The Lonesome High

The Lonesome High

BandAlternativeAvant-garde

The lonesome High sounds like Bob Dylan and Lou Reed in a fistfight...with your referee Willie Nelson!

Biography

With a band comprised of topnotch New York musicians, singer-songwriter Michael Stumm delivers an album of character sketches and urban tales as unique as his own life experiences and perspective.
The album THE LONESOME HIGH, features 12 songs--all titled after real people.
The roots-country lead track “Danny Thomas” sets the tone with Stumm’s Dylanesque, Lou Reedy vocal recounting a surreal visit to the legendary TV star’s imaginary office during a total eclipse of the sun. “Christopher Lee” is dreamy, too—but in a different way: A lullaby worthy of Simon & Garfunkel, in being named after one of cinema’s great horror players it delivers utmost irony.
Also highly ironic is “Karen Black,” thanks to it’s “I hate rock ‘n roll” chorus—within the musical context of a New York Dolls-styled hard rocker. Sure “I’d rather read a book [or] write a poem,” sings Stumm in the song named for the esteemed Oscar-nominated (“Five Easy Pieces”) actress, but thankfully, the music belies it.
Meanwhile, the comparatively obscure actress Mimsy Farmer (star of such classic ‘60s teen-oriented B-movies as “Hot Rods to Hell” and “Riot on Sunset Strip”) inspired Stumm’s acoustic, Byrds-like look at an Arizona landscape. Likewise, “Cookie Mueller,” a folk-rock song a la Jefferson Airplane, is motivated by another lesser known actress (and former girlfriend of Stumm’s), who starred in the John Waters classics “Pink Flamingos” and “Polyester”; it and the stark, album-closing “Buster Keaton” both deal with the desolation of hardcore drug addiction.
Two songs also merit special mention: the appropriately mournful, solo acoustic guitar tune “Spalding Gray,” and the beautifully arranged rocker “Willem Dafoe.” Both the late actor/playwright Gray and Dafoe—and Stumm-- were part of New York’s celebrated Wooster Group theater ensemble. Willem Dafoe, in fact, has been friends with fellow Midwestern Stumm since they were teenagers, and is the executive producer of THE LONESOME HIGH.
The album’s producer is Scott Sherratt, an engineer on Grammy-nominated recordings, an album producer for acclaimed playwright Richard Maxwell’s songs,
and a longtime New York musician and friend of Stumm. Sherratt put together the backing band that is THE LONESOME HIGH: Besides Sherratt on guitars, bass and vocals, they are drummer Frankie Lombardi, who has played for Lucky Peterson and the Dickey Betts Band, and Eric Lichter, who plays lap steel, dobro and harmonica--and is a marvelous vocalist in his own right who has performed with the likes of Carly Simon, Evan Dando and Valerie Carter while releasing his solo album “Chorduroy
Like Sherratt, Lombardi and Lichter are big fans of Stumm, and bring their own special talents to the project.
Sherratt wisely kept the production simple, letting the songs speak for themselves with minimal but sure-handed assistance. The result is a solid album of deeply personal but accessible songs that flow together from start to finish, seamlessly progressing in music and lyrics in depicting the grittier side of city life.

Lyrics

Danny Thomas

Written By: Michael Stumm/jefferson Garrett/Calvation Music(ASCAP)

Danny Thomas

Danny Thomas calls you into his office…he fires you
There is a total eclipse of the sun
Danny Thomas observes the eclipse of the sun

Danny Thomas Danny Thomas

You and Ming the merciless are at a tea party together when
All of a sudden who should explode through the door
But Danny Thomas –You offer Danny Thomas a cup of tea

Danny Thomas..Yeah Danny Thomas

Lost in something called sub-inertial field
You you you think of water, dream of water
Write an expressive letter to…Danny Thomas

Danny Thomas..Yeah Danny Thomas
Ooh Danny Thomas yeah Danny Thomas

Las Vegas is bright and dry you’ve traveled a long way from home
You wanna worship Danny Thomas but you’re unsure as to what he looks like
It happens instantly clear with high contrast
Better than a dream

Ooh there’s Danny Thomas Look! There’s Danny Thomas

Standing before you like Cuchlain at some stream
Except there’s no water no water not even a glass
You remark upon this to…Danny Thomas
Danny Thomas..Yeah Danny Thomas

“Know it” you say “I wrote it” you say
“Sure” you say my ass and your face
“Let’s walk” you say and fuck ‘em all
To which Danny Thomas says Danny Thomas says

