The Flobots - Hanlebars

Artist: The Flobots

Song: Handlebars

Album: Fight With Tools (2008)

Featuring dual MCs as well as a full band, the Flobots are a progressive rap group from Denver, CO, with a political conscious, musical chops, and a powerful live show.


Formed as a cohesive alternative organism in 2005, the FLOBOTS `good-fight' mythology can be traced via Denver's underground vines and creative community of the late `90s when various members enlivened each others' gigs and creative events, setting the charge that would eventually power up the band's contagious and rollicking rock/rap pedigree. Their rousing live show, seasoned by classically trained viola player Mackenzie Robert's innovative playing, sparked an impressive undertow of across-the-board support (including both coasts and off-the-grid territories such as Nebraska and Utah) as the group honed its glowing activist edge with a refreshingly positive message and bristling musicianship.

The prescient "Handlebars," currently holding down a coveted `Top request' slot at several key radio stations as well as being the Most Added at Alternative Radio, has placed FLOBOTS among the most buzzed-about newcomers in rock and rap circles. "'Handlebars' was written in the same way the group kind of blossomed," says Jonny 5. "I had a friend a few years ago who asked me if I ever tried to ride my bike with no handlebars. I hadn't, so I tried it. Got to thinking about all the other things I could do - we could do. The song came so fast to me I actually called my mom's answering machine to record the lyrics and make sure I got it all down. Of course it's also about how even our best intentions are laden with some sort of opposite. We like to think that FLOBOTS are about directing that positive energy into real change."

The song "is about the idea that we have so much incredible potential as human beings to be destructive or to be creative," Flobots' MC Jonny 5 (a.k.a. Jamie Laurie) told MTV. "And it's tragic to me that the appetite for military innovation is endless, but when it comes to taking on a project like ending world hunger, it's seen as outlandish. It's not treated with the same seriousness."

"...at the same time, I knew there were people at that moment who were being bombed by our own country. And I thought that was incredibly powerful." It is the contrast between these "little moments of creativity, these bursts of innovation," and the way these ideas are put to use "to oppress and destroy people" that the singer feels is both "beautiful and tragic at the same time."

music & video

The video for the song is partly rotoscoped and partly animated. It starts out lighthearted, showing two young friends riding their bikes without their hands on the handlebars. They arrive at a sign that points in two directions, one labeled with a corporate-like symbol, and the other labeled by a dove. They hug and head their separate ways.

The video's events escalate in tension and culminate in the corporate friend holding a dictator-like position of power, while the other friend has become a radical against him. The rebellious friend is shot and killed, along with all of the other followers, in front of the shocked corporate friend.

The video ends with a flashback of the two friends pedaling off riding with no handlebars crisscrossing into a bright light.

Several times in the video, the dove as a symbol is destroyed. Once an actual dove is killed by a hawk (Hawk being a common term for someone who favors a warlike stance, the same bird is seen flying over the corporate friend earlier in the video), simultaneously as a jetfighter flies overhead. The second time a wall with a dove painted on it, located next to a billboard displaying the corporate symbol, is destroyed by awrecking ball.

Another reference made within the video is to Che Guevara, an iconic revolutionist. This can be seen when the "good" friend is rallying a crowd, an image of Guevara's face appears on the yellow t-shirt on an overweight man.

I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars

I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars

Look at me, look at me
hands in the air like it's good to be
and I'm a famous rapper
even when the paths're all crookedy
I can show you how to do-si-do
I can show you how to scratch a record
I can take apart the remote control
And I can almost put it back together
I can tie a knot in a cherry stem
I can tell you about Leif Ericson
I know all the words to "De Colores"
And "I'm Proud to be an American"
Me and my friend saw a platypus
Me and my friend made a comic book
And guess how long it took
I can do anything that I want cuz, look:

I can keep rhythm with no metronome
No metronome
No metronome

I can see your face on the telephone
On the telephone
On the telephone

Look at me
Look at me
Just called to say that it's good to be
In such a small world
All curled up with a book to read
I can make money open up a thrift store
I can make a living off a magazine
I can design an engine sixty four
Miles to a gallon of gasoline
I can make new antibiotics
I can make computers survive aquatic conditions
I know how to run a business
And I can make you wanna buy a product
Movers shakers and producers
Me and my friends understand the future
I see the strings that control the systems
I can do anything with no assistance
I can lead a nation with a microphone
With a microphone
With a microphone
I can split the atoms of a molecule
Of a molecule
Of a molecule

Look at me
Look at me
Driving and I won't stop
And it feels so good to be
Alive and on top
My reach is global
My tower secure
My cause is noble
My power is pure
I can hand out a million vaccinations
Or let'em all die in exasperation
Have'em all grilled leavin lacerations
Have'em all killed by assassination
I can make anybody go to prison
Just because I don't like'em and
I can do anything with no permission
I have it all under my command
I can guide a missile by satellite
By satellite
By satellite
and I can hit a target through a telescope
Through a telescope
Through a telescope
and I can end the planet in a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust

I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handle bars
No handlebars

I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars


The Clash - Red Angel Dragnet

Artist: The Clash

Song: Red Angel Dragnet

Album: Combat Rock (1982)

The Sex Pistols may have been the first British punk rock band, but the Clash were the definitive British punk rockers. Where the Pistols were nihilistic, the Clash were fiery and idealistic, charged with righteousness and a leftist political ideology. more

According to author Marcus Gray, the song Red Angel Dragnet was inspired by the January 1982 shooting death of Frank Melvin, a New York member of the Guardian Angels. The song contains extensive quotes from the 1976 movie Taxi Driver's main character Travis Bickle, delivered by Kosmo Vinyl. Bickle sports a mohawk in the later part of the film and that hairstyle was adopted by Joe Strummer during the album promotion.


I come from a long way away

And I know a fine thing when I see it.

See it

For the same reason no one ever

Pointed a telescope at the sun

Talking about the Red Angels of New York City


Who shot the shot?

Who got shot tonite?

Not even five enforcement agencies can save their own.

Never mind the people

Tonite it's raining on the Angels of the City

Did anyone prophesize these people?

Only Travis

Come in Travis

One of these days I'm gonna get myself organized.

All the animals come out at night.

Queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick venal.

Some day a real rain will come and wash all the scum off the streets.

Thank god for the rain to wash the trash off the sidewalk. Listen you screwheads:

Here is a man who would not take it anymore.

A man who stood up against the scum, the filth.

Now I see clearly.

Personally I know the alley

Where Jack feeds on the birds of night

Not even bubbies on bicycles 2x2

Can stop the blood and feathers flying

Waring overalls and for once and for all

What is the dream?

I'll tell it

To live like they do in the movies

San Juan you listening?

Yeah I bet you are

Hands up for Hollywood


I hear you

Snappy on the air

Hang in their

Wall to wall

You saved the worled

What else? You saved the girl

Chmpagne on ice

No stranger to Alcatraz

To boot

Or strip it down

Chop it a little

Being reasonable

Just freedom to move

To live

For women to take a walk in the park at midnite

Hey, but this is serious

She can't even get back home

I come from a long way off

And I know a lifegiver over a lifetaker

For the same reason no-one ever pointed

A gun at a policeman

Talking about the Red Angels of New York City



me and my bike

The Bicycles Thieves - Stolen Moments

Artist: The Bicycle Thieves

Album: Stolen moment (2002)

The Bicycle Thieves: Alistair Robinson (guitar); Martin Bloomfield (bass); Roger Hempsall (drums).

This new release from Road Goes On Forever Records represents a first in more ways than one: not only are The Bicycle Thieves our first local signing since our move to the North East, but The Bicycle Thieves are also the label's first jazz act.

An acoustic trio led by guitarist Alistair Robinson, aided and abetted by Martin Bloomfield on bass and percussionist extraordinaire Roger Hempsall, The Bicycle Thieves have established a solid reputation on the local upmarket gig circuit, performing at such prestigious local venues as Throwing Stones restaurant at The National Glass Centre in Sunderland and the local gourmet paradise known as 11, Tavistock Place.

Formed in 1997 by Robinson (by day a local newspaper journalist) and Bloomfield, who initially performed as a duo, earlier this year they recruited seasoned session musician Hempsall, whose past credits include Jeff Beck, Pete King and Shirley Bassey (among many others), since when they have expanded both their repertoire and their horizons, which the release of this debut album confirms. Alistair Robinson is also a gifted composer, and has either written or co-written (with Martin Bloomfield) nine of the 14 tracks here. The balance of the tracks are cover versions of notable tunes written by the likes of Cole Porter, Michel Legrand, Pat Metheny and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

The group name, The Bicycle Thieves, was borrowed from the celebrated Italian film of the 1950s, and has no other significance - this trio do not steal bicycles - but Martin Bloomfield, as well as dispensing excellent bass lines, is actually also adept at riding a unicycle, and has been known to combine both his skills, playing bass while wobbling back and forth. Roger Hempsall, who is also a music lecturer and actor, has played on scores of albums during his distinguished career, and brings a wealth of experience and professionalism to the band.

Road Goes On Forever Records founder John Tobler notes "What interested us about The Bicycle Thieves was the fact that they play tastefully, use a lot of original material, and above all are different - their influences include flamenco music, Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery and Pat Metheny, and the label has never released anything like this before. We don't expect world domination before Christmas, but we are hopeful that this tuneful and melodic music will open ears and eyes which have previously ignored jazz".


