Old Man

Old Man

BandRockAlternative

Old Man is an ongoing experiment in fusing the intensity and DIY aesthetic of punk rock to the melody and heart of folk rock, usually in the span of a 3-5 minute pop song.

Biography

Believing that two heads are indeed better than one, college friends Paul Brown and Neil Norman, both talented songwriters in their own right, formed Old Man in 2001 as a way to showcase their respective collections of songs (and after deciding that Lesser Apes would be a band name they would quickly be ashamed of). Instantly, they found that their own unique approaches to guitar and melody were simpatico, creating a sound informed by their largely overlapping, yet divergent album collections (You remember albums, don't you? Before iTunes? Cohesive collections of 10-12 songs by a single artist?) Paul had a taste for late 80s-early 90s college rock: Blur, Pulp, The The, Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins; Neil had a soft spot for The Beatles, Elvis Costello, Husker Dü, Joe Pernice, XTC; both loved R.E.M., The Smiths, Billy Bragg, New Order, Radiohead. Old Man sounds... nothing like any of those bands, or perhaps like all of them played at the same time.

Knowing that two heads, regardless of how good they are together, can't play drums, Brown and Norman brought PJ Knight on board, and with her came her love of Big Star and Teenage Fanclub. Since then, they've done what any young band with stars in its eyes does - play shows in and around Louisville, KY (it's a music mecca, you know), practice when the demands of home ownership, school and work don't get in the way, record songs on ProTools, only to lose all of the original files somewhere, record most of those songs again with someone that actually knows what they're doing and can make it sound like it was recorded somewhere nicer than a basement (like a carriage house, for instance), and continue to write songs that sound like Old Man.

2007 finds Old Man returning from a brief public performance hiatus, looking for a good way to get the aforementioned recordings out into the world, and still looking for a bass player.

Lyrics

1987

Written By: Neil Norman

Summertime
87 I
stayed inside.
We knew a kid
they took off with-
and he was never seen again.

Summertime
87 I
was terrified.
I recall
hours spent
at the child psychologist.

CHORUS:
The buzzing in the air sounds like
the soundtrack playing half my life-
the sound of someone tuning
in-between
two stations on the dial.

Summertime
87 I
got out alive
and told myself
not to get
pinned down by those things again.

To my surprise
87 I
woke up to find
I’d metamorphasized into
the very thing I was afraid of…

CHORUS

We just got our wings
and we don’t know how to use them.
Shed our skin and crawl out
to one another.
A giant love song
is broadcast then gone.
Our giant love song-
sing along.
(The chorus of the voices in my head…)

Summertime
I've come back home
fully grown
and quite content
to make my love,
and then just disappear again.

CHORUS

The Question

Written By: Paul Brown

What's that? That there
In the corner, in the chair.
Tell them, please.
A riddle, a joke
Something for you to poke.
A mystery.

It's the question that's on your mind.
It's the question at Christmastime.
Won't you just leave it be?

Those clothes, that hair
Collapsed and vacant stare.
Who is he?
He hasn't grown up.
He must be so corrupt.
A gay junkie.

He's the question that's on your mind.
He's the question at Christmastime.
He lives inside a dream.

I'm not the man
That you wanted
Me to be.
I tried so hard
But as you can see
I'm just me.

I'm the question that's on your mind.
I'm the question at Christmastime
Won't you stop solving me?

My Blue Room

Written By: Neil Norman

Have I shown you my blue room?
I used to sleep like a baby ‘til I met you.
Now I stay up all night
wondering what’s on your mind
when you come to take me out
of my blue room.

Have I shown you my green eyes?
You’ve never seen me with my glasses off.
I never got that close
& now I don’t even try-
I just let you stay the night
in my blue room.

I woke up today
after you’d gone away.
The ceiling caved in on me- I stayed
under the covers,
covered in dust,
in over my head. Why don’t you come &

dig me out of my black hole?
I'll be waving the big red flag.
(Over & over & over…)

Have I shown you my gray hair?
Happened overnight in my blue room.

Discography

Old Man has recorded 14 songs intended for release as an LP and EP in 2007.

Set List

Sets are usually 35-45 minutes long, consisting of 10-12 songs. Songs currently in the rotation:
- 1987
- Appetite
- Available
- Crash
- Easy Way Out
- History (In the Making)
- Just Like You
- Lips To Watch
- My Blue Room
- Occupational Hazard
- One Night Stand
- Petit Mal
- Run
- The Question
- Undercover

Previous covers have included New Order's "The Perfect Kiss," Nick Lowe's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding," and an entire set of Smiths songs for Halloween 2005.