
Lonely chasm fate’s created
walling in a pool of pain.
Reality has separated,
calling out in drops of rain.

Miss you, Little Sister,
my simple words just can’t explain…
voices heard in drops of rain
pour… out… your… name…..

Free afflictions from within!
the mold is bonded strong.
Catch a glimpse beyond this skin,
towards worlds where bliss belongs.
See a sage as no one has,
seek passage past a mind.
Wash away this captious world,
leave drops of rain behind.

(Lyrics/voice John Heavern, vocals Louis Marchena)

Tear out my heart

Desperately passionate…
Ian T.’s vocal interpretation of my lyrics. Amplified by his own rhytm guitars, Chris Bouchard’s drums and Jean Lui Toudou’s slapping bass. A song I wrote and recorded five years ago, but was reborn today.

I search and don’t find
I’m gasping for breath
I’m willfully blind
I’m hearing deaf

I whisper and yell
I fight and I flee
Just craving your smell
Please come to me

Tear out my heart
Razor fingers cover my chest
Tear out my heart
Execute my cardiac arrest

I’m losing the pace
So wordless and slow
Just silence and space
Please come to me

Tear out my heart
Razor fingers cover my chest
Tear out my heart
Execute my cardiac arrest

(Lyrics by Justus, leadvocals Ian T.)

This is now my heart

The original idea for this song originates from years ago. After a first impulse by Suzann Baldwin -only the title is what’s left of her lyrics- and fresh guitars by Olivier Demaine, this track started to gather dust again. Until Steve Rice came along and added his lyrics and convincing vocal performance. Doubt, anger and hurt as being part of love…

This is now my heart,
In a world that’s torn apart
I keep searching for a spark
I keep searching

What you left for me
Is but a hollowed memory
Filled with love’s debris
I keep searching

What is this pain I seem to hold
My angry bear it took control
Those lonely nights my heart it froze
I got nowhere that I can go

Could you take me back again
Or dust me off and just be friends
How does this lovers quarrel end
Is this where I leave?
You leave me

Will you leave me?
Will you?

A painted storm inside my head
My favorite color, always red
The loop it plays those words I said
I think I’ll put my bear to bed

Could you take me back again
Or dust me off and just be friends
How does this lovers quarrel end
Is this where you leave me?

(Lyrics & vocals by Steve Rice)

Once upon a time…

…there was this guy Justus who composed an instrumental piece he called ‘Every dog has its day’. Many years after that he got involved in online musical collaborations. As ‘Every dog has its day’ had been his favourite ever since, he decided to revive his tune. So he sent out several requests to songwriters and singers for lyrics and vocals. For years the project was gathering dust. Nobody seemed interest but then, out of the blue, Steve Rice came up with lyrics and a vocal track. (And later on Dan Rosati put his tasty sax on the cake.)

A new chapter was written. But singer Steve -hardrocker by nature- challenged me to try a rockier arrangement as well. So I went back to the drawing board. Killed some of my darlings -plus Dan’s saxual contributions…- and created this new rocking version of ‘the old dog’:

But since all good things come in threes, I decided to explore the other side of the spectrum as well. Just for fun. Getting out of my comfort zone. I built an entire new soft, jazzier version with the help of talented musicians in the online community. Subsequently I swapped most of my original midi/Reason instruments for the real stuff. Next to the vocals by Steve and Dan’s saxes, there are acoustic drums by Bill McCarthy, the Fender Rhodes by Gabro Jazz and a real upright bass by Jeff Dalton. Them jazzcats rule…

I should have known you’ld never let it be.
You always twist it up in front of me.
You laugh and say it doesn’t mean a thing.
We both know that bird can’t help but sing.

Tie me, I’ve been flailing, won’t you tie me down again.
Short pause between my banter, I can’t help but try to win.
Can’t help but drool, I’m like a fool foaming at the mouth.
You turn away, I shout and say that I can’t live without.

Every dog has its day, some dogs can’t help but bark some just run away.
Every dog has its day, some dogs, their tail tells the tale they just want to play.
They just want to play, they just want to play, they just want to play.

Every dog has its day, some dogs can’t help but bark some just run away.
Every dog has its day, some dogs, their tail tells the tale they just want to play.
They just want to play, they just want to play, they just want to play.

(Lyrics & vocals: Steve Rice)

After all

Now here’s a special one. Haunting vocals by Cali Beach trying to make the angels weep. Catchy riff and exciting sounds. Wandering spirits of John and George. A powerful layered lofi magical mystery tour if you ask me. Just love it.