Tom Waits - I Don't Want To Grow Up

Artist: Tom Waits

Song: I Don’t Want To Grow Up

Album: Bone Machine (1992)

Tom Waits, according to the esteemed American critic Robert Hilburn, is "clearly one of the most important figures of the modern pop era". Such sentiments are not mere hyperbole; in a career that now spans four decades and over 20 albums, Tom Waits has long since emerged as an extraordinary innovative force, a singular voice whose music remains determinedly-and even gloriously - well beyond the trivial fads and fashions of popular culture. Waits' latest release, the 3CD set Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards adds further weight to that stellar reputation. more

Waits in a devil suit repeatedly rides a kid’s bike in “I Don’t Want To Grow Up” video!

About “Bone Machine”: the cover photo, which consists of a blurred black-and-white, close-up image of Waits in a leather skullcap and protective goggles, was taken by Jesse Dylan, the son of music legend Bob Dylan. He wears this getup, along with a single biker's shoe and a woman's high heel, while riding a bicycle, in the music video for "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" - which also features Waits playing the song on a miniature stage, with a miniature guitar.

From youtube comments:

I remember when Beavis & Butt-head watched this video and Beavis thought Satan was the Dominos Pizza Noid until Butt-head corrected him. "That's not the Noid Beavis. That's Satan." Some other favorite lines: "You'd think Satan would ride a mountain bike." "Thank you now get your ass back in the wall."

Les Claypool (Primus) saying that this video was film at his farm (bike footage). Also that is horse turds that Tom is riding around and around on is tricycle.

"I Don't Wanna Grow Up" was covered by The Ramones for their last album, Adios Amigos, by Petra Haden and Bill Frisell on their album collaboration Petra Haden & Bill Frisell (2003), with a recent version on Hayes Carll's Trouble In Mind (2008), and by Scarlett Johansson on her debut album, Anywhere I Lay My Head (2008).


When I’m lyin in my bed at night
I don’t wanna grow up
Nothin ever seems to turn out right
I don’t wanna grow up
How do you move in a world of fog
Thats always changing things
Makes me wish that I could be a dog
When I see the price that you pay
I don’t wanna grow up
I don’t ever wanna be that way
I don’t wanna grow up

Seems like folks turn into things
That they’d never want
The only thing to live for
Is today...
I’m gonna put a hole in my tv set
I don’t wanna grow up
Open up the medicine chest
And I don’t wanna grow up
I don’t wanna have to shout it out
I don’t want my hair to fall out
I don’t wanna be filled with doubt
I don’t wanna be a good boy scout
I don’t wanna have to learn to count
I don’t wanna have the biggest amount
I don’t wanna grow up

Well when I see my parents fight
I don’t wanna grow up
They all go out and drinking all night
And I don’t wanna grow up
I’d rather stay here in my room
Nothin out there but sad and gloom
I don’t wanna live in a big old tomb
On grand street

When I see the 5 oclock news
I don’t wanna grow up
Comb their hair and shine their shoes
I don’t wanna grow up
Stay around in my old hometown
I don’t wanna put no money down
I don’t wanna get me a big old loan
Work them fingers to the bone
I don’t wanna float a broom
Fall in love and get married then boom
How the hell did I get here so soon
I don’t wanna grow up


Andrew Bird - Interview about cycling

Artist: Andrew Bird

Song: Master Swarm

Album: Noble Beast (2009)

“In my humble opinion, Andrew Bird is one of the greatest musicians alive today, as well as a right snappy dresser. In this video from Current TV, Mr. Bird discusses bicycle riding, songwriting, and his unique musical style, but I’ll thank you to notice his relaxed, yet smart-looking attire as well. My bumble-brained compruder skills can’t get the video to embed, so you must visit the link instead. Also see Andrew Bird’s site, if you like what you hear.”

Noble beast review

Cruisin' the streets of L.A., Andrew Bird discusses the green initiatives he is taking on tour, his passion for the environment, and the influence of bike riding on his music.


How did you start cycling?
On tour there is a lot of waiting for things to happen, and I started fantasizing about doing the opposite of that, which I guess is still touring, in a different sense of the word. I wanted to get on my bike and go for days. It's great. I roll my bike off the bus at 10 or 11 in the morning, and if there's no radio appearance or interviews, I have a couple hours to explore.

What's your bike of choice?
A few years ago I got a Heron touring frame. They're a pretty small company from Waterford, Wisconsin. They make handmade steel frames. I'm not much of a gearhead, but I told my shop in Chicago, "make your fantasy touring bike." These guys are into getting just the right French panniers. It's burgundy with a leather Brooks seat—pretty classic looking. It's good that it's steel because pulling it in and out of the bus's bay every day takes its toll.

Any plans for getting a lightweight road bike?
I don't know if I ride enough to justify getting one. I've been doing this performance for the last 12 years where I stand on one leg and twirl, with my guitar on my back, while playing the violin, so I've got some structural issues that make it hard for me to ride too far. My knee goes out. I'm trying to figure out how to get past that.

