|cake or deatha paul durham side project”a couple of years ago, three very close friends of mine came to me and said ‘hey, herr rock star, why should you get to have all the fun. we want to be in a band too.’ and I was like, ‘whoa. do you really think you can handle the intense fun quotient we’re talking about here?’ and they were like, ‘um, yeah, we think we can handle it.’
“none of these people had actually been in a band before. in fact, quite frankly, none of them played any musical instruments at all. Joshua had been carting this cheap Ibanez bass around for a decade but never learned to play. Kristin could sing, fo sho’, but she’d never sung into a mic before. Olya grew up in Russia, without running water or rock and roll, and wanted to play drums. in case you don’t know, playing drums is really, really hard.
“somehow it actually happened. and somehow I ended up as the lead guitar player. now, I have never played lead guitar before. I have always had guys who actually knew what they were doing for that. but I thought what every human being thinks when offered the possibility of playing lead guitar: ‘cool. I’m gonna get to play solos.’”
at this point, the fairy godmother of sleaze-rock descends and grants these poor slobs their wish. the result is sweet. cavity-inducing sweet. cotton-candy-stuck-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth sweet. f-mac harmonies played against brute simple beats. boy & girl throwing shit at each other, taking turns on the salt-water taffy machine. it turns out to be the kind of music you heard at junior high dances, singing along over the buzz of lust and terror. check it.
click LISTEN to hear seven 90-second samples from the album. click BUY CD to order using credit card or paypal. click DOWNLOAD and you’ll get an email after checkout offering you a choice of either hi-resolution 192k mp3 or iTunes-Plus-grade 256k aac. the download also features two bonus tracks and ready-to-print CD artwork pdf’s with cropmarks.
|01 whiplash||free download : just right click & save|
|04 cake or death|
|05 satisfied||free download : just right click & save|
|06 bag of cookies|
|09 sweet abuse|
|10 let go|
|12 what you got|
|13 to the end|
Christmas Eve, 4:30 AM.
The Avalon Ballroom, New York City. Paul is passed out on a couch again. Olya is walking around the room, trying to find someone to help her get him vertical so she can get him to a cab. She tries to approach the people she SHOULD approach first. Joshua. He’s the goddamn bass player after all, but Joshua’s had enough of Paul, it isn’t like this is the first time he’s pulled this kind of thing, and anyway, he’s having a conversation. can’t you see he’s having a conversation with someone very important? Joshua is talking very fast to a drag queen about Jesus or Buddha or some nonsense. Joshua thinks way too much, Olya thinks.
Olya is grabbed by a lanky blond in the crowd who recognizes her and wants her to meet her friends, I saw your last show you’re so amazing, but Olya’s in a hurry and she’s not very good with faces. She thinks she’s an actress or model or something, someone famous for sure, but Olya’s from Russia and she could give a shit about American actresses anyway, they all look exactly the same. So Olya tromps off to find Kristin, who she can’t locate for about half an hour, first because Kristin blends in so well in a big club like this, and second because to find Kristin you have to push your way through the inevitable circle of admirers who are trying to make conversation with her. Which is always very funny because Kristin couldn’t keep a conversation going if her life depended on it, she has a celebrity’s way of starting sentences and just letting them trail off. Somehow journalists always find this mysterious and interesting, which always annoys Olya who just finds it annoying. I’m in a band with rock stars who act like rock stars, Olya thinks. Why do they get all the attention?
Olya criss-crosses the dance floor looking for tell-tale crowds of men. She finally locates Kristin in the men’s room, mystifyingly alone and applying cherry-red lipstick while singing an old Fleetwood Mac song to herself. Why does it always come down to Olya to make everything happen? Showing no sign of surprise at Olya’s description of Paul’s condition, Kristin follows Olya back upstairs, past the first security guard, down a hallway, past a bar, up another flight of stairs and past another security guard to the crowded “VIP” room. Paul’s in exactly the same position, it’s like he’s been embalmed, Olya thinks. A little jewel of spittle shines from the edge of the couch next to his open mouth. Joshua is nowhere to be found.
