Primetime

by Jeff Litman

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1.
That was your last chance, I told you It’s only taken me all year You always think I’m trying to scold you but this is sincere now get the hell out of here I stack the cards and you swat them away intentions as crooked as the lines on your face so go and tell yourself a story gather what you need to carry it through if it ain’t what you planned then baby, that’s on you It’s always a stick up or a shakedown if tears are your weapons, bring the rain I didn’t ask you your opinion but I’ll play your games you said you wanted some pain I stack the cards and you swat them away intentions as crooked as the lines on your face so go and tell yourself a story gather what you need to carry it through if it ain’t what you planned then baby, that’s on you I stack the cards and you swat them away intentions as crooked as the lines on your face so go and tell yourself a story gather what you need to carry it through if it ain’t what you planned then baby, that’s on you
2.
03:28
10 o’clock it’s time to hit the stage Now you remember how your bills get paid make sure it looks sincere and keep a straight face make sure you get choked up in the right place You know the natives are restless go throw some fuel on their distress everyone's waiting the dogs want their meat so go say the right words make them jump to their feet and nobody cares if it’s real or it’s not all the lights are up go take your best shot Give them a dose of your biography Heart warming tales of how it used to be Don’t be afraid of self-rightous moralizing all that they want is dime store prophesizing lie through your teeth, they’ll believe what they wanna They need a shot at redemption so go and make an impression everyone's waiting the dogs want their meat so go say the right words make them jump to their feet and nobody cares if it’s real or it’s not all the lights are up go take your best shot everyone's waiting the dogs want their meat so go say the right words make them jump to their feet and nobody cares if it’s real or it’s not all the lights are up go take your best shot
3.
04:24
On my back there’s a sign called September with the wind in my face and a drink in my hand but you wouldn’t understand I have tried everything I can think of but you’ll never seen things the way that I do But its not about you Wouldn’t you know it takes a special kind of talent to slam shut every open door Just when it looks like I can reach out there and grab it I’m picking a fight over nothing and I’m making her cry over nothing and I’m taking my time all for nothing, nothing at all Always guessed that by now it’d be over Never stressed the details and never kept score never wanted more Drip by drip every moment was scattered just a slip of the tongue and a brush of the hand and an awkward dance Wouldn’t you know it takes a special kind of talent to slam shut every open door Just when it looks like I can reach out there and grab it I’m picking a fight over nothing and I’m making her cry over nothing and I’m taking my time all for nothing, nothing at all All I want is to savor the moment while there’s moments to savor Wouldn’t you know it takes a special kind of talent to slam shut every open door Just when it looks like I can reach out there and grab it I’m picking a fight over nothing and I’m making her cry over nothing and I’m taking my time all for nothing, nothing at all
4.
03:19
We’re not on television drop your smug pretension this is just you and me alone enough with all the preening and all the self deceiving take your makeup off and put down your phone You bathe yourself in sanctimony hurling your invective every night when you’re in front of the lights could it be your soul is hurting as you’re sitting up there smirking your producers trying to gin up a fight once you go live you’re never gonna find a way for you to come back home and all the tricks and trappings and the gifts that you’re unwrapping are never gonna fill that hole Look, I get its just a small town thing and I should stop trying to understand the reason or rhyme. We both gain nothing after wading in talking past each other in the circus tent of prime time You gather up your boogie men load ‘em on the cards and then you’re really gonna give them a scare with all the protestations and your public demonstrations and your finger poking holes in the air They hang on every word you’re giving them what they deserve Casandra on the flickering screen have you lost all your perspective is there nothing that’s objective is this your idea of living the dream once you go live you’re never gonna find a way for you to come back home and all that you’ve discovered in the weakness of another is never gonna make you whole Look, I get its just a small town thing and I should stop trying to understand the reason or rhyme. We both gain nothing after wading in talking past each other in the circus tent of prime time once you go live you’re never gonna find a way for you to come back home And all the good intentions which you probably shouldn’t mention are never gonna soothe your soul Look, I get it’s just a small town thing and I should stop trying to understand the reason or rhyme. We both gain nothing after wading in talking past each other in the circus tent of prime time
5.
05:29
was it enough or did it go too far I know the good parts all by heart Fatal Attraction never earned its name Don’t act so surprised it wasn’t just a game I’m not the same and you’re to blame you’re to blame I wasn’t trying to interrupt the show but you never know how these things go you were the brightest thing I ever saw now all I got left is this unsettled score an unlocked door it’s such a bore such a bore Reach all the way back ‘till the check gets cashed add a little bit of truth to cut the stash every story needs a little sturm and drang det tired of the dream then split the scene keep your memories vague to buff the sheen and go just go just go Was it the fantasy that turned you off Did you know it was over when the actor caughed scatter the pieces far as you can throw keep tryin’ to believe it wasn’t just a show a way back home but you’re alone all alone Reach all the way back ‘till the check gets cashed add a little bit of truth to cut the stash every story needs a little sturm and drang det tired of the dream then split the scene keep your memories vague to buff the sheen and go just go just go
6.