What are some of your favorite places to ride?
I like just stumbling across things. In Ithaca, New York, I found a 12-mile trail with beautiful fall colors. I was like, this is great—this is when it all comes together. I have better shows when I have a day like that.

Have any cycling exploits gone awry?
Last summer we had a day off in Moab. I went to a shop, got a rental and headed into the hills. I almost killed myself. They told me not to go there mid-afternoon, but I had no choice; I only had one day off. I was riding on sandstone, which probably heats up to 120 degrees. I started to get disoriented. I found a cinderblock outhouse and got in the 6 inches of shade that it provided. When you're on tour, you get a little bit of freedom and you attack it.

Does cycling inspire you musically?
The rhythm of doing anything that has a pace to it really helps, mostly in the realm of finding a good groove or feel for a song. Often huffing and puffing up a hill, as I'm breathing in and out, I'm making shapes with my mouth to a melody.

Do you ever write songs on your bike?
The tune "Masters Swarm" was written on a bike. A couple years ago my friend Jay Ryan and I rode from Chicago to my farm in western Illinois. It's about a three-day ride. I was starting to work on Noble Beast [andrewbird.net] about then.

Is cycling a utilitarian or recreational endeavor for you?
I feel a certain amount of pride in not using a motorized vehicle to get from point A to point B. Sometimes I'll invent point A and point B to justify riding.

Master Swarm

Come what may
Lay your eggs where it’s warm
We come here to swarm

Come by sea
Swarm like smoke in the dung
We were the young
We were the swarm
Midges and Moths
Cut from a cloth
We were the young

Flailing feudal fleas
Feeding from the arms of the master
Burrow into me
This is sure to misspell disaster

Oh and their young
In the larval stage
Orchestrating plays
In vestments of translucent alabaster

So they took me to the hospital
They put my body through a scan
What they saw there would impress them all

For inside me grows a man
He speaks with perfect diction
As he orders my eviction
Ash he acts with more conviction than I

Burrow into me
This was sure to misspell disaster
Burrow into me
Feeding from the arms of the master

We were the young
We were the swarm
We were the young radiolarians
Come what may...


Jay-Z - My 1st Song

Artist: Jay-Z

Song: My 1st Song

Album: The Black Album (2003)

Embodying the rags-to-riches rap dream, Jay-Z pulled himself up by his bootstraps as a youth to eventually become the reigning rapper of New York City and, in turn, a major-label executive following his short-lived retirement from music-making. In the wake of his 1996 debut, Reasonable Doubt, Jay-Z's albums sold millions upon millions with each release, and his endless parade of hits made him omnipresent on urban radio and video television. He retained a strongly devoted fan base and challenged whatever rivals attempted to oust him from atop the rap game, more

If The Black Album is truly Jay-Z's last statement before retirement, he at least goes out near the top of his game. While it probably won't be remembered as his best album, The Black Album is his most personal to date and features some of his most compelling writing. Jay-Z is defiant and defensive here--he's trying to make sure his legacy is properly acknowledged, although he can get a bit heavy-handed at times. Still, he's rarely been more incisive or insightful in his rhymes, exposing his own childhood struggles on songs like "December 4th" while slapping at his haters with "What More Can I Say" and the cutting "Threat." Longtime Jay-Z collaborators Just Blaze and Kanye West churn out outstanding production, especially Blaze, whose beats for "December 4th" and "Public Service Announcement" are among the album's best. Newcomers Aqua and the Buchanans represent well also but Eminem's minor-key drone for "Moment of Clarity" is mired in mediocrity. Jay might fade to black after this one but his last shot doesn't miss. --Oliver Wang

"My 1st Song" is the last song on Jay-Z's The Black Album. In a sample of an interview with Biggie Smalls at the beginning of the song, the late rapper is heard saying he tries to "treat everything like it's [his] first project." Hence, the name of the song, which Jay-Z is apparently calling his "first song," even though it is the last song on what was to be his last album, as an allusion to what B.I.G. said in the interview.

The song describes Jay-Z growing up on the streets of New York; it was produced by Aqua and Joe "3H" Weinberger for HHH Artists.

My 1st Song" - The outro track, the one that defines the whole album, well, it defined it pretty damn good. Has a fitting beat with lyrical GOLD. Has a line from Notorious B.I.G at the beginning, which fits it very well. Basically, its short but to the point. The last minute or so is just Jay yelling out shout-outs like a typical outro-style track.


