2008/03/21

REVIEW : Could We Survive - QRO Magazine



by Ted Chase  March 21, 2008

Note : 7.2
Lonely Astronaut
2008


Prolific singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur gets serious and even political on his first of four new EP’s, Could We Survive. Arthur is better known for being discovered by Peter Gabriel, and providing the often covered “In The Sun” for benefit and tribute albums. But he’s also an artist with his own studio in the DUMBO area of Brooklyn, and now has his own band, The Lonely Astronauts, and his own label, Lonely Astronaut. More importantly, he’s a writing & releasing machine, recording every live show and selling the CD-R’s immediately after the set, and, in 2002, he issued four different Junkyard Hearts EP’s in the lead-up to the drop date of his full-length, Redemption’s Son. Now, Arthur goes at it again, with one a month (QRO release schedule) until the August debut of All You Need Is Nothing – starting things out with the timely Could We Survive.

With leadoff track “Rages of Babylon”, it’s clear that this isn’t the same Joseph Arthur. It isn’t the first time the musician has changed things up – he’s gone from the world music of his early, Peter Gabriel days to high melody on Redemption’s Son, soft fuzz on 2004’s Our Shadows Will Remain, haunting reverb on the following And the Thieves Are Gone EP, and then full-band rock ‘n’ roll on his last two LP’s, last year'sNuclear Daydream and Let’s Just Be. Now Arthur delivers an out-and-out anti-war song, a strong alt-country/folk procession. The lyrics are a little banal, but still better than most of today’s rather lackluster crop of ‘protest’ songs.

Download “Rages of Babylon” for free here: www.josepharthur.com/mp3/ja-ragesofbabylon.mp3


The mood really changes with the following “Morning Cup”, a sweet, touching, even bright number that unfortunately goes on a little too long. More winning is “Shadow of Lies”, another sunny piece (despite the title), whose airy growth benefits from certain distorted effects. Arthur gets a little more somber with the quiet, stripped choral title track, but it is the finely proceeding “Walk Away” that expands nicely into echoing power. Survive finishes with the reverb-ish sad anthem, “King of the Pavement”.

In some ways a return to his more sonically affected works, Could We Survive actually stands out on its own among Arthur’s vast catalogue. Despite its small size, the EP has real weight. Arthur celebrates its release tonight at his studio, ‘The Museum of Modern Arthur’, where he’s also showing off his visual art (QRO calendar listing). ‘Cause he just doesn’t produce enough material already…


2008/03/15

2008-03-15 - Music by the Slice 2008, Home Slice Pizza, Austin


On Stage :

with Jen Turner on guitar & vocals


Setlist : 

no information


Recording :

Sadly, there's no audio recording of this event. 
If I am wrong, thank you to inform me by email.


Poster :



LYRICS : Rages Of Babylon



Another time happened before
Fighting in a rich man's war
Blood can't fill oceans of sand
I no longer possess my hand
Or my mind
Or my heart
Or my will

Do you notice when we are gone?
Through the rages of Babylon
To protect the land of the free
Will my family remember me?

Is my home this ugly place?
When will darkness reveal his face?
To feed the mouth of misery
They ship our bones across the sea
And our lives
And our love
And our kids

Do you notice when we are gone?
Through the rages of Babylon
To protect the land of the free
Will my family remember me?
Will my family remember me?

Now my wife says she can't see
Another time to lay with me
As the bombs fall overhead
If I'm not (I) wish I was dead
In my mind
In my heart
In my will

Do you notice when we are gone?
Through the rages of Babylon
To protect the land of the free
Will my family remember me?

Do you notice when we are gone?
Through the rages of Babylon
To protect the land of the free
Will my family remember me?
Will my family remember me?
Will my family remember me?
Will my family remember me?