I couldn’t help but be flattered when you asked me to dance Everybody is waiting for someone to discover I knew that I shouldn’t even give you a chance walk away with a smile and keep what’s left of my honor The flashing light on the wall is nearly driving me insane Trying to render a judgment but the court is adjourned The silence is punctured by the creak of the bed frame Have I learned One’s lost and one’s found and the wreckage always litters the ground take the exit if you must but don’t slow down Always dreaming of everything I’d do when I escape Maybe fly to LA and form a new religion freedom always looks brighter through the eyes of an inmate then the doors are flung open and the sun blurs your vision The flashing light on the wall is nearly driving me insane The embers are smoldering and the house has been burned My eyes are wide open and my heart beats like cocaine have i learned One’s lost and one’s found and the wreckage always litters the ground take the exit if you must but don’t slow down Always thought I’d be more than just this solitary visionary damned if I’ll move before I know just what it is the I’ll be looking for The flashing light on the wall is nearly driving me insane The embers are smoldering and the house has been burned My eyes are wide open and my heart beats like cocaine have i learned One’s lost and one’s found and the wreckage always litters the ground take the exit if you must but don’t slow down
7.
On my back there’s a sign called September with the wind in my face and a drink in my hand but you wouldn’t understand I have tried everything I can think of but you’ll never seen things the way that I do But its not about you Wouldn’t you know it takes a special kind of talent to slam shut every open door Just when it looks like I can reach out there and grab it I’m picking a fight over nothing and I’m making her cry over nothing and I’m taking my time all for nothing, nothing at all Always guessed that by now it’d be over Never stressed the details and never kept score never wanted more Drip by drip every moment was scattered just a slip of the tongue and a brush of the hand and an awkward dance Wouldn’t you know it takes a special kind of talent to slam shut every open door Just when it looks like I can reach out there and grab it I’m picking a fight over nothing and I’m making her cry over nothing and I’m taking my time all for nothing, nothing at all All I want is to savor the moment while there’s moments to savor Wouldn’t you know it takes a special kind of talent to slam shut every open door Just when it looks like I can reach out there and grab it I’m picking a fight over nothing and I’m making her cry over nothing and I’m taking my time all for nothing, nothing at all
8.
That was your last chance, I told you It’s only taken me all year You always think I’m trying to scold you but this is sincere now get the hell out of here I stack the cards and you swat them away intentions as crooked as the lines on your face so go and tell yourself a story gather what you need to carry it through if it ain’t what you planned then baby, that’s on you It’s always a stick up or a shakedown if tears are your weapons, bring the rain I didn’t ask you your opinion but I’ll play your games you said you wanted some pain I stack the cards and you swat them away intentions as crooked as the lines on your face so go and tell yourself a story gather what you need to carry it through if it ain’t what you planned then baby, that’s on you I stack the cards and you swat them away intentions as crooked as the lines on your face so go and tell yourself a story gather what you need to carry it through if it ain’t what you planned then baby, that’s on you
9.
Was it enough or did it go too far I know the good parts all by heart Fatal Attraction never earned its name Don’t act so surprised it wasn’t just a game I’m not the same and you’re to blame you’re to blame I wasn’t trying to interrupt the show but you never know how these things go you were the brightest thing I ever saw now all I got left is this unsettled score a distant shore and you’re the door you’re the door Reach all the way back ‘till the check gets cashed add a little bit of truth to cut the stash every story needs a little sturm and drang get tired of the dream then split the scene keep your memories vague to buff the sheen and go just go just go Was it the fantasy that turned you off Did you know it was over when the actor coughed scatter the pieces far as you can throw keep tryin’ to believe it wasn’t just a show a way back home but you’re alone all alone Reach all the way back ‘till the check gets cashed add a little bit of truth to cut the stash every story needs a little sturm and drang det tired of the dream then split the scene keep your memories vague to buff the sheen and go just go just go
10.
We’re not on television drop your smug pretension this is just you and me alone enough with all the preening and all the self deceiving take your makeup off and put down your phone You bathe yourself in sanctimony hurling your invective every night when you’re in front of the lights could it be your soul is hurting as you’re sitting up there smirking your producers trying to gin up a fight once you go live you’re never gonna find a way for you to come back home and all the tricks and trappings and the gifts that you’re unwrapping are never gonna make you whole Look, I get it’s just a small town thing and I should stop trying to understand the reason or rhyme We both gain nothing after wading in talking past each other in the circus tent of prime time You gather up your boogie men load ‘em on the cards and then you’re really gonna give them a scare with all the protestations and your public demonstrations and your finger poking holes in the air They hang on every word you’re giving them what they deserve Casandra on the flickering screen have you lost all your perspective is there nothing that’s objective is this your idea of living the dream once you go live you’re never gonna find a way for you to come back home and all that you’ve discovered in the weakness of another is never gonna soothe your soul Look, I get it’s just a small town thing and I should stop trying to understand the reason or rhyme. We both gain nothing after wading in talking past each other in the circus tent of prime time once you go live you’re never gonna find a way for you to come back home And all the good intentions which you probably shouldn’t mention are never gonna save your soul Look, I get it’s just a small town thing and I should stop trying to understand the reason or rhyme. We both gain nothing after wading in talking past each other in the circus tent of prime time

