/
  • Digital Album
    Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    "Positively Vaudevillian…Mark [on Stowaways] seems entrapped in his storytelling, as if he is an indentured servant of the piano…As thoroughly dark Americana as something from the murky depths of a Lomax compilation."
    - Jack Tully, Elmore Magazine
    ----------------------------------------------------
    “You are in for the discovery of a lifetime…One listen to [Stowaways] and you’ll recognize more truth in a single song than in most other artist’s entire catalogues…Brave, bold, mysterious and so worth exploring.” - Greg Victor, Parc Bench
    ----------------------------------------------------
    The lyrical inventiveness and pawn shop-romance of Stowaways, Paul Mark's tenth CD, radiates all that’s been cast aside. Cognoscenti won’t flinch, but new listeners to Paul Mark will step back and wonder how they missed it. A 25-year bar-room gig itinerant and New York City denizen, Mark sings and composes with the insight of a library rat who’s plowed through 19th Century lit and devoured with a jaundiced eye classic international cinema of the 40s and 50s. Ask him to name his singing influences and he’ll mention Toshiro Mifune and Gregory Peck…Ask where he learned to play guitar and piano, he’ll invoke Italian neo-realist films, James Booker and Max Fleischer cartoons. Query where he’s headed creatively and he’ll point to the Metro Diner at West 100th and Broadway. Mark’s done the time. Decades of bad gigs, bad industry breaks and bad luck from all directions And his music, sad and beautiful, rich with mystery and art, bears out the history.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    ... more
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more

    You own this

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Paul Mark's 10th album release, taking his roots rock and classic pop sensibility out into the next wave.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Stowaways via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days

      $14 USD or more 

    You own this  

     

