Don't Call Me an Artist

by Kelly Howerton

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04:45
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09:18

credits

released October 31, 2015

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Kelly Howerton Durham, North Carolina

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Track Name: Backwards Prostitute
Well me and my band we got a hundred likes
Up on our facebook page
And our friends and family
They say that we’re the latest rage
And currently we’re number three
Up on the reverbnation
And we done it all without getting a song
On the local radio station…. Whoop-dee-doo
Well last week I opened for a hard core band
At some down town club on a Tuesday night
And they was wanting me to pitch em 25 dollars
For promotional costs- you know, like an online invite….
So I paid, and the show got delayed
On account that there was only three people at the bar
You see the band was holding out for a crowd to come along
To put money in their tip jar
And they we’re singing,
“Now listen to me, listen to me,
I’m giving away my dignity.
I’m paying a fee and I’m playing for free
So you can come and listen to me.
I’m kinda like a backwards prostitute
I’ll give you fifty dollars and do a trick or two
Cause I just wanna hear a bunch of people screaming:
I love you.”
Well lately I’ve been frequenting the local open mics
And I’ve been singing songs I wrote about the meaning of life
And last week I made it through the second verse
Before the folks in the crowd turned on their smart phone lights
So yeah you might say that I’m getting pretty big
I got a friend who’s got himself a home recording rig
And we’ve been laying down some pretty far out tunes
That we can’t even replicate at any live gig
So buy our cds, and listen to me
I’m giving away my dignity.
I’m paying a fee and I’m playing for free
So you can come and listen to me.
I’m kinda like a backwards prostitute
I’ll give you fifty dollars and do a trick or two
Cause I just wanna hear a bunch of people screaming:
I love you.
Well I wish some little hipster kid would discover me
So they could brag to all their friends how they’re ahead of the scene
Yeah but then when all their friends start thinking I’m cool
They’ll probably leave me saying, “He’s old news.”
But I’ll be waiting in their itunes closet
Like an old favorite pair of shoes.
Where I’ll be singing,
“Now listen to me, listen to me,
I’m giving away my dignity.
I’m paying a fee and I’m playing for free
So you can come and listen to me.
I’m kinda like a backwards prostitute
I’ll give you fifty dollars and do a trick or two
Cause I just wanna hear a bunch of people screaming:
I love you.”
Track Name: Pissing in the Ocean
I wanna make a great big splash
And possibly just a little bit of cash
Singing songs on the internet
Oh but there’s too many people in the swimming pool
Bumping up together like a bunch of fools
That I can’t even get just one toe wet.
Well I tried to book a gig at the local bar
It was just down the street not very too far
So I sent the man in charge a formal email
But the fella wrote back saying sorry sir
But your online presence just isn’t there
And we’d sure like to see some more details
And it’st times like these I get the notion
That I say screw this social media commotion
For despite all my hard work and my devotion
Well it seems like I’m just pissing in the ocean.
I tried to buy my domain
But somebody already owned my name
So I changed a letter L to a number 1
Oh now there’s too many people out staking their claim
Trying to carve them out just a little bit of fame
While I’m googling myself all alone.
And it’s times like these I get the notion
That I say screw the music scene and its commotion
For despite all my hard work and my devotion
Well it seems like I’m just pissing in the ocean.
Well I went down town to the library
They were giving away some books for free
All the ones that no one checks out anymore
And I thought about the authors who invested their lives
In their paper and their ink and they used em to write
These big old dusty tombs that no one mourns.
And I ask myself why do I even bother?
When these days it’s getting harder and harder
To raise a voice up over the commotion
Of everybody pissing in the ocean.
Track Name: Humans Racing
Well now strap me in my tin can coffin
And fill me up with coffee till my eyes are throbbing
And send me on down the interstate
Well we keep moving faster but we’re still running late
I was trying to get home but I was stuck in traffic
I was gripping down the wheel just trying not to panic
When there’s head lights shinning in your eyes
Like the stars in the sky you’re gonna join when ya die
Well I feel so special and I feel so blessed
Like I’m born apart from all the rest
And so we all go out and get vaccinated
Guess we gotta keep the world over-populated
For a man in the sky told you to procreate
So apparently we bare some sacred fate
When my light turns green I’ll be a mortal machine
And when my light turns red, I’m driving on straight ahead.
In the midst of a crowd I was feeling alone
So I called up my baby on the telephone
I said there’s too many people crowding into my space
You know I’m fine being human, but I didn’t wanna race
So keep my feet flat firm on the ground
There’s too many people out zooming around
Cause when you live in a hurry and you drive too fast
You’re gonna get yourself killed in an auto crash
Well I feel so special and I feel so blessed
Like I’m born apart from all the rest
And so we all go out and get vaccinated
Guess we gotta keep the world over-populated
For a man in the sky told you to procreate
So apparently we bare some sacred fate
When my light turns green I’ll be a mortal machine
But when I’m tired
And when my light turns red,
I’ll hit the brakes and be dead.
Track Name: Carpol Tunnel
Well I’ve been sit’n in traffic
Driving to a job I hate
I’ve been stuck in traffic
Waiting for a job I just tolerate
And I keep saying I’m a gonna quit
Until then I just can’t wait.