[Notorious B.I.G. interview]
I'm just, tryin to stay above water y'know
Just stay busy, stay workin
Puff told me like, the key to this joint
The key to staying, on top of things
is treat everything like it's your first project, knahmsayin?
Like it's your first day like back when you was an intern
Like, that's how you try to treat things like, just stay hungry

[Verse One: Jay-Z]
Uhh, uhh, yes, yes
Y'all wanna know, why he don't stop
Y'all wanna know, why he don't flop
Let me tell you pe-eople why
Came from the bottom of the block I
When I was born, it was sworn, I was never gon' be shit
Had to pull the opposite out this bitch
Had to get my ri-ide on
Eyes on the prize, Shawn knew I had to
Had to had to get these chips
Had to make moves like Olajuwon
Started out sellin dimes and nicks
Graduated to a brick
No exaggeration, my infatuation with the strip
Legendary like a schoolboy
Crushin merely nearly every every chick
Heavy shit - that's how schoolboy got whipped
And got left on some "Just +Me, Myself and I+"
On some Trugoy shit
Had your boys threw place up, to a place of no return
Had to play with fire and get burned
Only way the boy ever gon' learn
Had to lay way in the cut, 'til I finally got my turn
Now I'm on top in the spot that I earned

It's my life - it's my pain and my struggle
The song that I sing to you it's my ev-ery-thing
Treat my first like my last, and my last like my first
And my thirst is the same as - when I came
It's my joy and my tears and the laughter it brings to me
It's my ev-ery-thing

[Verse Two: Jay-Z]
Like I never rode in a limo
Like I just dropped flows to a demo
Like it's ninety-two again and
And I got O's in the rental
Back in the Stu' again, no prob' livin was a whole lot simpler
When you think back, you thought that
you would never make it this far, then you
take advantage of the luck you handed
Or the talent, you been given
Ain't no, half steppin, ain't no, no slippin
Ain't no different from a block that's hidden
Gotta get it while the getting's good
Gotta strike while the iron's hot, 'fore you stop
Then you gotta bid it, good riddance
Goodbye, this is my second major breakup
My first was, with a pager
With a hooptie, a cookpot, and the GAME
This one's with the stool, with the stage, with the fortune
Maybe not the fortune, but certainly the FAME

It's my life - my pain and my struggle
The song that I sing to you it's my ev-ery-thing
Treat my first like my last, and my last like my first
And my thirst is the same as - when I came
It's my joy and my tears and my laughter it brings to me
It's my ev-ery-thing
Treat my first like my last, and my last like my first
And my thirst like the first song I sang

[Outro: Jay-Z]
Woo! It's like the blues - we gon' ride out on this one
Ta-tah, be-hah
Yo Hah, 'member you was makin them dashes
for them niggaa at radio and shit?
Clark Kent, that was good lookin out nigga
Carlene - who ever thought we'd make it this far homey?
Sha, they can't stop us, knahmsayin? Lenny S
Dame whattup? Robbin the bank
Niggaz thought we was crazy man, 'member uhh
You had that fucked up ass handwritin
You was writin all the numbers that we was spendin now
for the videos we was doin ourselves, whattup?
Original Flavor, your accountant was crazy wrong and shit
But we we still put it together
Bigs, whassup? 'Member we went to St. Thomas and uh
But y'all my nizzle, your dog peed on homey leg and shit
at his crib - I think that was Rudy
And they was havin a lil trouble with the pool
You and Ta-tah was laughin
Emory was there, whattup Emory? What up Ta?
Hip-Hop, whattup man?
Ay, ay Hobb, you ain't, you ain't have no uhh
You ain't have no muh'fuckin seat on your, on your bicycle
Now you uhh, the head of black music
That's what I'm talkin bout right there homey - G, whattup G?
Yessir, e'rybody in the Roc
Hey Guru, I know you spoiled man
I be takin them shits in one take
You gon' have to punch niggaz shit, STICK IT, you gon' be tight
OG One, whattup?
I'm a little upset that you wasn't involved in this whole process
But it's all good - whassup Dash?
My whole family, my nephew, cousin Angie, whassup? Te-Tee
(B, B, B, B) Mom, you made the album, how crazy is that?
Bob Allah, rest in peace
My pops, rest in peace (Sup A.J.?)
Biggie Smalls, rest in peace
Uh-uh, uh-uh, uh-uh, uh-uh
Nigga, I'm bout to go golfin man
Ay, I might even have me a cappuccino, fuck it!
I'm goin somewhere nice where no mosquitos at nigga
Holla at me - it's your boy!