about

Ten years on the NYC music scene may be behind the new swagger and sexy menace that opens Litman’s devastating Primetime, a six-song passion play whose shrewd title accrues ironies with each front-row observation of the city’s dream-making industries—how they engulf and distort, turn people into product, lovers into enemies, life into a non-stop command performance. A young Elvis Costello might have penned the stylish, sex-as-combat opener “That’s On You” (“If tears are your weapons, bring the rain”). A survivor Kurt Cobain might have launched the performer’s inquisition “Debutante,” whose laser-guided disses end up implicating the singer (“Ten o’clock it’s time to hit the stage/Now you remember how your bills get paid”). Whether due to time or urban angst, Litman’s perceptions and wit have sharpened to the point that the acerbic, sometimes brutal lyricism on Primetime matches the expected deadly musicianship and sure sense of pop songcraft--all of which are bathed in a noisier electronic ambience (think Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) and immersive sound design that frames a hardboiled noirish observer whose heart, by the final tracks, beats all too painfully for what’s lost and still worth saving.

credits

released August 18, 2015

That’s On You: Jeff Litman - vocals, guitars, keyboards, drum programming / Andy Thompson - bass, percussion / Elliot Jacobson - Drums

Debutante: Jeff Litman - vocals, guitars, keyboards / Matt Basile - bass / Mason Ingram - drums / Nathan Rosenberg - piano / Misty Boyce - background vocals / Andy Thompson - percussion, background vocals

Nothing: Jeff Litman - vocals, guitars, keyboards / Matt Basile - bass / Mason Ingram - drums / Nathan Rosenberg - piano / Maddy Wyatt - flute, background vocals / Jeremy Thal - french horn / Andy Thompson - percussion

Primetime: Jeff Litman - vocals, bass, guitars / Elliot Jacobson - drums / Andy Thompson - bass, acoustic guitar, mandolin, percussion, background vocals

Go: Jeff Litman - vocals, guitars, drum programming / Matt Basile - bass / Mason Ingram - drums / Nathan Rosenberg - piano, rhodes / Andy Thompson - percussion, background vocals

Don’t Slow Down: Jeff Litman - vocals, bass, guitars, keyboards / Elliot Jacobson - drums / Andy Thompson - percussion, background vocals / Melissa Tong - violin / Amanda Gookin - cello


Recorded in 2014 by Nathan Rosenberg at the Doghouse NYC (Brooklyn, NY), Jeff Litman at Postscript NYC (NY, NY), Matt Basile at Proper Pop (Brooklyn, NY), Andy Thompson at Instrument Landing (Minneapolis, MN), and Nadim Issa at Let Em In (Brooklyn, NY).

album design by Jeff Litman
photography by Leonardo Mascaro

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Jeff Litman New York, New York

NYC-based purveyor of melodic rock n' roll.

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