But my 401K
It’s got me by the balls
You know it keeps me working
Until my pension calls
So I can die a wealthy man
In some retirement home’s halls

And I’ve been working with my hands
See they’ve been typing all day long
Yeah I’ve been working with my hands
Yeah they’ve been typing all day long
And when I get that carpel tunnel
I hope insurance don’t do me wrong

Well the boss man, he crack a whip at me
He says that time theft it’s a crime
He says now keep your eyes bent forward
Or you won’t see a dime
But everyday at ten o’clock
I take a shit on company time

My mind is numb with boredom
As if it were post-mortem
Just an office bum
Chewing gum
Waiting for a check to come
Dumb, dumb,
Dumb, dumb,
Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Dumb, dumb,
Dumb, dumb,
Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Track Name: Five Stars
You’ve been searching far, searching wide
And holding out for the best
But sooner or later you’re gonna need some rest
Cause when the night gets heavy and you’re on your own
And you got nowhere to go
It gets hard to say no when you’re feeling low
And those roadside motels sure look good
When you’re tired an overdone
Yeah five stars would be great
But you’ll settle for one
And you’ve been searching for someone to trust
Who never will betray (you)
Like the kind of love you see in an old cliché
But of all the lovers on display
At the broken heart buffet
It won’t be the one who gets away
It won’t be the one you hoped would stay
It’ll be the only one who’s left at the end of the day
And those roadside motels sure look good
When you got nowhere to run
Five stars would be great
But you’ll settle for one
And when push comes down to shoving
With the one that you’re loving
You’re gonna find love’s full of surprises
And compromises
And now you seem so certain that you’ll know
When it’s time to settle down
But you won’t recognize it when it comes around
Cause love won’t get you with no sucker punch
It won’t hit ya when you’re looking away
It won’t be a holler of hurray
It won’t be fireworks on new years day
It won’t come swift like a bird of prey
It won’t be shining like the milky-way
No it’ll be a long and slow decay that will eat you away
And those roadside motels sure look good
When you’re tired and overdone
And you ain’t got nowhere else left to run
And when the Hilton ain’t got vacancies
And you ain’t got a reservation
Five stars would be great
But you’ll settle for one
You know that roadside motel it’s still waiting for you
It’s all glowing in the setting sun
Five stars would be great
Oh but eventually, we all settle for one.
Track Name: Money Bird
I’m gonna quit my job today
Tell the boss man what I have to say
I’m gonna quit my job today
Gonna tell the boss man what I have to say
No I don’t need his meager pay
I don’t need to slave away
No don’t worry bout the landlord
He don’t need to hear a word
No don’t worry bout the landlord
His rent ain’t nothing we can’t afford
I got me an electric guitar, mama
It’s gonna feed our money bird
And I’ll be sleeping in my shoes
And living in my car
I’ll be sleeping in my shoes now
And living in my car
My baby says you go out and get a real job
Or you sell that damn guitar

I’m an angry old soul,
when I’m feeling low
Sometimes I cuss and scream at inanimate objects
So the best thing you can do,
When I’m feeling blue,
Is just stay the hell away and don’t be the target
Cause you just had to have
that fancy new apartment
The one we could hardly afford
And now you’re telling me I need to go and get a job
And give all my precious time to the landlord….
Track Name: The Archer
I met an archer shooting arrows in the dark
And he was certain they were always on their mark
Yet he never sought to seek where they fell
He saw himself as a young William Tell
To believe so clearly
Yet deny so dearly
Don’t let your arrows fly blind, like the thoughts in your mind
That you bring to be said, for sometimes instead,
There’s an apple on top of your head.
I saw a man sitting up on top a throne
He said he built it with his wisdom of stone
He claimed to see far beyond the horizon
And that he knew what would follow
The sun with it’s rising
But then his chair started listing
As the floor started shifting
And he fell to the ground where he toppled his crown
Upon the burial mound of a truth he’d confound
Sometimes wisdom can just let you down
But am I my own means to deceive
When we only see what we choose to believe
I found myself with a bow and an arrow
Blindfolded and tied to a plow and a harrow
I reached in my quiver and loaded my bow string
I shot towards the timber and started to sing
But my song soon was shattered
As a cry sounded after
And I abandoned my bow and the arrows below
As new lights came aglow, revealing to show
My arrow imbedded in a crow
And sometimes it’s hard to admit when we’re wrong
For all that we are is just the words we string along.