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Bright Eyes - I Must Belong Somewhere

Artist: Bright Eyes

Song: I Must Belong Somewhere

Album: Cassadaga (2007)

Bright Eyes is the musical vehicle of Conor Oberst, a young singer/songwriter from Nebraska who first attracted the attention of the indie music world in 1994 -- when he was just 14 years old -- as the singer and guitarist for Commander Venus. more

On their sixth and most straightforwardly clean album, Nebraska's Bright Eyes once again integrate a revolving cast of players to the mix, including Portland tunesmith M. Ward and alt-country queen Gillian Welch. But the band remains at the helm of forever-wunderkind Conor Oberst, and the fruitful songwriter has one-upped 2005's I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning with a proficient and accessible ensemble of expansive pop orchestrations and ornate folk songs that chronicle his traverses across the American panorama. Oberst's voice quakes and wanders through South Dakota lore and Sunshine State chicanery, always the perfect vehicle for his threadbare lyrics. "Take the fruit from the tree/Break the skin with your teeth/Is it bitter or sweet/All depends on your timing," he forewarns in "Cleanse Song," a psychedelic merry-go-round of a soundtrack that joins the Scottish-tinged "Soul Singer in a Session Band" and singalong single "Four Winds" as Cassadaga's finest. The 13-song-record is certain to open more doors for a band whose recognition has soared with every release since Oberst was just 14. --Scott Holter

… This wandering spirit is crystalized in "I Must Belong Somewhere" a song which was already a staple of live shows by the end of the 2005. …

… Luckily, Bright Eyes romps us back into motion with "I Must Belong Somewhere." With heavy organ and mandolin, "Somewhere" is a knee-jumping limerick ode to Oberst finally beginning to realize where he belongs.

… Cassadaga is a mesmerizing collection of intensely tranquil ballads, front porch shanties, and melodic lyricism.

"I Must Belong Somewhere" shifts yet again, going back to exuberant country honky tonk stylings, Oberst losing his warble for a straightforward singing manner that shuffles with upbeat enthusiasm.

I think Conor might be saying that people we traditionally view as "crazy" and lock away might have a sort of genius that we just can't understand.

music live


Leave the bright blue door on the white-washed wall
Leave the death ledger under city hall
Leave the joyful air in that rubber ball today

Just leave the lilac print on the linen sheet
Leave the birds you killed at your father's feet
Let the sideways rain in the crooked street remain

Leave the whimpering dog in his cold kennel
Leave the dead starlet on her pedestal
Leave the acid kids in their green fishbowls today

Leave the sad guitar in its hard-shell case
Leave the worried look on your lover's face
Let the orange embers in the fireplace remain

Cause everything it must belong somewhere
Oh a train off in the distance, bicycle chained to the stairs
Everything it must belong somewhere
I know that now, that's why I'm staying here

Leave the ocean's roar in the turquoise shell
Leave the widower in his private hell
Leave the liberty in that broken bell today

Just leave the epic poem on its yellowed page
Leave the gray macaw in his covered cage
Let the traveling band on the interstate remain

Cause everything it must belong somewhere
Sound-stage in California, televisions in Times Square, yeah
Everything it must belong somewhere
I know that now, that's why I'm staying here
Well I know that now that's why I'm staying here

Leave the secret talks on the trundle bed
Leave the garden tools in the rusted shed
Leave those bad ideas in your troubled head today

Just leave the restless ghost in his old hotel
Leave the homeless man out in that cardboard cell
Let the painted horse on the carousel remain

Cause everything it must belong somewhere
Just like the gold around her finger or the silver in his hair
Yeah, everything it must belong somewhere
I know that now, that's why I'm staying here
Oh, I know that now, that's why I'm staying here

In truth, the forest hears each sound
Each blade of grass as it lies down
The world requires no audience
no witnesses, no witnesses

Leave the old town drunk on his wooden stool
Leave the autumn leaves in their swimming pool
Leave the poor black child in his crumbling school today

Leave the novelist in his daydream tomb
Leave the scientist in her rubic's cube
Let the true genius in the padded room remain

Leave the horse's hair on the slanted bow
Leave the slot machines on the riverboat
Leave the cauliflower in the casserole today

Just leave the hot, bright trash in the shopping malls
Leave the hawks of war in their capitals
Let the organ's moan in the cathedral remain

Cause everything it must belong somewhere
They locked the devil in the basement, threw God up into the air.
Yeah, everything must belong somewhere
You know it's true, I wish you'd leave me here
You know it's true, why don't you leave me here?


Tom Waits - Broken Bicycles

Artist: Tom Waits

Song: Broken Bicycles

Album: One From The Heart (1982)

Tom Waits, according to the esteemed American critic Robert Hilburn, is "clearly one of the most important figures of the modern pop era". Such sentiments are not mere hyperbole; in a career that now spans four decades and over 20 albums, Tom Waits has long since emerged as an extraordinary innovative force, a singular voice whose music remains determinedly-and even gloriously - well beyond the trivial fads and fashions of popular culture. Waits' latest release, the 3CD set Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards adds further weight to that stellar reputation. more

Broken Bicycles was included in “One From The Heart”, the original soundtrack of the F. F. Coppola movie.

Bicycle becomes a metaphor for regrets by this master storyteller. (Bike&Chain)

There are numerous covers of this classic track. One, by Maura O’Connell, is here.

