Brainy Tunes

Brainy Tunes

BandPop

The depth of Leonard Cohen, the warmth of James Taylor and the wit of Elvis Costello. Acoustic rock with heart, brains, and balls, delivered in an unforgettable voice that is unique and enthralling.

Biography

Ira Marlowe has strolled with his guitar between the tables of a Howard Johnson's. He's performed at a circumcision. He's been courted by a big-time LA agent who (as it turns out) operated from the back of a wholesale bedding outlet.

In between occasional tastes of glory -- performances at San Francisco's Fillmore, Slim's and Great American Music Hall -- Marlowe has endured all that a life on the fringes of the music business can offer. After fifteen years, five smarmy managers, and three failed record deals, you'd think he'd have the good sense to quit. So he did, sort of.

He took two years off and started a small company called BRAINY TUNES, producing fun, challenging music for kids. Brainy Tunes is growing every day and was recently offered a digital distibution deal by Fisher-Price.

But two years of performing for mucus-glazed faces made Ira realize he just wasn't ready to give up on adults. Now he's back with his best work ever, a forthcoming CD titled, "Lucky". This site contains unmastered mixes of three of its songs.

Instead, he's just released his best work ever.

SAVE THE DAY is a colorful parade of ghosts, vampires, posers, gurus, fugitives, robots, saviours and drunks. It's a CD about fear, but also about strength. Most of all it's about the struggle to find humor and balance in an increasingly maddening and out-of-balance world.

Shuttled from town to town while growing up with his anthropologist parents, Marlowe listened to everything from Gershwin to Hendrix to Western Swing to West Side Story. At age 13 he sold enough greeting cards, door-to-door, to earn himself a "Folktune Wood Guitar", and at 19 he began to write songs. In the years since, he's developed a literate, narrative style often described as "cinematic" -- drawing comparisons to Elvis Costello, Leonard Cohen, and Robyn Hitchcock.

In 2000, Marlowe joined forces with versatile guitarist ROGER LINN, inventor of the first programmable drum machine. The two perform as an acoustic/electric duo, and also as a full band when accompanied by bassist DON BASSEY.

Lyrics

LUCKY

Written By: Ira Marlowe

I bought the red alligator shoes
They’re lucky
Time was short and rent was due
Lucky
A little too bold
For forty-some years old
But lucky
$69.99, see ‘em shine
like lucky

Easy Street
Super-Fly Supply
And now I’m back on my feet again
You and me
We been just a break away from lucky

I bought the red alligator shoes
It was an act of faith
Anytime you sing the blues
Act of faith
That somewhere someone’s keeping count
Up beside the gate
So you take the blows and you don’t go down
Act of faith

Easy Street
Super-Fly Supply
And now I’m back on my feet again
You and me
We been just a break away from lucky, lucky, lucky

And it all comes around
And it all evens out
So please don’t go
And please don’t doubt

I bought the red alligator shoes
They’re lucky
Now I’m walkin’ ‘round like front-page news
Lucky

And any prisoner in any cell
Singing to his sorry self
Swinging from a chain
Praying to a saint called Lucky
And any low-down dirty sod
You but for the grace of god
Digging for the bottom of the world
There’s still a girl down there called Lucky

And she’s pretty and she’s sweet
And she knows just what you need
And the longer you’ve been down
The more you can count on Lucky, lucky, lucky

I bought the red alligator shoes
I bought the red alligator shoes
Now I’m walkin’ ‘round like front-page news…

17 VERSIONS OF THE ROO-ROO JOKE

Written By: Ira Marlowe

17 versions of the roo-roo joke
each one ends with there’s no hope
stuck in the jungle what’s to do
but laugh the whole day through

17 ways to say goodbye
two that end in please don’t cry
one you never heard before
you were too far out the door

And the other world
that calls your name
ringing in your ears
it always sounds the same
and the other you
you tried to be
that’s the only one they’ll see

Welcome to the Liar’s Club
grab a number, step right up
stuck in the jungle, what’s to do
c’mon you know it’s true

17 years you didn’t know
then it hits you kinda slow
it’ll find you anywhere you go

And the other world
that calls your name
ringing in your ears
it always sounds the same
and the other you
you tried to be
that’s the only one they’ll …

See I don’t
see the invisible
things I used to see
it’s all so solid now
falling down
around me

17 rules in the book of life
one that keeps you up all night
stuck in the jungle what’s to do
but laugh the whole day through

17 hours in any day
til they let you get away
turn out the light
it’s brighter than they say

And the other world
that calls your name
you hear it in your heart
it always sounds the same
and the other you
you tried be
that’s the only one they’ll see

See I don’t
see the invisible
things I used to see
it’s all so solid now
falling down
around me

GOING WEST

Written By: Ira Marlowe

Peter bought the van
And we drove it off the lot
Mr. Sincerity in a momnet of charity said
“How much have you got?”
It was a 1963
and the paint was kinda gone
But the seats rolled back and the radio worked
and the damned thing seemed to run
And it was time.
Jimmy climbed aboard
And we loaded up the gear
Japtone drums and threadbare amps
That were just loud enough to hear
It was three against the world
As we left that one-horse town
To lock our horns with the City of Angels
And nothing could slow us down

Driving down the road I could’ve sworn I heard a voice
That seemed to follow me
It said, Hold onto this time, in some corner of your mind
‘cause you’ll never be quite so free
or quite so strong
you’ll never be quite to brave
or quite so young
Remember how it feels.

Rolling through the south, Nashville, TN
A room for one and then came the fun
Of sneaking in all three
And in Warner, OK, we put our stetsons on
And we stood out on a corner of Winslow, AZ
And acted out that song

Driving toward the sun I could’ve sworn I heard that voice
I thought I heard it say
As you pass through every town
You better take a good look around
‘cause you’ll never be back this way
Back in time
You know you’re gonna leave this place
So far behind
Remember how it feels.
Just remember how it feels.

Peter bought the van
And we drove it off the lot
Mr. Sincerity in a moment of charity said
“How much have you got..?”
Driving down the road I could’ve sworn I heard a voice
That seemed to follow me
It said, Hold onto this time, in some corner of your mind
‘cause you’ll never be quite so free
or quite so strong
you’ll never be quite to brave
or quite so young
Remember how it feels.

Discography

1996 "Songs from the House of Wax"
1998 "The Doubter's Bible"
1999 "The Nashville Delusion" (country demos)
2000 "My Secret Life"
2003 "Save the Day"
2004 "Double Feature" (two musicals)
2005 "The Teasing Bird" (kids' music)
2006 "All the Colors" (kids' music)
2007 "Lucky" (not yet released)

Set List

TBA