After all
that conspired
we run on
under fire
will you drive away
have you something more to say
don’t you make a sound
we’ve gone back underground
and gone

You, you never change
so I’ll, I’ll try to re-arrange
a life of renegotiations
and on to seize our time

After all
that conspired
After all

(Lyrics by Cali Beach)

Unleash the hounds

With a minimum of lyrics and a maximum of magic: Unleash the hounds. Featuring Steve Rice (vocals) and of course the one and only Sven-Martin Keil on saxes. Sheer class…

Into the dark I struggled
Flailing towards the sound
No light was there to help me
Footsteps all around
This would be my only chance
To get back above the ground
I could hear the barking orders
To unleash the hounds

(Lyrics by Steve Rice)

Dangerous men

There are a lot of dangerous men around. But few of them actually become world leaders. That’s why B.K. Williamson wrote ‘Dangerous men’…

Tarjei Skarlund (vocals), Thomas Hjorth (guitars), Jon Garcia (bass), Bill McCarthy (drums) and Alice Minguez (choir/backing vocals) have been contributing on this statement. (This song appears to be recorded in front of an exuberant BBC audience:-).

I hope we get our message across. If you share our concern on the misuse of power by influential people, please spread the news. Sharing is caring.

Poke the bees nest
It’s all in the plan
Stroke the ego
of dangerous men

Echo blindness
Evanescence
Echo blindness
Evanescence
Welcome the darkness

My pawns…
My proletarians
In synchronization
No questions
Just leave it all to me

I’m the one
I’m here to stay
so clear the way
Dawn of a new day

Mark my words
however absurd
Elected King
of everything

Smile…
and wave…
Love me…
King bee

While…
you bathe…
in the light of your TV

(Dangerous men)
I’m at the top
Ratings are hot
The popular vote
What a joke
(Dangerous men)
It’s my machine
Shiny and clean
We buy and sell
on Capitol hell

It’s all in the plan
It’s all in the plan
Stroke the egos
of dangerous men

It’s all in the plan
It’s all in the plan
Stroke the egos
of dangerous men

(Dangerous men)
(are here to stay)
It’s all in the plan
(it’s in the plan)
Stroke the egos of dangerous men
(Dangerous men)

(Lyrics by B.K. Williamson)

RAW and RECKLESS

The best of JustVera. One and a half hour of sheer power and excitement. Thanks to Alan Abernethy, Alex Zulaika, Andrea Spaziale, Andrew Boucher, Bryan Shoemaker, Caleb Anderson, Dan Rosati, Esther Bredius, Gustavo Abreu, Ian T., Jan van de Garde, Jarek Adamowski, Jean Lui Toudou, Joey Six, Lisa Dewey, Loek van der Knaap, Louis Marchena, Mark Alan Dooley, Martin Nilsson, Maurizio Marini, Michel Pilotte, Mike Mantecon, Monroe De La Vega, Nigel Robinson, Olivier Demaine, Oppy, Parmia Vaala, Peter Bomhof, Peter Hendriks, Serenn, Steve Rice, Sven-Martin Keil, Tarjei Skarlund, Tracy Hayden, Tracy Hutchison.
So f***, f***, F****** PROUD…

Losing it

‘Losing it’ doesn’t necessairily have to be bad. In fact in some cases losing your resistance may account for the best experience ever. Parmia wrote about it and convincingly performed her lyrics.
You might want to think about it, but sometimes it’s better just to listen and get carried away…

I thought I was strong
I thought I had reason
I had it in order
and controlled all I was facing

You made my walls fall
they vanished in thin air

I thought I was strong
I thought I had reason
and now I am naked of my soul
you made your home there

and now I am naked of my soul
you made your home there
and now I am naked of my soul
you made your home there

I thought I was strong
I thought I had reason
I had it in order
and controlled all I was facing

and now I am naked of my soul
you made your home there
and now I am naked of my soul
you made your home there
and now I am naked of my soul
you made your home there
home there, home there

You captured my heart
you saw what I was hiding
I couldn’t escape your burning eyes
though I was trying

Another night falls
another day follows
I’ve lost my count
of todays, yesterdays or tomorrows

Losing it…
…I’m losing it…
… my heart.

I thought I was strong
I thought I had reason
I had it in order
and controlled all I was facing

You made my walls fall
and now I am naked of my soul
you made your home there

(Lyrics and vocals by Parmia Vaala)