They enlist a security guard, and the three of them manage to carry Paul out the back entrance and crumple his giant frame into the back of a taxi cab. Kristin and Olya manage to fit themselves in by sitting on top of his legs. Paul’s face is pressed up against the window, and his breath slowly leaves a print of condensation. Outside it’s snowing. Olya IM’s Joshua, since he’s nowhere in sight. The cab rolls away. Kristin’s still singing to herself.
It was Joshua who insisted that the album be recorded on Christmas Day. Said the millions of people staying home from work that the day will affect the sound. Their energy. Paul said that was bullshit when Joshua first said it, but then Paul went missing for two days, was finally found penniless in Philadelphia, and meanwhile Joshua booked the studio so here they all are. Joshua begins tuning his bass.
Paul’s finally waking up, he’s amazingly lucid for about three hours a day, and the brilliant thing is it’s always just the three hours they need him. Kristin comes in with a bag of cookies and casually says David Bowie is recording in the next room. Everyone stops for a moment and thinks about that.
Olya finds her drum sticks. She’s all ready to go. She’s never been happier in her life.
photo, munny & fantasia c/o paul budnitz. kidrobot.com
things people say
“I got my copy of Cake or Death a few days ago, and wanted to let you know that I think it’s amazing. I’m not going to say it’s better than Black Lab, but it’s certainly just as good.”
“Hey Paul… I got the CD’s! I am listening to Cake or Death now… Love it! ”
“Excellent! One of the things I loved about Ecstacy was the complement of Eve’s voice to Paul, and Kristin brings even more of that to this song. I like the style… I think Let Go is my favorite so far, it’s completely where I am emotionally right now, and it just sounds cool. I also like To the End, it’s got a great beat. What You Got, Sweet Abuse, and Again are also pretty high on my list, and of course Whiplash is what I’ll always think when I hear “Cake or Death”. The whole album makes me think of the 80′s, but in a good way. That little guy on the cover is cool, too.”
“I can’t get enough of Cake or Death. I really can’t. Seriously, ten minutes after downloading Satisfied and Fandango I was buying the CD. I love every darned song! Let Go and Again are my favourites this week! I also love Satisfied (Paul’s singing on that song blows my mind), Safety is also a top song. Man, I’ve been playing these songs so much I even hear them in the middle of the night when I’m half asleep! Haunting, very haunting. In the best possible way.”
“After only hearing the two free downloads (Fandango and Satisfied) and the mp3 of the month release (Whiplash) I’ve got to say I’m hooked. The vocals are stunning, the partnership of Pauls vocals and the haunting female vocals are incredible. Just need to get my hands on the album….”
Cake Or Death RAWKS!! love the new disc!
Behind Blue Eyes (myspace)
“I got home at around 7:30 this past Saturday night, checked my mail and found that the Cake or Death cd had been delivered. At 8:30, I jumped in the car on my way to the Redshirt show in Milwaukee. I put the Cake or Death cd in my player. “Whiplash” started and I immediately started to dig it. Paul Durham and Kristen Kelly exchange verses during it. ”Rise” was up next and it’s very catchy. By the second time the chorus hit, I was hooked and started to sing along. It was followed by another catchy song “Safety”. Kristen’s vocals sound like Cindy Alexander, a singer-songwriter, here. “Cake or Death”, “Satisfied”, “Bag of Cookies” then played, followed by “Again.”, a beautiful tune about someone’s lover. The dance influenced “Fandango” came next, followed by “Sweet Abuse”, which in my opinion is about two people fulfilling their needs with each other. “Let Go”, “Silence”, “What You Got” and “To the End” round out the disc. A lot of these songs I could see on mainstream radio today and that is why I have to reward Cake or Death with 4 out of 5 Woodchucks. Paul Durham delivers again with emotional laced lyrics.”