“Why should I lie” he says to you
Down at the western end of the pool
“When the moon had set we did everything yeah”
When I say tight what I mean to say is waterproof
Yeah when it’s tight like that don’t you know that it’s waterproof

Ooh Danny Thomas says Danny Thomas says
Danny Thomas says Danny Thomas says
Danny Thomas says
Danny Thomas Says

Spalding Gray

Written By: Michael Stumm/Calvation Music(ASCAP)

Spalding Gray

Lay down my old guitar
Lay down my old guitar
Wish I could tie it to my side
When I cross to the other side

Wish my guitar was a golden boat
A golden coffin in which I float
Wish I could tie it to my side
Flow water flow
Like a sheet of white

Feel like im floating in the sky
Daylight just about to die
That sheet of white so wide
Wish I could tie you to my side

Chorus:
I never knew about those things
I never knew about those things
Those things
Those things

Will you be standing on the shore
In your dark green gown with your hair cut short
I try to see you but im blind
When I make my crossing to the other side

Will you be calling out my name
Will you be calling out my name
I strain to hear you all the same
Will you be calling out my name

Chorus:
I never knew about love
I never knew about love
About love
About love

Lay down my old guitar
Lay down my old guitar
Wish I could tie it to my side
When I cross to the other side

Wish I could tie it to my side

Karen Black (I Hate Rock & Roll)

Written By: Michael Stumm/Calvation Music(ASCAP)

Karen Black

I hate rock and roll
Id rather read a book
Will the detective catch a crook
Or the serpent bait a hook

I hate rock and roll
Id rather write a poem
One poem say instead of showin
Excuse me please I must be goin

Chorus:
I hate rock and roll I hate rock and roll
I hate rock and roll I hate rock and roll
I hate rock and roll
I’d rather read a book

I hate rock and roll
It’s such a bankrupt form of address
Leavin me with no other redress
makes me feel just like a big mess

Hear the young people screamin
As they roll on the floor
Poor kids they never saw it comin
Those kids theyre always wantin more more

I hate rock and roll I hate rock and roll
I hate rock and roll I hate rock and roll
I hate rock and roll
I’d rather read a book

I hate rock and roll I hate rock and roll
I hate rock and roll I hate rock and roll
Y’know what? I love rock and roll but sometimes
I’d rather read a book

Julie Christie

Written By: Michael Stumm/Calvation Music(ASCAP)

Julie Christie

Don’t be careless dearest darling
On this perfect night unfolding
W’ell drive out past that old county line
There I loved her and left her now I can’t forget her
For she was My Darlin’ Clementine

Clementine Clementine fly out of your window tonight
When those stars they start to shine
By those same stars above you I swear that I love you
For you are My Darlin’ Clementine

Sometimes I sing for pleasure not for world’s shiny treasure
Sometimes I dream of her and I cry
In one moment of glory I hold her face before me
The face of My Darlin’ Clementine

Clementine, Clementine float down to the river tonight
When those stars they start to shine
By those same stars above you I swear that I love you
For you are my Darlin’ Clementine
Yeah you are My Darlin’ Clementine

Cookie Mueller

Written By: Michael Stumm/Calvation Music(ASCAP)

Cookie Mueller

My wife she tells me that I’m wasting my time
She changed the locks on our apartment when I walked out the front door
I slip away into the darkness thinking maybe she’s right
I’m enraged by my world and it’s pleasures alright
Your beside me…there beside me
You’re not on a record you’re not on t.v.
Your body next to me… your body next to me

I saw you talk to RayAnn and then spit at her friends
And get sick on the carpet and fall down the stairs
You used the works of some girl that you met in a bar
You found a brand new vein as you sank to the floor
Your beside me…there beside me
You’re not on a record you’re not on t.v.
Your body next to me… your body next to me

I don’t know..some people say that the world is a cold and ugly orb
A miserable place to live a life
you, you always said life was okay just kind of genuinely unfair
I do wish that I listened to that and to that other thing you said.. too
You said honey
I Love You

Maybe to the movies yeah that’s where I’ll go
Where the hot white light it goes to driftin’ like snow
Sweet soft breezes will wash over me
I’ll just imagine you’re there in the seat next to me

Your beside me…there beside me
not on a record you’re not on t.v.
He Baby next to me… Hey Honey next to me

Discography

The Lonesome High

Set List

The songs from the album.
1. Danny Thomas
2. Julie Christie
3. Robert Mitchum
4. Cookie Mueller
5. Christopher Lee
6. Roy Rogers
7. Thelma Ritter
8. Spalding Gray
9. Mimsy Farmer
10. Willem DaFoe
11. Karen Black
12. Buster Keaton