See also cover by Veronica Mortensen, Elvis Costello, and many others.



Broken bicycles, old busted chains
With rusted handle bars, out in the rain
Somebody must have an orphanage for
All these things that nobody wants any more
September's reminding July
It's time to be saying goodbye
Summer is gone, but our love will remain
Like old broken bicycles out in the rain

Broken bicycles, don't tell my folks
There’s all those playing cards pinned to the spokes
Laid down like skeletons out on the lawn
The wheels won't turn when the other has gone
The seasons can turn on a dime
Somehow I forget every time
For all the things that you've given me will always stay
Broken, but I'll never throw them away

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Mal Webb - Djembe

Artist: Mal Webb

Song: Djembe

Album: Trainer Wheels (2000)

Mal Webb (born 1966 in Melbourne, Australia) is a multi-instrumentalist who is currently a prominent (yet obscure) figure in the Australian music scene. Webb is known for an eclectic range of musical styles and techniques, his vocal talents, which include Pygmy Yodeling, a variety of Overtone singing styles, extensive use of Falsetto and Beatboxing.


A djembe originates from the Manding parts of West Africa (namely Mali, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, and Burkina Faso). It is a goblet shaped drum (usually about a metre tall and 50cm across) now popular in the rest of the world due to its wide range and loudness (these attributes can be utilized by even the most inexperienced drummer; unfortunately). In the hands of an expert player, it is a beautiful instrument. This song was inspired mainly by a great video, called Djembefola, in which the amazing Guinean djembe player, Mamaday Keita, visits home after 30 years of living in Europe. At one point, when loading his djembe onto a truck, his brother says: "Forget your Djembe....." and continues with what roughly translates to the first verse of my song. Mickey Hart, the drummer from the Grateful Dead, is a guiding light of the "chai tent" school of group drumming (also known as "feral" or "hippy" drumming) through his book "Planet Drum". I really have nothing against these things (djembes, bongos, etc.): I just prefer them played well and accompanied by melodic instruments and/or voice (as is generally the case in the traditions from which they originate). "Drowsy Maggie" is an oft played celtic reel (is this a tautology?)

There's too many djembes in the village
You've got to get a bicycle instead
'Cos to the local ladies
A bike is a Mercedes
And you cannot ride a djembe
Home to bed

There's too many bongos in the chai tent
You know I think they're tapping in
To something big
When every second part
Seems to channel Mickey Hart
It's something I'm not stoned enough
To dig

Djembe x3 Bongo x3 Djembebongo x3

There's too many fiddlers
In the green room
Forever reeling incessantly obsessed
When Celtic is the flavour
They savour every quaver
But maybe "Drowsy Maggie" needs a rest


Bruce Cockburn - The Bicycle Trip

Artist: Bruce Cockburn

Song: The Bicycle Trip

Album: Cockburn (1970)

Bruce Cockburn's self-titled debut's blend of diversity, enthusiasm, and innocence never quite resurfaced again in his work, especially in his more clinical, politically inclined tracts of later decades. The opening number, "Going to the Country," still evokes that hippie-esque, back-to-the-earth movement as well as any song ever recorded, complete with a sly wink that keeps it fresh to this day. And since this was 1970, the album also comes equipped with some of those quaint excesses of the period; try the nasal tone poem gracing "The Bicycle Trip." "Musical Friends" remains a lively, happy-go-lucky classic with piano signature lifted from McCartney’s playbook; it's difficult to picture the dour Cockburn of more recent years ever having this much fun. In contrast, "Thoughts on a Rainy Afternoon" offers a trance-like, introspective atmosphere reminiscent of British folkie legend Nick Drake. ~ Roch Parisien, All Music Guide

From this Canadian folk singer/songwriter’s, it faithfully recreates a day on spinning and thinking from a psychedelic period in history.


Drift along

Hear the gravel crackle


Shades of the eternal dancer

God has buttered the land with sunlight


Corn grows high

Like a tall watusi


Hums a monotonous tune

Rather hypnotically


Overhead there's a parrot with boxing gloves

Singing like me

What a clever bird

Even knows the words

But he doesn't seem to see


Making my great escape

You can just take so much of your own advice

Who needs a king

Sitting in a tree

So loquaciously

Pigeonholing everything

Pigeons have a way of taking wing

Back again

Purple thistles bristle

All around

Bane of the Eternal Dancer


Home is just around the bend...

The end


Mal Webb - Trainer Wheels

Artist: Mal Webb

Song: Trainer Wheels

Album: Trainer Wheels (2000)

Mal Webb (born 1966 in Melbourne, Australia) is a multi-instrumentalist who is currently a prominent (yet obscure) figure in the Australian music scene. Webb is known for an eclectic range of musical styles and techniques, his vocal talents, which include Pygmy Yodeling, a variety of Overtone singing styles, extensive use of Falsetto and Beatboxing.


