Anis Hoffman

Anis Hoffman

BandFolkAcoustic

Imagine Bob Dylan and Lou Reed making sweet, sweet acoustic love to early Radiohead with poetic, substantive lyrics that range from the intangible to the grave and serious. Then you might be on the right track to describing Anís Hoffman's eclectic and potent style of sharing life through his songs.

Biography

Anís Hoffman is a 19 year-old singer-songwriter based in Greensboro, NC and Boston, MA. He plays acoustic guitar and harmonica, with the occasional experimental effects thrown in.

Anís was born in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina but his family shortly relocated to Bisho, Ciskei, a homeland country in South Africa during the tail-end of Apartheid. Becoming an increasingly dangerous place to raise a family, his family moved to Greensboro, North Carolina in 1994. Anís began playing piano when he was 7 years old and continued until he was 13, when he first picked up a guitar. Locking himself in his room with his guitar for days on end, he slowly taught himself how to play and began writing songs at the age of 15.

Although he had focused more on electric guitar, Anís began to write songs on his acoustic guitar during his first year of university at Boston University where he met Matt Pezone in a general chemistry lab. The two soon became great friends and started an acoustic folk guitar duo, Owl Jolson Show. Delving deeper into the folk scene, Anís started to write solo material and has developed an eclectic style, ranging from roots music to more unique styles that don’t quite fit into any particular genre. Being a poet, Anís places a great amount of significance on his lyrics, and some of the lyrics to his songs are actually adapted from poems that he has written in the past. He writes songs about love, war, injustice, friendship, and everything in between. Anís released his first album, The Name of This Album is Self-Titled, in 2008 and is currently working on a second album that sounds close to nothing like the first, due for release sometime in 2009. He is also planning an East Coast tour for the Summer of 2009.

Lyrics

Bisho

Written By: Anís Hoffman

They say they took his woman
They say they took her man
Everyone’s waiting for their family
No one’s waiting for the end

Everyone is looking for his God
Everyone is looking for her God
But when Spring comes they know its not the one
But when Spring comes they know its not the one

They shot 28 of them
Just to spite their cause
The blood of a dozen dead filled the alleys
It will not wash away until the end

Everyone is waiting for their Karma
Everyone is listening to the call
But when pain comes they’ll know it’s not the one
Yes, when suffering comes they’ll think it’s not the one

They rode through the village burning houses
They rode through the village firing guns
In fear and in panic all the boys went running
They were first to feel the bullet’s touch

And when death comes they’ll know it’s not the one
And when death comes they’ll feel it’s not the one

They set up camp as the bodies were burning
The women cooked, their blood and tears a-flowing
And when they were sated they just kept on laughing
About all the wreckage they had done

But when they pray they’ll know it’s not the one
And when they pray they’ll know it’s not the one.

Another Moment of Your Life

Written By: Anís Hoffman

I step into a corner
And I look into my room
Gaze out the window,
To the incandescent glow of the moon

What do I feel this day
Which way is up
up is which way
If I hope for the best
and it comes out lame
I’m waiting for the sun

I wander in the street
I’m searchin’ for some truth
I hit a dead end and the
Banter in my brain ensues

What do I know what can I say
What can’t I do what can’t I fake
I live outside my self,
Darling how about you?

You’re counting sheep in their sympathetic time
Another moment of your life
Am
Strung out beneath some streetlamp
Cowering in the light
You pulled your pocket
Til the bus was out of sight

You throw a tantrum
In the covers of your bed
You take the vase I gave you
And throw the flowers at my head

Why do you feel this way
I can’t make sense of anything
I thought you smart I thought you safe
I guess that I was wrong

You’d travel ‘cross the world
Just to spend a night
I’d rather stay right here and
Cool down by the fire side

You be a mollusk
Hide beneath your shell and grieve
I’ll be an octopus
And wear my heart out on my sleeve

I’m gettin’ tired of those antiquated lies
Another moment of your life
I’d pick up sticks for you if told me something true
I’d hoped that maybe you would too

I bet you think you’re pretty clever
Don’t you girl
You looked the other way while
We saw your whole life unfurl

You have a pretty way of
Being blind to everything
I trust your fully satisfied
If not then what a waste

You’re counting sheep in their sympathetic time
Another moment of your life
Strung out beneath some streetlamp
Cowering in the light
You pulled your pocket
Til the ground was out of sight

So Much Time

Written By: Anís Hoffman

Well it started with a raindrop
And ended with a flood
And my pale white hands against
The naked wet road

Well the sound of a shotgun
And the sky on fire
And your crystal body shattered
‘neath the mark of a tire

I could say one thing
Or I could say many more
The universe has a lot to prove
And its settling the score

Well we’re all good at impressions
And many times I’ve lied
I’ve seen the deaths of plenty
But never have I cried

We thought too much about
How young you really were
We had so much time
We had so much time
I’m so old if you’re not here
I’ve lost so much time
I’ve lost so much time

Spoon full of honey
And a stain on my shirt
Knocked me out into the cold
Knocked me out into the cold

Your wild eyes gave
Just your whole life away
And I could count
How many times they’d sighed

The curls in your hair
Could wrap the world around your finger
I wondered if you’d tried
I wonder if you tried

I wonder if you tried
I wonder if you tried
I wonder if you tried
I wonder if you’ll try it

We thought too much about
How young you really were
We had so much time
We had so much time
I’m so old if you’re not here
I’ve lost so much time
I’ve lost so much time

Televise Me, Baby!