1.
There's a cold cruel current swirls the seven seas It always steers you back from whence you came Noah sailed not for divine accord But to simply get away The midnight chimes claim that all is well City clocks strike loudest when they're wrong Stow away with me 'neath the stars tonight And we'll drift as one at dawn Stow away Stow away with me The moon will guide our flight Stow away Stow away with me We sail at morning light The turnstiles at the factory Won't count our steps any more The clerks have won the battle But we shall win the war Off the stern the steeples and the docks recede A desperate carnival of charlatans and heirs Mark the maps and careers, they flutter up then disappear Like the crows on Highway 9 - Chorus - So toss off your notebooks and cast away your prayers Pack only your canvases and songs We'll master the waves, forty nights and days Till the tides shift and send us back where we belong - Chorus -
2.
Just between us, because I trust you Let me ask, how do the blind become so famous? They claim they've seen it all No fact too large or small Truth be told they can't even find the door At the crosswalk they click their silly canes Offer an arm and they dismiss you with disdain How can the deformed, the sightless, parade so proud and righteous? To those with eyes the injustice is so plain Let's raise a glass to those left on the outside Forever silent, forever nameless To the millions aghast at the theater Muted witness to the horror on life's stage Condemned to suffer through the antics of the few Someone tell me how do the blind become so famous? I am never so bedeviled, vexed, speechless As when I wonder, how do the deaf become so famous? Oh they pretend they’ve heard But they miss every other word Then lecture on about cruelty and beauty They go on endlessly about symphonies Despite the absence of one good clue If for a moment their ears Were miraculously cleared They'd hear the peddlers snickering all around them - Chorus - Try to imagine pigs could fly Or that dogs could learn to drive Suppose that chimps somehow were winning elections What if a bear could solo on trombone? Or answer the telephone? Why it makes a mockery of natural selection I am humble, I know my limitations So it's fair to ask...how do the dull become so famous? They flash across the screen, show up in magazines You’d think stupidity was their sole qualification They can't tell crap from Christmas, can't tell left from right Put on the spot they know not king from queen nor rook from knight They spout as revelation the tritest observation Then scan the horizon like peacocks of genius - Chorus -
3.
The lyrics used here are from Ralph Manheim and John Willet's unflinching 1976 translation of the Brecht/Weill masterpiece, "Threepenny Opera". First performed in Berlin in 1928, "Threepenny Opera" was a savvy reworking of "The Beggar's Opera", the resilient “ballad-opera” written for the stage by John Gay in 1728. From its Weimar era premier right up through the 1960s, Threepenny Opera — replete with stabbings, overt sexuality and indictments of sitting institutions — was regularly bowdlerized by the prevailing tastemakers, from Nazi culture police to American pop producers slumming for a hit. Even Bobby Darin's 1959 swing take on “Mack” (lifted largely from Louis Armstrong's Dixieland version from 1956) strikes the ear like a bachelor pad throw pillow, for all its hypermodulatin' brio. Once awakened to the original’s civilization gone mad accusations, softening the work for political gain — or for the diversion a wider audience — seems an unwitting step into the very corruption targeted by the composers. I first heard the Manheim/Willet translation on the 1976 Columbia LP of the New York Shakespeare Festival’s bold production of Threepenny Opera. After scanning today's headlines neither the Brecht/Weill horror show nor the Manheim/Willet translation require any updating. -Paul Mark
4.
Once upon a weekend Once upon a flight Just a couple days And a couple nights You had your reasons, I had my own To sidestep the demons And put the world on hold Once upon a weekend Once upon a plan Our eyes did the talking Let's get it while we can We turned on a dime, man what a time Once upon a weekend with you Once upon a weekend We cut loose and it fly Eleventh-hour tickets Oh the deals you can find Room service, we sent the housekeeper away We sure did get out a lot in those days Once upon a weekend I know you remember when Seems a little crazy now But it was a good idea back then Never did regret, tried but I can't forget That once upon a weekend with you Once upon a weekend You remember when Seems a little crazy now But it was a fine idea back then Cross off the doubts By now we shoulda figured out That just once, once upon a weekend, would never do Let's once upon a weekend Once more, me and you © Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
5.
Excuse me sermon on the Mount Rushmore or less than zero tolerance Is golden…golden gate bridge to nowhere Coulda woulda shoulda seen what I sorrow and the pity the fool such as I Remember Paris is burning a bridge to nowhere It's my show and tell all the world's a stage door Johnny B. good guys finish last Exit to Brooklyn bridge to nowhere Raw deal me in your face the fear strikes out with the new and in with the old Ennui stroll down a bridge to nowhere No don't you dare forget the name of love you make hey lady day the music died On across the bridge to nowhere You are what you eight days a Weeki Wachee weekend war and peace is fought And won, two, three-handed bridge to nowhere One man's pig is another man's pork belly full of fundamental case in point On down the road…the road to the bridge to nowhere Excuse me sir, men the Mount Rushmore or less than zero tolerance Is golden…The goose that paved the golden road to the bridge to nowhere © Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
6.
(Words/music by P.Mark) Late summer crossing Red right return Each August's new gale Is a lesson never learned Salt in your hair Wind in our wounds Sailors go silent To watery tombs To err is human To err again is divine Songs from a lifeboat Said you'd always be mine Swear I'll never repeat it Maybe never isn't true Jamestown Ferry, deep harbor moon Please say you once needed me The way I needed you © Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
7.
(Words/music by P.Mark) There is a picture in the papers Of me cavorting with two very lovely girls I won't confirm it, I can't deny it But it's most certainly a pack of filthy lies Now there's a rumor been circulating Designed to bring me grief, to besmirch my good name And in the court of public opinion I'm forced to stand and refute the lies they claim What the world can't see What the crowd doesn't know The hardship and hurt The torments that for years Had driven me so low But now that's all over That chapter's long since ended And I do apologize to anyone Who might've been offended There's a reporter on the telephone Claims I passed millions through a Vatican bank agency I won't confirm it, I can't deny it But it's most certainly a pack of filthy lies Now there's a summons in my mailbox And to the bar I am called to testify Calamity and scandal, laid at my doorstep In my golden years, no less, only the devil knows why - Chorus - Now there is a video on the Internet Shows me entertaining Third Reich conventioneers I won't confirm it, I can't deny it But it's most certainly a pack of filthy lies How can you blame me? Am I so different? By hook or crook we all do scrounge for bed and board The sea is stocked with doomed and rotting fishes Why not gaff them, and for profit pull ‘em aboard - Chorus - © Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
8.
(Words/music by P.Mark) Good people of the jury I commend you Your patience nearly exceeds my own Go wise but wary toward deliberations Behold the world, then send the accused home In the dock stands neither devil nor angel Like any beast, brimming with truth and lies Let us recall what this land was built on That each be judged in accordance with their times Say your prayers but don't forget your reason God's like a cop, he's never around when you need him Tomorrow's virtue may today seem a crime Thank fortune you were born in interesting times Bloody facts can turn the mind towards vengeance Mais tout comprendre c'est tout pardonner Together we'll move mankind one step forward Think only of law, don't let justice get in our way © Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
9.
(Words/music by P.Mark) There's a semi-influential barber cuts hair down on Degraw Avenue Wraps your neck and trims the ends of last night's evening news Claims the city blacktop out in front should every year be shaved down and redone Avenues paved over so the sins of the fathers won't be revisited upon the sons Next door the A&P register girl don't give a rat's ass she looks right past like you's a baseball card collecting man-boy Her earings rattle as packs up your commodity meat, loneliness, and lemon fresh Joy The REO Speedwagon hit parade hums along with the overhead florescent tubes She towels the blood from the conveyer belt like it was Jesus's face and says, Mister you want one bag or two? Once a semester Dame Rectilinear invites the Lit majors into her ocean front home Living off her affliction memoir, she MC’s past the Renoir sketch that keeps her from having to live all alone Over mint juleps she laments “Why wasn't Sylvia Plath ever declared a saint?” As they file out she reflects how orange sherbet sunsets can never outweigh the artist's life of pain Reverend O'Mann rebooted his sermon schedule once the diocese declared its investigation closed And anyway the charges were an internal matter their lawyers said, so none of the evidence will ever be disclosed Now Rev. O's thoughts on gender confusion, barefoot women and god's intentions once again ricochet off the frescos above All heads are down in the pews when he instructs that it's just one more mystery, the marriage between crime and love Professor Moresworth wears his Ph.D round his neck like a soup-stained flea market tie His mortarboard reflexes keep the noonday sun out of his eyes In the lecture hall, the way he discusses music and the human spirit you'd think he was dissecting a frog Afterwards the silence rings with vindication, “History'll show I was right and they were all wrong” The commission l found Judge Dividend in contempt, a pretzel-twist of election chits and contraband Now each evening he rocks alone on the porch, a Flintstones jelly glass of Dewars in his hand Refuses to acknowledge the phone, his wife's call to dinner or the flash bulbs in his eyes “It was them not me that brought on the horror, swear I'll be strong till the day I die” After 16 years writing tele-inventive claptrap Ms. Fleet bulldozed the landmark at 1040 Degraw She built a gated trophy home that the zoning board suddenly claimed was well within the law One April morning after a Wagnerian two-week storm a sink hole swallowed her and the entire South Wing Now the neighbors go to sleep hungry while her reruns flash in pixel poetry across a sea of midnight flat screens There's a quasi-influential barber holds court down on Degraw Avenue Trims your ears then revives a soul speech he heard on last night's cable news He waves his scissors and demands that citywide the blacktop should all be redone Pave over the avenues so the sins of the fathers can't be revisited upon the sons © Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
10.
(Words/music by P.Mark) You thought by now you knew to walk on by Those caged, wounded eyes Then a flash, and again they've hooked you They fill that hole deep inside You take them home, and before you've set the room They're asleep across the bed You lay down beside and bide your time To confess how wrong you've been Why is sleep so important? Why must animals be so cruel? You provide a home, a castle And routines they hold so dear And then they spend the night moon-howling Afraid it all might disappear They scratch the earth towards nothing Then flash their teeth when you interfere And on the boulevard they lash out At threats all misconstrued Then retreat to your forgiving hand Why must animals be so cruel? And when they leave You'll try to make a stand But all your masks will fail Another muse, another master Leads them off down darkened trails Years away one riddle just won't quit How you still love them so true It's devotion then desertion Devotion then desertion Why must animals be so cruel? And their farewell eyes say, “Don't you cry, It all happened to me once too… O'er the hill you'll find another” Why must animals be so cruel? O'er the hill you'll find another Why must animals be so cruel? © Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.

