Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Everybody Falls (Before They Rise)

i threw my heart into the river deep
with miles to go before i sleep
its cast iron blue and numb surprise
nobody here gets out alive

everybody falls
everybody falls
everybody falls
before they rise

if you see her don't say hello
she's somebody i don't wanna know
she left me with such a price to pay
i don't believe in yesterday

everybody falls
everybody falls
everybody falls
before they rise

it's alright
things get better with time
it's alright
i don't mind....

i looked into the faded photographs
and i couldn't help it i had to laugh
one would think after all this time
i would forget what i left behind

everybody falls
everybody falls
everybody falls
before they rise

everybody falls (before they rise)
words and music by w.bates.

Listen to Everybody Falls (Before They Rise)

Saturday, April 5, 2008


I have written tons of songs and have been fortunate to have my own studio to record them in. Sometimes, I weave through this abundance of unreleased work and get a bit creative in my listening. I hear bits of songs and music blending into other parts of tunes and thus I made this little crossfade mix. Play it Loud!

William Bates Crossfade Mix

Whatever Happened to You?

Here are the lyrics to a song I wrote for a project that somehow got put on hold. Life's interruptions seem to have reared their ugly heads again. I think its a good example of my efforts to put myself inside another character. Perhaps you know people and think to yourselves what the hell ever happened to them?

She cast her lot with fate and she was let down
Hard to believe such luck for the class clown
But life is all promise when you’re young
Promises now broken in the gray November sun.

She went to college but it wasn’t her thing
She wanted to see the world, the glory it would bring
The great works of literature fell on her deaf eyes
Her heart was broken before she tried.

Fade away…fade away…fade away to blue…

He worked in shipping, she slept in the secretarial pool
He caught her fancy with the silly thing’s he’d do
They had a brief sad torrid love affair
And in the end she didn’t repent, she didn’t even care
She believed in angels, they kept her safe at night
She worked hard to achieve what she knew wasn’t right
Her friends all had babies and husbands by the score
Seems she was cursed with always wanting more

Fade away…fade away…fade away to blue…

Whatever happened,whatever happened,whatever happened to you?

Time he is a hustler, he tricks us with his grace
He leaves us on the sidewalk, watching the race
In still procession we see what we want to see
Isn’t that the way it always is, the way it’s meant to be.

Her time is docked by the inertia of her lies
She never found the space to cut them down to size
And now in her hands sands run down like rain
But still she finds pleasure in the mists of her pain

Fade away…fade away…fade away to blue…

Whatever happened,whatever happened,whatever happened to you?

Whatever Happened to You?
Words and music by William Bates

Dreamland Music Review

William Bates,"Dreamland-A Song Cycle" (t21 Music)

Song cycles tend to be unavoidable, full-on explorations and commitments, somewhat daunting. The term is a softened form of an ‘epic’ but nonetheless, it is what it is. I was prepared to gird my loins when presented with the -- not one, but two disc song cycle “Dreamland” by William Bates. And yet, I felt instantly at home from the opening strains of “Spirits Catching Time/Dreamland” for I had been down similarly-rewarding paths before with Van Dyke Parks (the quintessential song-cycler). Bates’ voice will remind the listener of Parks, but I also hear Jim O’Rourke, and the accompanying acoustic pluckings reinforce that comparison.

But this work is just the sort of epic that one is delightfully surprised by, because you have the conventional aspects of folk/pop melded together with avant-garde boldness. Like Van Dyke Parks, William Bates exploration is undeniably American -- with the rockabilly foray of “Everybody’s Happy” and the driving “Blues Won’t Let Me Be”. But to Bates’ credit, this isn’t strictly a one-man journey, as he is augmented by female vocal accompaniment (“A Woman’s Work is Never Done”) and female artistry most pronounced in the composition, “Willow Weep for Me”.

The jazz and blues elements come more to the fore on disc 2, particularly with “Feel Like A Stranger”. I defy anyone to pin down this particular track, as it’s a blend of so many genres that at first you’re disoriented until you realize this is William Bates’ own style. “Days I Knew”, for example, sits on the cusp of being Sade-esque lounge-styled crooning but the emphatic persistent snare-and-high-hat shuffle moves this song into another terrain altogether.
While I’m still trying to tackle the depth of “Dreamland” (and it is a definable song cycle particularly given the recurring themes/wordplay in various songs), I can safely say that William Bates has presented the listener with a masterwork deserving of the title ‘song cycle’. It’s a true thing of beauty that never fails to stay fresh over the span of 2 discs; and there is quite literally something in here for anyone who appreciates jazz, pop, folk, and blues. Not only does William Bates excel, he surpasses those striving to tie together simply two genres. Quite simply, Bates is a musical alchemist, able to spin commonly-known genres into a golden one of his own.

To go to this artist's web site click here
Review by John Lane

Ear Candy Magazine
June 2004


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