Brian Lisik and the Unfortunates

Brian Lisik and the Unfortunates

 Akron, Ohio, USA

"Mixes the raw power of the Replacements with the twang of Uncle Tupelo" - The Cleveland Free Times


Brian Lisik’s third solo album, "The Mess That Money Could Buy," was released by Cherokee Queen Records on Sept. 18, 2012, with Lisik kicking off a Midwest and East Coast tour in support of the album.

Meanwhile, "Mess" began to receive favorable press both nationally and internationally.

Former Hit Parader and Rock-n-Soul Magazine editor John Shelton Ivany called "Mess" “a sensational album; tales of a drifting heart on the road.”

Noted roots rock/Amerciana publication No Depression said, “The Mess That Money Could Buy has the winning formula of catchy phrasing, jangly guitar riffs and great pop hooks.”

The Pittsburgh Daily News called the album an “11 track collection of guitar-centric tunes that make for an enjoyable listen. Lisik hits his stride with ‘Longest Day of the Year,’ ‘Nights In Shining Armore,’ ‘Five Other Rooms’ and ‘I Want to Go Home’.”

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer described "Mess" as a “rough and tumble garage-y blast…with singer-songwriter Brian Lisik’s hoarse, heartland-rocking voice soaked in an ocean of chunky guitars,” while Relate Magazine said “ ‘Nights in Shining Amore,’ (is) a song that sealed the deal for me, taking me from a passive attitude toward the entire album, to full out infatuation.”

Closer to home, the Cleveland Scene said the songs on "Mess" “sound so natural; ushers in well-deserved comparisons to Jeff Tweedy/Wilco” and the Sun Post Herald called the album “a healthy back-and-forth conversation about the inevitable ups and downs of life.”

Canton Repository entertainment editor Dan Kane, in his Aug. 31, 2012 cover story “Brian Lisik: A Life in Rock-n-Roll,” said Lisik “has a knack for turning out wry and colorful turns of phrase and lyrics that read like short stories.”

Across the pond, UK-based Maverick Magazine said "Mess" “drives hard and dirty with great lyrical punch” and Belgian rock mags Rootstime and Keys and Chords said, respectively, “Lisik hits his mark as a rock artist on this album (but) proves again he can excel in quiet ballads” and “a nice melting pot of sensitive ballads, rock pop tunes, and Americana.”

Throughout the fall and winter of 2012, songs “Small Town Royal Family” and “Change on Your Own” were added to the rotations of a number of college radio stations, including WJCU at John Carroll University and WRUW at Case Western Reserve University.

A video for the song “Five Other Rooms” was shot on location in Canton, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pa. and was released Dec. 7, 2012.

Plans are also in the works for the 2013 release of a career-spanning Lisik documentary film entitled "On the Wrong Side Of The Canal," and a live performance video of a July 2012 show at Buzzbin Art and Music Shop in Canton entitled "Save Me From My Life."

Lisik was born and raised in Akron, Ohio - the dour, post-industrial landscape that gave rise to a varied, yet familiarly gritty, music and artscape including the likes of David Allan Coe, Devo, Rachel Roberts, Chrissie Hynde, the Black Keys, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, and Television guitarist Robert Quine.

The son of a rubber worker father and a mother who "worked in banks and stuff," as he put it to Wilmington, N.C. entertainment magazine Bootleg in 2007, Lisik cut his teeth in and around his hometown in a variety of rock and blues outfits throughout his teens and 20s before forming self-proclaimed "slop rock" band The Giants of Science with drummer Scott Christoff, bassist Jeremy Jarrell, and guitarist/accordionist Jimmy "The Saint" Dobric in the late 1990s.

The group borrowed liberally from such fellow Midwestern post-punk poets as Soul Asylum and Afghan Whigs, but Lisik's often self-deprecating wink-and-a-nod lyrical content drew the band more appropriate comparisons to another Great Lakes-bred foursome. In a July 1999 Akron Beacon Journal feature on The Giants, entertainment writer Glenn Gamboa called the band "a sober version of the Replacements." Lisik's eventual response to the article, made to the host of a local video show, was that "Glenn's never been drinking with us."

The Giants of Science recorded two nationally released CDs (1998's "Hang Ups and All" and "A Minor Disturbance" in 2001, as a three-piece) on the Cherokee Queen/Lattisphere label. After an aborted national tour, and Lisik's increasingly acoustic-folk leaning songwriting, the band amicably called it quits in late 2001, playing its last show in October of that year.

After releasing a 9/11-inspired single - the frighteningly raw "(I Don't Wanna Go To) Heaven Daddy" - in early 2002, Lisik formed the first incarnation of the Brian Lisik Band and his full-length solo debut, "Baggage," was released on Cherokee Queen Records in 2004.

With a much more slick and pop-infused sound than any of his previous material, the album also featured a full-band arrangement of "Heaven Daddy." Produced and engineered by Eddie Tomecko (Bone Thugs-n-Harmony; Don Dixon) - who had also helmed both Giants of Science alb


Nothing I Can Do

Written By: words & music Brian Lisik/music Craig Lisik

© 2006 Son of Zoom Publishing (ASCAP) & Albert Jewel Publishing (ASCAP)

I don't like it when the snow comes down/And I don't like it when it rains and clouds/I don't like it but there's nothing I can do

I don't like it when the President lies/And I don't like that everybody dies/I don't like it but there's nothing I can do

I want a girl who's college educated/Got her mind on business but a little backdated/Sweet as feedback through a Leslie and she says she won't mess me around

I don't like it when it's ten-feet deep/And I don't like that some people cheat/I don't like it but there's nothing I can do

