Harlem Hayride

by Karl Straub & the Graverobbers

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about

The first Karl Straub album in 14 years, finally releasing long-lost tracks from the heyday of the Graverobbers, newly mixed and mastered. Plus a couple of favorites revisited and Karl's unique Telecaster interpretation of classic Monk tunes.

credits

released July 19, 2013

© 2013 Karl Straub, Clever Bits Music (BMI)
Produced by Peter Fox
Engineered and mixed by Peter Fox at Groovetown USA (groovetownusa.com)
Mastered by Bill Wolf (wolfproductionsinc.com)

Karl Straub: Vocals, acoustic guitars, Fender Telecasters, electric 12-string, glockenspiel
Jim Gray: Bass (upright and electric)
Martin Lynds: Drums, auxiliary percussion
Lee Wilhoit, Dave Pera: Backup vocals
Dave Van Allen: Pedal steel guitar
Peter Fox: Keyboards

“Reflections,” “Monk’s Mood,” and “Ask Me Now” written by Thelonious Monk (BMI), arranged by Karl Straub
“Carolina Moon” written by Joe Burke and Benny Davis (ASCAP), arranged by Karl Straub
All other songs © Karl Straub, Clever Bits Music (BMI)
All rights reserved.

Managing Agent for Clever Bits Music: Joel Sparks
(cleverbitsmusic.com)

Cover art by Sarah Dione (sarahdione.com)
Design by Joel Sparks

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all rights reserved

about

Karl Straub Alexandria, Virginia

KARL STRAUB writes music the way birds build nests, crafting strong and beautiful forms from whatever is lying around. Bubblegum pop to classic jazz, Bob Wills to Rodgers & Hart, psych fuzz to horror films. Matching lyrics hit nerves from the heartwrenching to the comical, all with a sharp eye on human failings. HARLEM HAYRIDE hangs all these beauties on the frame of the Graverobbers' solid rock. ... more

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Track Name: Ruby Keeler
She can’t tap with Dick Powell in her lap, Ruby Keeler
Pink and young like bubble gum, Ruby Keeler
She’s got cheeks like roses, a button nose, sweet as molasses (She can’t tap, Dick’s in her lap)
With the lead in a cast, she’ll take off her glasses and save our asses. (Pink and young like bubblegum)
Ruby Keeler Ruby, Ruby Keeler Ruby.

Shuffle off to Buffalo with Ruby Keeler, Ruby Keeler
How big do bananas grow for Ruby Keeler?
She’s got cheeks like roses, a button nose, sweet as molasses
(How big do bananas grow?)
With the lead in a cast, she’ll take off her glasses and save our asses.
(Shuffle off to Buffalo)

Ruby Keeler Ruby, Ruby Keeler Ruby

You’re going out a youngster, but you gotta come back a star.

Kaleidoscope in black and white.
Ruby Keeler, Ruby Keeler
Learn the whole show in one night, Ruby Keeler.
She’s got cheeks like roses, a button nose, sweet as molasses (Kaleidoscope in black and white)
With the lead in a cast, she’ll take off her glasses and save our asses. (Learn the whole show in one night)

Ruby Keeler Ruby, Ruby Keeler Ruby
Ruby Keeler Ruby.
Track Name: Lipstick Pickup
Lipstick is rolling off the line, like bottled wine
Assembling in silver shining rows, like dominoes
And each tube is made to catch your eye
And break down sales resistance
And sail you into love affairs
The glitter of romance
The world of magazine ads
And models and shampoo
And hair and nails keep growing
A while after you’re dead
And buried too.

The dolls are passing lipstick like a joint
And rummaging through closets
And living just in photographs
And album cover art
All lit up with a flashbulb
Detectives dust for prints
And it really wakes the room up
The streamers and the sparkle
When her eyes go wild.
Depositing like limestone
The lipstick on your collar.
You can read my lips
I wonder where her eyes go, eyes go wild.

At parties and cafés and cold buffets
To sit in beauty parlors and salons
With makeup on and dream
About the life in magazines
Where no one gets their heart broke
And everyone has love affairs
With guys with model hair
Who care about your feelings.

The closet light was broken
I tried to pull the chain down
And shoeboxes were falling
Til my eyes go wild.
I’m dizzy from the spinning
And I can’t breathe from laughing
At the lipstick on the mirror
Where her eyes go, eyes go wild.

Lipstick is rolling off the line, like bottled wine
Assembling in silver shining rows, like dominoes
And each tube is made to catch your eye
And break down sales resistance
And sail you into love affairs
The glitter of romance
The world of magazine ads
All lit up with a flashbulb
Detectives dust for prints
And it really wakes the room up
When her eyes go wild.

Depositing like limestone
The lipstick on your collar.
You can read my lips
I wonder where her eyes go wild.

The closet light was broken
I tried to pull the chain down
And shoeboxes were falling
Til my eyes go wild.
Track Name: Nothing but a Baby
You’re nothing but a baby.
An open window’s razzle-dazzle
Magic string of lit-up lights
Every time you blink your eyes.

Pretty little colored house
You don’t notice that it’s made of matches.
Popsicle’s just as good
If it’s left out in the sun.

Credit cards and candle wax
Your mother’s keys and your father’s glasses
Soon as there’s a minute free
You’ll put ’em in your mouth.

Always so much to do
When you’re the size of a carpet sample
So many places to have fun.

You’re nothing but a baby.
You’re out of milk and you’re out of coffee.
Leave a message on your phone
It says that you are out.

You’re distracted by
The crowd around the makeup counter.
Wanna get some water
But those lines are so damn long.
Must have been a couple months
Since they told you they would notify you.
Soon as something opens up
We’ll be giving you a call.