“Love it. Enjoy the tracks: Whiplash, Cake Or Death and Safety most at the moment. A++++++ would purchase stuff from the store again… and again… and again. Now if only there was something else to be bought from there… make more music Paul!”
whiplash. it was whiplash it was the color of setting sun it was a car crash it was sugar on my tongue it was all these things all these things and more to me it was a sunburn you were there on the wheel and I let it turn we were given everything we were young like no one’s been before you were queen and I was king yeah and no one’s ever loved me more I slip back to that dream I can see what it is I’m waiting for you’ll be coming through my door that’s what I’m waiting for is you coming through my door it was a whiplash – it was as fast as I could run it was a switchback couldn’t keep myself from coming undone it was all these things all these things and more to me it’s hard to unlearn you were there on the deck and I let it burn I swear you were the one I sing this song I’m way too gone
rise. Jaya Ram Jaya on the rise Jaya Ram praying on the night Jaya Ram Jaya in disguise Jaya Ram making it alright obsession in our eyes we’re waiting for it everybody’s gonna celebrate everybody’s gonna gravitate everybody’s gonna master their own fate I believe it, I believe it, I believe it if I could believe it Jaya Ram jaya on the rise Jaya Ram waiting on the night Jaya Ram praying in disguise Jaya Ram making it alright maitri in our eyes we’re begging for it everybody’s gonna celebrate
safety. I’ll be the one who’s there I’ll be your last affair I’ll be the one who dares to stand by you I’ll be the hopeless bet forever in your debt I’ll be the one who lets your love run loose all I want is to begin again and all I ask is that you don’t pretend yeah all I want is you to take me in yeah come take me in give me safety down on my hands down on my knees give me safety down on my hands down on my knees give it to me give it to me I’ll be your breath of air I’ll be the secret prayer I’ll be the one who bares you all night long I’ll be the shameless deed I’ll be the one who bleeds I’ll be the one who sees you too far gone
cake or death. people in the world they have it so good living in their nice white neighborhoods white picket fences around the herd people in the world they have it so good people in the world they have it so good the luxury of being misunderstood the pleasure of wine & lies & fast food people in the world they have it so good cake or death, what would you do if it was all up to you cake or Death, what would you lose if it was all up to you I just keep rowing along I keep rowing along gently down the stream I just keep rowing along I keep rowing along life is but a dream people in the world they have it so good a man finds the best damn woman he could loses her the way he knew he would people in the world they have it so good cake or death, what would you do if it was all up to you
satisfied. and the space between who I am and who I am compelled to be keeps filling up with sand and I cross back and forth at night it doesn’t mean a thing if I can’t keep you in my sight and I know we are not satisfied we are not satisfied all out of alibis we are not satisfied and I turn you turn me around turn me around and the space the hollow in my chest fills up with kerosene then empties in the dust and you keep me burning at both ends turn myself to ashes I would give you everything that’s left you know we are not satisfied
bag of cookies. tried to convince myself that this time I could change but it’s too late and you’re already in my veins I know my friends think I should run the other way oh but whoa I say I don’t care if you like me I don’t care if you know my name I know someday you’ll love me I know someday you’ll feel the same whoa whoa whoa I like to watch myself get nervous when you’re near and I can’t help myself my destiny is clear I know my friends wish somehow you would disappear oh but whoa I say say what you will you can say it whoa say I’m a fool I’m a fool yeah whoa say what you will you can say it – whoa say I’m a fool for you a fool yeah whoa I don’t care if you like me I don’t care if you know my name I know someday you’ll love me I know someday you’ll feel the same
again. dreaming a dream like a stranger in my own skin dreaming a dream that will never be the same and then falling awake at the sound of your voice again dreaming a dream I believed for such a long time dreaming a dream I was headed for a land mine falling awake at the lash of your voice again again I’m here in your arms again you’re there in the dark again I’m down on my knees to see you again dreaming a dream like a child in a classroom dreaming a dream like a child being lied to follow the road to the old dark lighthouse again it really don’t matter if I see you again