I don't like it when a child gets beat/Don't like to see people living out in the street/Don't like the way you treat me but there's nothing I can do


Written By: words & music Brian Lisik/music Craig Lisik

© 2006 Son of Zoom Publishing (ASCAP)/Albert Jewel Publishing (ASCAP)

You seem to like the way I light my cigarette/Everything I want to say sounds dumb so I ain't said nothing yet

Between the Aussie boys and the cross-eyed Oriental/From across the room I'm trying to be sentimental with you

Michele/They said that's your name
Michele/I just want to be your friend

So tell me what you're drinking/What the hell am I thinking/You're a good girl, girl/And I'll be gone and never see you again

Well you got a hug and a T-shirt from the star/You said you love his music but by tomorrow/He'll never know who the hell you are

Well my car's parked in the deck down by the Plain Dealer newspaper stand/You said you want to ride on the bus to Detroit with the band

Saving Grace

Written By: Brian Lisik

© 2006 Son of Zoom Publishing (ASCAP)

Didn't call for any reason/I know I blew you off last time we spoke/And this thing - well I been treating it like a joke

But this morning when I woke up/I heard your voice just like a song/Didn't realize 'till I saw the day that it had been so long

You're my saving grace/You're my saving grace

Don't want to give the wrong impression/I still mean all those things I didn't say/But I just thought I'd mention that I really do miss you when you go away

And you're my saving grace/You're my saving grace

When this world is in my face...
You're my saving grace

Sleeping With A Moron

Written By: Brian Lisik

© 2006 Son of Zoom Publishing (ASCAP)

Well he likes his marijuana/Drives a great big truck to work/He's an electrician, a self-made man/In a Def Leppard shirt

He wants to go farther/And never leave the town where he was born and grew/He wants a whole lot of things/And he wants my girl too

She says he's so romantic/Kind of shy when he smiles/Well he's got the IQ of a bowl of soup/But hey, he's taking up her time

And what's that say about me/When they jump in his Corvette, tear down the avenue/'Cause I'm getting the idea/Sometimes she wants him too

Well I'm tuckin' in the babies/Throw the dishes in the sink/Turn on some music/Anything so I can't think

'Cause I'm a well-respected, educated/Man among men/And my wife's sleeping with a moron/At half past three a.m.

Yeah outside these walls they think I'm in control/"Hey man, how do you fit it all in?"/While she's sleeping with a moron/And I'm left alone again

She says she's just trying/To fill a big hole in her life/I bet she's getting her hole filled/While I'm home doin' laundry tonight

And I'll bet they both think I'm stupid/Have a good laugh because I probably am/She's sleeping with a moron/ And I'm left with my right hand

La da da da da da

Sleeping with a moron/And I'm left alone again

Crossing Myself

Written By: Brian Lisik

© 2004 Son of Zoom Publishing (ASCAP)

On nights like these when you're crossing my mind/I'm crossing myself hoping I don't step out of line/Got your telephone number running through my head/But I put down the phone when I remember we're just friends

I need somebody to understand my fears/ To unload my problems,
lend a loving ear/
I remember your eyes and I remember your skin/And I remember you saying we can't do this again

We used to meet in the parking lot of that little place out by the boulevard/We'd get together in the front seat of your car/Inside the music was blasting so loud/But it was just you and me...

Nobody knows and nobody sees/But I got the cool wind blowing/Blowing through my trees

I'm thinking about you/On nights like these/You're crossing my mind/
I'm crossing myself/Hoping I don't step out of line

Sins Of The Fathers

Written By: Brian Lisik

c. 2003 Son Of Zoom Publishing (ASCAP)

Blame me for the things I don't see/Standing right in front of me/Blame me for the things that went down/A hundred years before I came around

Gather mothers, sons and daughters/Blame it on the sins of the fathers/Blame it on the sins of the fathers

It's an ice pick in the center of your eye/It's when your child's about to die/It's an elephant in the center of town/Everybody just walks around

Gather mothers, sons and daughters/Blame it on the sins of the fathers/Blame it on the sins of the fathers

Blame it on the sins of the fathers/Blame it on the sins of the fathers


The Mess That Money Could Buy (Cherokee Queen) 2012
Happiness Is Boring (Cherokee Queen) - 2006
Baggage (Cherokee Queen)- 2004
Every City Has Its Limits (Cherokee Queen EP) - 2003
(Don't Wanna Go To) Heaven Daddy (Cherokee Queen - Single) 2002
* A Minor Disturbance (Cherokee Queen EP)- 2001
* Hang Ups and All (Cherokee Queen EP) - 1998
(* w/ The Giants Of Science)

Set List

Sets are typically 45 minutes to an two three depends...

The Outskirts
Nothing I Can Do
The Poor Kids
Same Old Scene
Play A Song For Mother
Sleeping With A Moron
Outside The Elms
The Roses
Saving Grace
Heaven Daddy
Crossing Myself
Still Think I'm Breathing
Small Town Royal Family
Longest Day of The Year
To California
Chaos Is a Friend of Mine
Change on Your Own
I'm Satisfied
A Mess
Nights In Shining Amour
Five Other Rooms
I Want To Go Home
Yesterday Wasn't Real
Last Words
Best Of Intentions
Catholic Girl From Sagamore
Passenger Side (Wilco)
The Waiting (Tom Petty)
Refugee (Tom Petty)
Goin' Out West (Jesse Malin)
Queen Of The Underworld (Jesse Malin)
Brooklyn (Jesse Malin)
Motel Blues (Loudin Wainwright III)
Love Untold (Paul Westerberg)
Here Comes A Regular (The Replacements)
Little Mascara (The Replacements)
Left Of The Dial (The Replacements)
September Gurls (Big