Written By: Anís Hoffman

Televise me baby
I want to be on television
I want people to have to watch me
And care about my made up life

How can I slip
Through my own fingers
I want to be in control

I’ll work for the FCC
Then I would be the one
Who says what goes

Televise me baby
I want to show up
In a fast-food commercial
And tell everyone exactly
What they should be eating

I want to be in your
Subliminal messaging so
Consider this my application

I don’t care how big
My part is just
Put me on the little screen

Televise me baby
I want to be just like Mike Teevee
Forget about the consequences
Can’t you taste the glory

I’ll even be a xenophobic
jingoist and drive a pickup truck
Or maybe just a disconcerted
Maniac conspiracy theorist

Tell me what you want
I’m here to entertain
Point me to the stage

You can have my soul
I’m not using it anymore
I’ll sell it to you for cheap.

Let Go

Written By: Anís Hoffman

You’re cold as a corpse
Lying awake in bed
The smoldering thoughts
Of things that you’ve said

You’re like a song
That’s stuck in my head
I don’t know all the words
So I made them up instead

You’re sad as the night
But you look bright as day
Can’t fend for yourself
So you gave yourself away

To just anyone
Who was going your way
You’re getting tired
Of all the games you have to play

So come down
Your heads in the clouds
Come down
Your heads in the clouds
Take off
That burial shroud
Come down
Your heads in the clouds

Come down

Sing loud
So I can hear you
Sing loud
So I can find you
Sing loud
So everyone can hear you
Let go
So I can be near you
Let go
So I can be near you.

It's Alright

Written By: Anís Hoffman

Hey there Sunshine I’m just fine
You speak your language and I’ll speak mine
I feel all your words run down my spine
And it’s alright baby I’m just fine

Hey there Honey what’s the news
Last time I heard you sang the blues
Feeling sad and used and mad and hurt and bruised
And it’s alright baby, you’re just you

Hey there lovely give me a smile
You know I haven’t heard from you in a while
And that last time we talked guilt laid you out for miles
But it’s alright baby, when you smile

You gambled away a lot
And now you got nothing
Nobody broke your heart
But now you’ve gone floating
You fell into a crescent moon
You got lost in a cosmic tune
You let too much into your room
It’s gone

Hey there beauty hand me a rhyme
I’m running out of patience and out of lines
All about that rocky mountain I thought you’d climbed
But it’s alright baby, in due time

And it’s alright baby, I’m just fine

Follow

Written By: Anís Hoffman

I’ll follow you
If that’s what you want me to do
Cause I got no one on this earth
Else to follow
And I will do right
As long as you don’t turn off your light
Leave me in the dark to fend
All by myself

Leave it all up to yourself

And I don’t want to pick you
I want you to pick me
That’s how these things go anyway
Ain’t it?
I don’t want you to live my life
but I want you to own it
For all intents and purposes

Lead me to freedom!

In the morning you can hear the church bells a-ring
Through a baby’s ear and it’s just the strangest thing
Like an ocean in a seashell
Ocean in a seashell.

And all the people ask why
Is it so
Why do the good ones have to go
And how is it right
The bad ones are left to fight and
All the children
Are raised
Like monkeys in a cage

I’ll see your barbarian and raise you a savage!

Nobody does anything, everyone does nothing
All we have in common is pain and suffering
There’s some truth in there
Somewhere
We try to understand but we just can’t know
So we do whatever cos big brother says so
And it sucks

Find yourselves a new savior!

And I say “why do you live your life
in your own shoes?”
We should all give each other’s a try
Once in a while
And why have my laces
Become undone?
It must be a si-i-i-ign
Or something

Patriot Game

Written By: Anís Hoffman

I found myself
In a land of dust and sand
Where water’s scarce
But blood’s a-plenty
I don’t speak the language here
I can’t understand
What the people are yelling at me

I don’t know how I got here
I don’t know why I came
I am scared and I am ruthless
In a patriot game
And I don’t wanna be here anymore
Cause I’m sick
And I don’t wanna be here anymore
Cause I’m sick

My mind is empty and my
Muscles are stiff
I can feel my heartbeat in my head
I know I’m not dreaming
Cause I just can’t imagine
A world I hate but do not know

I don’t know how I got here
I don’t know why I came
I am scared and I am ruthless
In a patriot game
And I don’t wanna be here anymore
Cause I’m tired
And I don’t wanna be here anymore
Cause I’m tired

My heart’s exploding and my
Breath’s growing thin
I’m sweatin’ bullets in my eyes
I haven’t found my way back home
In five long years
And I can’t see nothing through the fog

I don’t know how I got here
I don’t know why I came
I am scared and I am ruthless
In a patriot game
And I don’t wanna be here anymore
Cause I’m lost
And I don’t wanna be here anymore
Cause I’m lost

I hope my pa calls me back
Sometime soon
If he don’t I don’t know what
I’m losin’ my hair and I’m
Losin’ my mind
Soon I’ll be losin’ my life

I don’t know how I got here
I don’t know why I came
I am scared and I am ruthless
In a patriot game
And I don’t wanna be here anymore
Cause I’m young
And I don’t wanna be here anymore
Cause I’m young

And I Fell...