fandango. when she walked into the room she was doing the fandango never thought that she was cool but she could do the fandango la la la .. her name was Lola she was a showgirl at the copa cabana drinking pina colada la la la .. when they walked into the room they were doing the fandango and the ladies they would swoon they would do the fandango la la la .. it was the love boat it was a three-hour tour the weather started getting rough and the tiny ship was tossed She can bring home the bacon fry it up in a pan never let you forget forget you’re a man la la la .. lola
sweet abuse. I like the way you look at me I like that you like what you see I like when you turn and come at me then turn away and pretend you’re still free I’m here I’m banding at your door I’m here you gonna push me to the floor I know I can feel your sympathy you know I can fill your need I’m liking your attitude I’m liking the way you move I’m digging your wicked groove yeah you’re giving me something I can use give me some of that sweet abuse I like your long hair hanging down how your legs reach the ground I know there’s a long night up ahead I know I’m gonna end up dead
let go. I was getting younger you were going under the hurricanes in your mind standing on the corner waiting for another you and I were so unkind everything you promised, everything I wanted when you told me it would be alright has fallen at the end of day everything is stripped away oh and I know, I know that I won’t let go I know it’s over but I won’t let go oh, I know that I won’t let go I know it’s over but I won’t let it go I can’t let go oh and I know I can’t let go I knew that you were running, knew that it was coming half a million miles away it isn’t getting better, I talk about the weather but everything calls your name keeping to the shallows, every single hour the world becomes more the same I’m losing what you never gave I give what you could never take stand out there in the cold summer air I’ve been waiting for you to come home now I’m down to the end, I’m not trying to pretend that there’s some way I can go on so I hold out my heart I surrender my arms this feeling is all that I am I’ll lay down in the road in the arms of your ghost and I’ll stay there as long as I can
silence. something about the things you think you never seem to find a way something about the way you drink you never seem to find a way something about the lies that get in you never seem to find a way there’s something about when the ice gets this you never seem to find a way in silence will you know me only in silence will you ever find the way something about the noise you make you never seem to find a way something about the love you fake you never seem to find a way there’s something about your Bambi eyes you never seem to find a way there’s something said by the voice inside you never seem to find a way there’s something that’s always sleepin’ you never seem to find a way something about the company you’re keepin’ you never seem to find a way something about the smell of cash you never seem to find a way something about the skin under your hands you never seem to find a way
what you got. say you wanted me say you needed me say you wanted me gone say you wanted me now you’re sick of me but it’s only begun if you don’t believe what I’m trying to be then you’re doing me wrong ’cause I’ll never leave no I’ll never leave so let’s get it on give me all that sin I can take it in yeah I will take what you got the pain gets me through it’s bringing me to you yeah I will take what you got it’s a lot it’s a lot but I will take what you got it’s a lot it’s a lot yeah I will take what you got say you wanted me say you needed me say you wanted me gone say you wanted me every piece of me well take what you want I just couldn’t live if you wouldn’t give everything that you got you’re as tough a man as I can stand so let’s get it on sometimes I wish you could be a little kinder and sometimes I wish we could take a little time when you cut me down leave me on the ground begging for a taste of your sympathy yeah you know I need you to be good to me even when you love me till it makes me bleed come on
to the end. you gotta go to the end cause the end is where it all begins you gotta go to the end cause the end is where the heart gives in when it all falls apart you go right back to the start you gotta go to the end or the end will make its way to you you gotta go to the end how else can you make it through you’re dead before you begin so slip right back to the end I was down and I tried not to lose my mind I was gone and I tried not to lose my mind well the end was all that I could find I was lost I was down here on my knees I get lost and I don’t know what it means I’m lost and you’re all that I can find you gotta go to the end don’t think don’t drink don’t make amends you gotta go to the end don’t hold on tight to all your friends you just let go of your grip and stand back and let it rip