High Rise West

High Rise West

BandRockAcoustic

High Rise West (HRW) is acoustic rock with an edge. The coarse, yet melodic voice of Ken Collins blends with the rhythmic and powerful acoustic guitar work of Nitin Natesan to create a sound unique to the genre.

Biography

biography - a first draft...

Our story is one of much heartache and rejoicing, one that will take you through the deepest depths of Mordor…one of betrayal, love and murder…okay, maybe not the last part. Unfortunately the story changes depending on whom you ask, but to ascertain the true events you will have to reach us in a moment of utmost clarity. You will have to buy us a few Jack'n'cokes and come with an open mind leaving all prejudices behind. It is then, and only then, that you will learn your way through the tortuous caverns of the mystery that is High Rise West.

For centuries historians and scientists have been trying to unravel the secrets of seduction, alchemy, love and music. What these great minds have tried to accomplish and resolve over past decades, we will deliver to you in 51.6 minutes of pure rapture for the fee of an "admit one".

Now to get a little more serious, Ken and Nitin (the primary members of High Rise West) are trained Jedi Masters, skilled in the art of hypnotic suggestion and trained by none other than the almighty David Hasselhoff. Every now and then you may find Nitin speaking to his watch and wondering where his car is, in this situation it is of critical importance and duty of High Rise West followers to buy Nitin another Jack'n'coke and point him in the direction of the nearest bartender. Similarly you may bump into Ken mumbling nonsense before a gig and shrieking in off-kilter pitches in preparation - this means he has lost his trusty yellow back pack and High Rise West followers are encouraged to form an immediate search party.

Ken and Nitin's paths crossed at a fine educational establishment in West Philadelphia. Nitin, a former drummer and Ken, a former touch foot-baller met for the first time in a building called High Rise South. There was also a High Rise East and a High Rise North. Over the many musical projects Ken and Nitin were part of, Ken could never figure out the correct name of the building in which we would rehearse. It was then that the concept of High Rise West was realized. A place, mythical in nature, where musical expression was with no bounds, convention was tossed into the trashcan, and where "the song" would lead the way - never quite sure where it would end up. An exciting place, a peaceful place…a pure place.

We really despise conforming to standards which don't have any meaning, especially when it comes to music, but for ease of explanation, we would not correct people who would place us in the genre of acoustic rock. After an abrupt retirement from playing in stadiums and arenas as part of UnTied, Pier 34 and Undertow, we now prefer smaller, intimate settings where high wattage lights blast in our face and we can't see the audience. You can find us playing anywhere in New York and Philadelphia that accepts the decibels produced by two acoustic guitars, two microphones and if you're lucky the huevos d'oros and gorilla socks.

Due to our geographic separation (a theme central to our history), we have had to develop creative ways to write our music. Who would have thought that E-mail and FTP would be a key part of the composition process? Nitin, being a former drummer sometimes forgets that he is playing a guitar and begins to move all his limbs. This phenomenon results in a much more percussive way of finger-picking the guitar. This and his clean background vocals blend with Ken's powerfully coarse yet precise lead vocals and backing guitar to produce something truly unique. Ken's voice can best be described as having taken the church choir bus through the bad part of town, which was hijacked by rockers smoking cigarettes in Seattle.

After starting off as musical "scruffs", our journey has taken us through changes in sound, discipline in song writing structure, polishing of physical image, extravagance in show making, and nit-picking in details.

High Rise West is a stripping down of theatrics, a cleaning up of make-up, and a return to raw basics.

Come join us in a place where rhythm, strings and voice will tell you all you need to know. Are you ready ?