Written By: Anís Hoffman

I was hanging from a rusty nail
When I fell
And I hit every treetop
On the way down to hell
And I kicked and I cursed and I moaned
And I yelled
And not a soul heard me on my way down to Hell

And there I found a castle
So tall
Seven times circled round
By a thousand foot wall
Philosophers and poets walked upon
Stale green ground
So many great voices, but I heard not a sound

And right down from there I saw
Lovers abound
They were stuck in a whirlwind
Being tossed all around
And such a sad sight struck me
Right to my core
So I fainted and fell down to the third floor

The filthiest excrement poured down
From above;
Such a disparate theme
To the cyclone of love
And I watched as the gluttons writhed
In their graves
Glued to the ground with all the shit that they ate

The greediest of souls pushed
The heaviest weights
And they crashed into each other
And then about-faced
They did this before
And they’ll do it again
And they’re doing it from now until the end of the end

I came to a River where men cowered
In mire
And they were scratching and biting
Each other with ire
And all the hate that filled their
Hearts in life
Doubled back to inflict their eternal strife

I passed through the fire and into
The stench
I was nauseous and queasy and
My stomach it wrenched
Thousands of souls were burning in a
Lake of fire
And centaurs shot down anyone who flew higher

I witnessed a forest of trees
Black as coal
I heard moaning and screaming
But saw not a soul
So I snapped a twig and blood
Flowed to the ground
And the Harpies were laughing as they fluttered around

Then there was a desert with
Burning hot sand
And embers rained down
Upon the back of each man
And lying face down
The blasphemous cried
Turning over and over so they cooked on both sides

I was stuck in this rain and I needed
Transportation
But the only thing around was a true
Abomination
The body of a snake
Wore a human face
So I hopped on its back and downward we raced.

The next thing I knew there was
Muck all around
There were feet in the air and
There were heads in the ground
And heads were on backwards and souls were
Swimming in tar
And with cloaks made of lead men can’t walk very far

People on fire and turned
Into ash
Walking in circles and
Being sliced right in half
And covered in scabs the dead
Scratched and they beat
And tore at each other with animal’s teeth

And the last place I saw was a
Lake of ice
And the souls frozen in it
Paid the ultimate price
And right in the center was
Lucifer’s crown
So I climbed on his body and up turned to down

I escaped to the forest where I had
Fallen down
And it felt like heaven to be
On solid ground
As I sang and prayed, my eyes
Started to swell
But not a goddamned soul cared that I crawled out of Hell.

Last Night

Written By: Anís Hoffman

The couch that I sleep on’s on fire
With sad songs and bygones
And midnight oil.
I am tossing and turning
To keep myself from burning
With virulent thoughts and visceral yearnings

I blink, as we must blink, I blink and blink again
Shut my eyes to this world for just a little while

I am tossing and turning
To keep my Self from burning
But I cook more thoroughly
I can smell that smell
Cracked and faded Mourning Bell
That rips us from patchwork Heaven and
Into proper Hell

I blink, as we must blink, I blink and blink again
Shut my eyes to this world for just a little while

Oh, I can smell that smell
That turns us into Haters and Liars
Confessors and the Conceited
Into those tiny crabs that
Burrow their way into the sand
After a wave has waxed upon the shore
And then receded

I blink, as we must blink, I blink and blink again
Shut my eyes to this world for just a little while

I shut my eyes so hard
Any moisture’s expelled
I am not weeping ... But I can
See how it could look like that from the Outside
I have no cause to weep
It’s only Life
and it’s only me
Closing and opening my eyelids to it
A voluntary blink to clear out the layer
Of dust that lines it

I blink, as we must blink, I blink and blink again
Shut my eyes to this world for just a little while.

Discography

The Name Of This Album Is Self-Titled

Set List

And I Fell...
So Much Time
Ghost
Televise Me, Baby!
Bisho
Follow
Patriot Game
Eraserhead
Shipwrecks on the Shore
For You
All I Want
Another Moment of Your Life
Allison's Song
Play Along
Last Night
It's Alright
Post-Script
A Functional Home
Remember
Let Go

Covers I tend to do include:
The Beatles ("She's Leaving Home")
Beirut ("Nantes" and "Elephant Gun")
Simon & Garfunkel ("Only Living Boy in New York")
Sufjan Stevens ("Predatory Wasp of the Palisades")
Spitzer Space Telescope ("House of Seven Sisters")
David Bowie ("Space Oddity")
"Wild Mountain Thyme" (A traditional folk song)
Radiohead ("Karma Police")
Smashing Pumpkins ("Disarm")
Devotchka ("How it Ends" feat. Ebow, acoustic guitar, synthesizer, keyboard)

Sets are usually 1.5 hours, but I have enough material to play at least 2 hours.