The irony of this song is that Dad never let us have trainer wheels! Though we did have a brown EH Holden, which we eventually sold to buy a Leyland P76 (great car!) For me, it's more about growing up and never really being able to go home again: Being lumbered with the label adult when you just feel like a dolt. This song was majorly inspired by some very poignant Charlie Brown cartoons. "Hold my hand, Chuck!"

(for all my family)

When I took off my trainer wheels
I hit the road and skinned my knee
And stubbed my toe as I stood up
And banged my head upon a tree
My brother asked "Are you OK?"
So many times it drove me nuts
Deaf, dumb and blind in agony
I had to punch him in the guts

I'm a baby in a pram
Playing chicken with a tram

Back seat of the brown EH
Heading homeward late at night
The streetlights stroke me half asleep
And everything will be alright
'Cos mum and dad are in the front
Their murmurs ripple over me
And no divorce could strip away
This blanket of security

I should've left my trainer wheels on
Another day would've done
If I'd thought to think it through
And high up on my tin can stilts
Adult stamped upon my brow
With an O instead of U

When I took off my trainer wheels
Dad gave them to the kid next door
"They'll just clutter up the shed
And we don't need them anymore"
So now I ride a bike with ease
Around the block I'm free to roam
Down any path, up any street
Except the one that heads for home


U2 - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World

Artist: U2

Song: Tryin’To Throw Your Arms Around The World

Album: Achtung Baby (1991)

Through a combination of zealous righteousness and post-punk experimentalism, U2 became one of the most popular rock & roll bands of the '80s. They were rock & roll crusaders during an era of synthesized pop and heavy metal, equally known for their sweeping sound as for their grandiose statements about politics and religion. more

Achtung Baby is the seventh studio album by Irish rock band U2, released on 19 November 1991. Stung by criticism of their previous album, Rattle and Hum, the album was a calculated change in musical and thematic direction with the incorporation of alternative rock, electronic dance music, and industrial influences

“Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World" is lyrically one of the least serious songs on the album. Dedicated to the Los Angeles bar The Flaming Colossus, the song describes a drunken stagger home.

Bono said on an interview with Fuse that this was the "Irish Beer Drinking Song" for them, like when his wife throws him out.

"a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle"

This slogan is often attributed to Gloria Steinem. Other claims for origination point to Flo (Florynce) Kennedy, or to an anonymous author who painted the slogan on a wall at University of Wisconsin in 1969.

Gloria Steinem had this to say in a letter she wrote to Time magazine in autumn 2000:

"In your note on my new and happy marital partnership with David Bale, you credit me with the witticism 'A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.' In fact, Irina Dunn, a distinguished Australian educator, journalist and politician, coined the phrase back in 1970 when she was a student at the University of Sydney. She paraphrased the philosopher who said, 'Man needs God like fish needs a bicycle.' Dunn deserves credit for creating such a popular and durable spoof of the old idea that women need men more than vice versa."

Irina Dunn later confirmed Steinem's version of events, in January 2002:

"Yes, indeed, I am the one Gloria referred to. I was paraphrasing from a phrase I read in a philosophical text I was reading for my Honours year in English Literature and Language in 1970. It was 'A man needs God like a fish needs a bicycle'. My inspiration arose from being involved in the renascent women's movement at the time, and from being a bit if a smart-arse. I scribbled the phrase on the backs of two toilet doors, would you believe, one at Sydney University where I was a student, and the other at Soren's Wine Bar at Woolloomooloo, a seedy suburb in south Sydney. The doors, I have to add, were already favoured graffiti sites."



Six o'clock in the morning
You're the last to hear the warning
You've been trying to throw your arms
Around the world
You've been falling off the sidewalk
Your lips move but you can't talk
Tryin' to throw your arms around the world

I'm gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
Be still
I'm gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
Woman I will

Sunrise like a nosebleed
Your head hurts and you can't breathe
You been tryin' to throw you arms around the world
How far you gonna go
Before you lose your way back home
You've been trying to throw your arms
Around the world

I'm gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
Woman be still
I'm gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
Woman I will

Yeah, I dreamed that I saw Dali
With a supermarket trolley
He was trying to throw his arms around a girl
He took an open top beetle
Through the eye of a needle
He was tryin' to throw his arms around the world

I'm gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
Woman be still
I'm gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
Oh, Woman I will

(And you just gotta, you just gotta make your faith...see...)

Nothin' much to say I guess
Just the same as all the rest
Been trying to throw your arms around the world
And a woman needs a man
Like a fish needs a bicycle
When you're tryin' to throw your arms around the world

I'm gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
I'm gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
I'm gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
Woman be still
Woman be still
Be still
Woman be still
Woman I will

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