Now everybody’s got them an opinion,
you got yours and I got mine
You can keep it to yourself and that’d be fine,
or post it all up online
But just be certain let’s make this clear,
if you start preaching when I’m near
I’m bound to take a different point of view
and shoot it back in your ear.
And you can try to argue on the Internet,
You can try to take a shower without getting wet,
You can lose your cool, you can look like a fool
In front of people you’ve never met.
And now you got yourself a lighter and a flapping jaw
So all you need now is a man of straw,
Someone to make you feel like you’re eight feet tall
While you’re beating on an old rag doll
Track Name: Don't Call Me an Artist
Well I’ve been battering my wife with all my philosophic talking
She’s my worn and weary soundboard riding in the car
She says, “Shut up in your head,
and fix your radio.”
Oh but I think I’m going crazy or at least I hope I am
Like some self destructive artist, naïve to their genius
I got a fire deep inside,
but it ain’t getting any air
Oh cause I just can’t seem to manifest the pictures in my head
Through the paintbrush shaking in my vice-grip hand
I had the aptitude for talent,
but not the attitude for practice
So don’t call me an artist; I’m only a dreamer
With fantastic visions no one else will know

Sometimes in the morning when I’m climbing out of bed
How I notice that my fingers and my toes don’t wanna bend
It seems that sand stream of decay’s begun to flow
In my arthritis hour-glass
So no wonder I’m so cagey, I think I’m running out of time
I got this song stuck in my head I gotta sing before I die
I was born inside a tomb, I shoulda started looking for a way out
Straight from the womb
Because when we’re dead and gone we will only exist
For as long as we’re remembered and people speak our names
Well I’d like to live forever
Forever in a story
But don’t call me an artist; I’m only a dreamer
With fantastic visions no one else will know

And in my wildest daydreams I’m a traveling vagabond
Just wandering down the road somewhere with nowhere to belong
Free from all distractions
Like TV, work, and money
Oh but my wife she’s a beautiful burden to bare
She tells me what to do and where to go and what to wear
She says, “Pick up all your toys
Before you go to bed.”
No don’t call me an artist; I’m only a dreamer
With fantastic visions no one else will know

And when the talents of my youth finally dry up
And I’m just coasting through the good times
Thinking to myself,
Oh how I used to,
Oh how I used to,
Oh how I used to.
Track Name: The Sleeper
I’ve been sleeping in for far too long
I’ve been living with my eyes closed
But now I’m slowly waking
As new light is breaking
As I’m stirred and shaken
Wondering how long I’ve been dreaming
How long have I been away
Lost inside myself

Sit’n staring at the TV screen
Without any friends to be seen
I’ve had good intentions
Met with weak conventions
Where oh where was my wake up call
While I was dreaming
How long have I been away
Lost inside myself

Goodbye safe life
Your sweet distractions
You’ve kept me too comfortable
I’ve been vacant
I’ve been complacent
In my waiting
Have I been too patient

Someone help me now to rock and roll
I’ve got bedsores on my soul
I’ve been cold and mundane
I’ve been selfish and vain
I’ve been fall’n in love with the sound of my name
I’ve been dreaming, dreaming my life away
Lost inside myself.
Track Name: Giving Up
There’s a low hanging ceiling that keeps scraping top my head
Some days I feel I’m growing taller
And the light outside my window, it’s been getting pretty dim,
And the shadows on the floor are stretching farther
So when it’s time for me to move on, I’ll leave my key inside a drawer
And write a farewell message in the dust
I’ll put my guitar in the closet, wrap it up in spider webs,
And loosen up the strings and let ‘em rust

when that candle fades
And the light burns out
And the fire in your eyes
Is shrouded in doubt
Is it time to give it up?
Is it time to give it up?

I was sitting on a park bench with an open guitar case
And a handful of change short of a dollar
With the elder burned out buskers playing music in the streets
I see myself in them when I hear them holler
Out their lonesome lamenting’s of their what ifs and their onlys
And of how their dreams have withered
And I know it ain’t been easy living with someone so bitter
But I never thought of myself as a quitter

But when that candle fades
And the light burns out
And the fire in your eyes
Is shrouded in doubt
Is it time to give it up?
Is it time to give it up?
Is it time to give it up?
Is it time to give it up?
And let the dream pass you by
With a slow and somber sigh
Giving up is easy if you just don’t try.

I was waiting on a phone call from a long and distant friend
Who I hadn’t seen in several years
And I smiled at the sound of his voice inside the speaker
As we reminisced the good times and the cheers
And he laughed oh weren’t we foolish, we thought we’d both be famous
Making poetry, music, and our art
And with cowardice compliance, I added in agreement,
I said I guess we never really had the heart

For when that candle fades
And the light burns out
And the fire in your eyes
Is shrouded in doubt
Is it time to give it up?
Is it time to give it up?
is it time?
is it time?
is it time?