Lyrics

let her in a moment

Written By: Ken Collins

you won’t talk about it
but it floats above your head and blocks the light out
reflects all of your past indecision
keeps it turning around in your head

let her in a moment
do something you fear and she’ll laugh with you
think back what was that dream you were nursing
what’d you give up to be who you are
feel the pulse of the city
let it wash over you
the river makes you run

what’s to stop you
let her show you
no one gets
no one gets
out of here alive, she says
can a concrete prison
divert your mission?
no one gets
no one gets
out of here alive, she says
don’t stumble out with the doubt of what might have been
(I’m begging you)

it makes me laugh to see you
searchin’ for a scene you’ll never find
what you’ll do to catch yourself in it
this hiptopia in your mind

she knows a little secret
as she places velvet rope around your feet
follow her where you really wanted
she’ll remind you of who you started out to be
feel the pulse of the city
let it wash over you
and the river makes you run

what’s to stop you
let her show you
no one gets
no one gets
out of here alive, she says
can a concrete prison
divert your mission?
no one gets
no one gets
out of here alive, she says
don’t stumble out with the doubt of what might have been
(I’m begging you)

alice

Written By: Ken Collins

I've been pretty lucky
escaped unscathed from a scrape or two
good life, loving family
couldn't complain if I want to
friends that've been there for me
though I've often wondered why
put it all together
still the net effect with regret comes up shy

she came in through the window
put her finger on my mouth
she leans in
and she pleads me
says you're looking
in wrong places
the wrong places for yourself

jumped up out of bed and
ran down the hallway to flee her
splashed some water on my
face and I looked in the mirror
had I finally found a
hole in our wall of confusion and doubt
two steps at a time
got hungry for more out the door and l looked out(side)

she came in through the window
put her finger on my mouth
she leans in
and she pleads me
says you're looking
in wrong places
the wrong places for yourself

now I'm looking under
rocks I always stepped over before
listening to the voices
hoping one will mean more
maybe in a crowd
a face will fill with light
till then I can only
hold the hope intact she'll be back in my window some night…

do do do do do do do do do do do do
when I asked her where she didn't say a thing
though I suspect that she could tell me everything
is it better if you find you on your own?
it seems a lonely road
a lonely road to roam
to roam…

she came in through the window
put her finger on my mouth
she leans in
and she pleads me
says you're looking
in wrong places
the wrong places for yourself

and I want to

Written By: Ken Collins

sitting on a wooden bench
trying to pinpoint where things went wrong before
got 12 minutes to figure out
how I’d messed it up

red lights dropping slowly now
one white eye heading over the hill
it’s too late to turn around
and I don’t want to

how long is long enough?
how strong is strong enough?
all I know, is that I need
to see her face again tonight
if I don’t go, then I won’t be
beside her when I go to sleep

she steps down on the platform, smiles
and I’m frozen in fear I’m sorry
I don’t think that I’m different now
and I can’t tell her

trusting eyes envelop me
and I’m cloaked in anticipation
how’s she going to look at me
when I mess it up?

how long is long enough?
how strong is strong enough?
all I know, is that I need
to see her face again tonight
if I don’t go, then I won’t be
beside her when I go to sleep

and I want to…

she didn’t bring a bag with her
such relief there’s nothing to carry
for the first time I have both arms
to put around her

maybe she is what I need
consequences that will make me sorry
maybe all the change I need
is that I want to

how long is long enough?
how strong is strong enough?
all I know, is that I need
to see her face again tonight
if I don’t go, then I won’t be
beside her when I go to sleep
how long is long enough?
how strong is strong enough?
all I know, is that I need
to see her face again tonight
if I don’t go, then I won’t be
beside her when I go to sleep

Discography

Tecate! (first release)
May 2005
Tracks:
let her in a moment
and I want to
breathe again

Set List

We focus on originals, but throw in a few covers when the mood is right...

Originals:
let her in a moment
and I want to
breathe again
never let them see you
downhill
alice
dagger in my heart
take it free
that place again
can you hear it?

Covers (artist):
bottle (UnTied)
save you (UnTied)
fire (UnTied)
times like these (Foo Fighters)
pour some sugar on me (Def Leppard)
shape of my heart (Sting)
my way (Frank Sinatra)
don't stop believing (Journey)
babe, I'm gonna leave you (Led Zeppelin)