Have a seat, fill out some forms
Your maiden name and your average salary
Where you’ll be living in the fall.

You’re nothing but a baby.
An open window’s razzle-dazzle
Magic string of lit-up lights
Every time you blink your eyes.

Pretty little colored house
You don’t notice that it’s made of matches.
Popsicle’s just as good
If it’s left out in the sun.

Credit cards and candle wax
Your mother’s keys and your father’s glasses
Soon as there’s a minute free
You’ll put ’em in your mouth.

Always so much to do
When you’re the size of a carpet sample
So many places to have fun.
Track Name: Lisa's Colors
Closet full of colors and you dress in the sad light of it
Every single morning noon and night of it
And dream a dream where you take all the clothes outside
Light up the sky so bright it keeps the sleepiest people wide awake all night.

Chimney and bikini tops,
a banquet of tranquilizers,
’Lectric fans to smother all the noise outside
My window’s open wide
but yours is locked up tight
And painted shut
so stupid birds don’t keep you awake all night.

Been through the looking glass
and out the other side
And soon you start to dream the kind of dreams you only dream at night
With a lullaby,
you’re tucked inside,
where you can hide
Flying with your eyes closed.


Closet deep, the colors run,
the all-cotton sheets are piled high
Drifting like an angel when you close your eyes
And dream a dream where you take all the clothes outside
Light up the sky so bright it keeps the sleepiest up all night.

Been through the looking glass
and out the other side
And soon you start to dream the kind of dreams you only dream at night
With a lullaby, you’re tucked inside,
where you can hide
Flying with your eyes closed.

Closet deep, the colors run,
the all-cotton sheets are piled high
Drifting like an angel when you close your eyes
And dream a dream where you take all the clothes outside
Light up the sky so bright it keeps the sleepiest up all night.

Light up the sky so bright it keeps the sleepiest up all night.
Track Name: It Only Hurts Me All the Time
Sparkles, flashing lights,
Hot sugar fireballs and
Black lace and spirit gum
Cold rubbing alcohol and
I thought you would have called me by now
Couple of days went by.

Oh, it only hurts me all the time.
Oh, it only hurts me all the time.

Seedrows and cracks and locks
Hen’s teeth and rows of boxes
Rolled wires and pins and rows
Rolled eyes and seeds and sounds and
I thought you would have called me by now
Couple of weeks went by.

Oh, it only hurts me all the time.
Oh, it only hurts me all the time.

Hot flowers and paint and wires
Rim shots and hothouse glasses
White Russians, white and wide
Wet stones and whetstone wood and
I thought you would have called me by now
Couple of months went by.

Oh, it only hurts me all the time.
Oh, it only hurts me all the time.
Oh...
Track Name: Twelve Perfect Files
In Raleigh, North Carolina,
Just before his execution
Sidney Etheridge, forty-five,
Temporarily still alive,
Was waiting to be punished for his crime.
While dead men prayed in other cells
His recipe for enjoying Hell
Was taken down by a journalist from Time.

“You take a black cat, and you go into the woods
The wind will come and bow the limbs of trees
And sweep the ground clean.
You boil your black cat in an iron pot
Pull the bones between your teeth
The wind will make a clearing for the bones.
For nine straight mornings you walk backwards for nine steps and forward nine
Cussing God and Jesus Christ with every breath.
You’re possessed now by the Devil
He’s your father and your mother.”

And there’s twelve perfect files in every dozen.
Track Name: Drinking from a Swimming Pool
Honey I’m deep blue
Drinking from a swimming pool
Tired of knowing you
Tired of wanting you
I’ve got a gallon down
I’ve got a fountain down my throat
Swimming the pool wide
And you’re the sun at my poolside.

Honey I’m up and drained
Raking wet leaves away
Watching the evening set
After a lousy day
And it’s a crying shame
You’re not around so you can’t see
As far as a man could sink down
Without your charming company.

Honey I’m deep blue
Drinking from a swimming pool
Tired of knowing you
Tired of wanting you
I’ve got a gallon down
I’ve got a fountain down my throat
Swimming the pool wide
And you’re the sun at my poolside.

Honey I’m much the same
After a couple years
Wearing out shirts and shoes
And hitting up friends for beers
In from the deep end down
Having a party under glass
Here in the land of the blind
A one-eyed man should keep his mouth shut.
Track Name: Drunkard's Special / Ask Me Now
First night when I went home
Drunk as I could be
There’s another mule in the stable
Where my mule oughta be.
Come here honey
Explain this thing to me
How come another mule in the stable
Where my mule oughta be?
Oh crazy, oh silly.
Can’t you plainly see?
That’s nothing but a milk cow
Where your mule oughta be.
Well I’ve traveled this world over
Million times or more
Saddle on a milk cow’s back
I’ve never seen before.

Second night when I came home
As drunk as I could be
There’s another coat on the coat rack
Where my coat oughta be.
Come here honey
Explain this thing to me
How come another coat on the coat rack
Where my coat oughta be?
Oh crazy, oh silly.
Can’t you plainly see?
That’s nothing but a bed quilt
Where your coat oughta be.
Been all ’round
this world
Million times or more
Pockets on a bed quilt
I’ve never seen before.

The third night
when I came home
As drunk as I could be
There’s another head
on the pillow
Where my head oughta be.
Come here honey
Explain this thing to me
How come another
head on the pillow
Where my head
oughta be?
Oh crazy, oh silly.
Can’t you plainly see?
That’s nothing but a
cabbage head
Your grandma
sent to me.
Well I’ve been all
’round this world
Million times
or more
A hat on a
cabbage head
I’ve never seen before.