LYRICS : Morning Cup



Because I love these people
I wanted you to stay
Can we now surrender
The games we used to play
Won't it all come back to
The will to love and treat you right
Ability to hold you
Anytime day and night

And I suppose it's up to you
Drinking a morning cup

Give up your soldiers
The battle has been won
You fell so far upwards
You fell into the sun
Yesterday's over
So different from today
When nothing is hidden
There's no reason not to stay

And I suppose it's up to you
Drinking a morning cup
And I suppose it's up to you
Drinking a morning cup

Taking the long way
To where you were before
Your shadow keeps turning
The knob of every door
But none of them open
You're disappearing now
You'll always be lost here
And finding yourself somehow

And I suppose it's up to you
Drinking a morning cup
And I suppose it's up to you
Drinking a morning cup

Because I love these people
I wanted you to stay


LYRICS : Shadows Of Lies



Lying next to you at night when you're sleeping
Wishing I could join you on the other side
When you shake I wonder what are you dreaming
In the dead of night there's no place I can hide

With wide open eyes in the dark
Shadows of lies on my heart

The moon it bleeds through winter's window freezing
My memories play movies in my mind
As sorrow sings for my child in Ohio
The nighttime brings every demon it can find

With wide open eyes in the dark
Shadows of lies on my heart

And when you're dreaming
I'm running through your veins
And when I am dreaming
You're running through my veins

And when you are dreaming
I am running through your veins
And when I am dreaming
You're running through my veins

Lying next to you at night when you're sleeping
Wishing I could join you on the other side
When you shake I wonder what are you dreaming
In the dead of night there's no place I can hide

With wide open eyes in the dark
Shadows of lies on my heart
On my heart
On my heart
On my heart

LYRICS: Could We Survive



Hallelujah, stop and stare
When will Jesus find us here
Could we survive
How can you pretend to know
Who you are or where you will go
When you just get by

And dream, dream all the time away
And dream, dream all your time away

My father's mother sings this song
My mother's father's gone beyond
The clouds, the rain
They protect me from above
I can feel their tender love
When I'm in pain

And dream, dream all the time away
And dream, dream all the time away


LYRICS : Walk Away


So long
You went alone
Holding on
To what you'll never know

Who were you
Pretending you should be
Never enough
Of who you thought you'd be

You walk away
You want to walk away
You want to walk away
From who you are

You look away
(For some eyes always see?)
Far beyond
Your reality

Look within
Into the universe
Ask yourself
If you belong to this

You walk away
You want to walk away
You want to walk away
From who you are


LYRICS : King Of The Pavement



The gods can hear me sing
From inside the basement
It's good to be King
Ah ah ah
King of the pavement

Our friendship is pure
Like lights inside us pouring
I knew you before
Ah ah ah
But never in the morning

It's good to be King
King of the pavement
But you can't kiss my ring
Ah ah ah
Down in the basement

Our spirits will soar
My soul needs a cleansing
I want to explore
Ah ah ah
Being forgiven

We lay down at night
In darkness together
The moon and you fight
Ah ah ah
To capture forever

The gods can hear me sing
From inside my basement
It's good to be King
Ah ah ah
King of the pavement


COVERART : Could We Survive














2008/03/14

2008-03-14 - Buffalo Billiards, SXSW Festival, Austin


On Stage :

SXSW 2008 Showcase show at Buffalo Billiards in Austin, TX with Jen Turner.


Setlist :

temporary people
a smile that explodes
chicago
when i was running out of time
honey and the moon
black lexus
king of the pavement
leave us alone
in the sun
september baby


Recording :

2008-03-14 Buffalo MP3


10 videos of this showcase are available on JA's YouTube Channel



2008/03/12

2008-03-12 - One On One Session, Austin


On Stage :

Joseph Arthur sits down for a One On One session in Austin, TX on March 12th, 2008.

audio and video by: Ehud Lazin


Setlist:

King Of The Pavement
Venus In Furs (Velvet Underground cover)
Smile That Explodes
Morning Cup
Rages Of Babylon


Recording :