about

“Mark creates his own sardonic cabaret on Stowaways…Walking into a bar with a piano player in the corner, ignoring him at first until his songs start creeping into your consciousness and you find yourself paying more attention to him than drinks and conversation…Mark is that fantasy come to life.”
- Michael Tolland, Blurt

A sentimental world-gone-mad portfolio, flaunting influences as far afield as Weimar cabaret, tin pan alley and after-hours combo jazz. Stowaways is like the soundtrack from a forgotten noir masterpiece.

Piano ballads, wheezing cabaret oddities and honky tonk rants that slice through the midnight fog like bummed cigarettes and cut-rate bourbon. Stowaways is Paul Mark’s tenth CD release. His piano and acoustic bass playing sit front and center along with his signature saloon-weary vocals. A Salvation Army-ready string section lends street corner polish to the affair.

Highlights includes originals How Do the Blind Become So Famous?, Stowaways, and Bridge to Nowhere.

Tess Primack's Broadway-sweet vocals mash-up ironically against Mark's on the barroom duet-ballad Once Upon a Weekend.

The collection includes a startling cover of the Brecht/Weill opus Ballad of Mack the Knife which has next to nothing to do with Bobby Darin's '59 hit version.

The sweeping set closer Animal Cruelty is a lament for a lost compa

credits

released April 9, 2020

Produced and Recorded by Paul Mark
at Radiation Records, NYC
Mixed by Paul Mark and Jeff Powell
at Ardent Studios, Memphis TN
Mix Engineer: Lucas Peterson
Mastered by Bruce Barielle, New Orleans LA
Strings recorded by Christian Howes Strings
Additional recording at Lofish Productions NYC, engineer: Reed Taylor
All words and music by P.Mark
Except where noted.
© Last Warning Music and Radiation Records Inc.
All songs BMI. All rights reserved.
Reproduction and/or distribution (electronic or otherwise) strictly prohibited w/o permission.

Tess Primack - Duet vocals (Once Upon a Weekend)
Paul Vezelis - Drums
Christian Howes, Eli Bishop, Greg Byers, Camille Howes - Strings
P.Mark - Vocals, piano, acoustic bass, guitar, organ, harmonium, xylophone, melodica

Illustrations: Grady McFerrin
Photography: Chad Kamenshine
Locale: Brandy’s Piano Bar, NYC
Package design: Radiation Records Inc.

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

Paul Mark & The Van Dorens New York, New York

Triple-threat songwriter-musician-producer Paul Mark has been turning the heads of critics and barflies for decades. With a striking lyrical edge and an encyclopedic facility with American roots music, NYC-based Paul Mark has built a top-drawer original song catalog that tugs on the ears of the literary as well as the liquidated. Mark is principal owner of Radiation Records. ... more

contact / help

Contact Paul Mark & The Van Dorens

Streaming and
Download help

Report this album or account