Our friends at Cutty Sark recently invited us to capture an evening of ecstatic happenings at Brooklyn Bowl as part of the inaugural Cutty Sark Presents Series. There was booze, there was bowling, and most importantly, there were bands. Incredible bands, actually, each bringing their own unique offering of energy to the stage.
Lead by their delightfully shamon-esque leading man Sean McMahon, Brooklyn boys Workman Song offered folk rock infused with an acid wash of psychedelia. Whe McMahon preached, "this entire night might as well be all about peace and love", you knew he meant it. As we profiled in our preview of the event, McMahon is the best kind of free spirit, and his music fits the bill. These are wonderful road tunes that blow through the wind with a casual, hippy swagger. "Every time I play with these guys", McMahon would say, "...it's all about peace and love. [It's] a precious commodity these days". Indeed it is. So get at a little bit of it in this delightful concert capture from Cutty Presents.
- We're going to have a little toast...toast to you. Love you guys. Drink. Yeah, yeah, yeah Yeah, yeah, yeah Yeah, yeah, yeah Yeah, yeah, yeah I believe in God like an idiot, these days they look at me like I'm a hypocrite because my hands in my pockets keep me busy enough, with the kind of shit that makes me never loving enough Oh, God, I think I might just have to let you in. Yeah, yeah, yeah Yeah, yeah, yeah Yeah, yeah, yeah Yeah, yeah, yeah I believe the miracles of Jesus were as real as you and me, and scientific. It's not that I believe in hell and hope to escape it. It's that we already live in it, but we can remake it Oh, God, I think you might just have to let us in. So what if Martin Luther King was killed by the state? I bet he lives. So what if John Winston Lennon's assassination was CIA? I bet he lives. So what if El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz was put down by Hoover's FBI? I bet he lives. Rosa Parks, alive in God. 16th St. Baptist Church child martyrs in the bosom of the Father. JFK and all them everyday saints who lay down their lives for beloved wives, working shitty jobs for over-priced rights that we shouldn't have to buy. Wonder why we even try? When we know we'll die, know we'll die. Surely, dying, we will die But I bet we live. Behold, the Kingdom came, but you're watching it go from your place behind the door through the peep-hole And you know your spirit's thirsty, but you don't know your role How the hell you gonna fetch water when you can't find the hole? Oh, God, I think you might just have to let it in O, Father who art in Heaven, redeem your name. We are praying for our souls. We are not playing no game. We are not the kind of people who can go without help! O, Father! I know you love us! You can't help yourself. O, God! I'm praying for us people! Let us in. There's people I know they won't stop to listen less you got soul, they're my friends Was a miracle not an accident we winded up on the same block of the town that we're in and while we're on the chopping block we have no arms or legs to cart us round, round It takes a little humility to remember what it means to be of sound mind When people are better than you When people are better than you When people are better I'm always tuned to the right station I got that divine radar on my side most the time even if it isn't easy you gotta practice making yourself smile to increase your quality of life Piece it together pull it apart claim its called a work of art it didn't start because of you it better not end because of you too Hold on tight and don't give up I hope you've been encouraged enough to believe in love and the holy stuff and the all the rights to live and the rights to truth. Your parents treat you like a child they always will but then they're gone so alright? alright Treat them good and treat them kind take care of them don't send them off to some resort to die Grandma world and papa sky the apple tree the hidden eyes the conspiracy world-wide. A mechanism is holding you now do you really want it to I bet you didn't so what you do is ignite When people are better than you When people are better than you When people are better than you When people are better And nobody is a criminal when they are seated in the judgment seat and Jack was quick cause Jack was nimble Leapt from the candlestick in ecstasy A welcome guest in the churchyard. A neighborhood mainstay and a seldom-seen A loving man is man who is free La, la, la, la, la La, la, la, la, la Right before you go to sleep tonight you'll remember these words that I speak and rhyme henceforth If you wanna live before you die be a happy camper pitch your tent don't pay no rent nothing's due but north There's an awful lot of talk bout how there's no God let the conversation flow on and on and on and on and on There's an awful lot of talk and talk I'm done with that I've talked enough you can never love enough and I ain't wrong. La, la, la, la, la La, la, la, la, la La, la, la, la, la La, la, la, la, la - I've got some friends I've got to welcome. This is Andrew McGovern of Streets of Laredo and Alex Toth of Rubblebucket. Welcome them with a cry. This, uh, this entire night, you know. Might as well be all about peace and love because people aren't making enough nights about that but every time I play with these guys, I play bass with Andrew in Streets of Laredo. We did some hard time back in the day, Alex. It's always about peace and love. Precious commodities nowadays, right? I will sing of all the things I wish I could see in the world A real idea, something new that hasn't been done before A brotherhood staked on the hearts of the people's goodness; A spiritual force that don't need no rules to make it worthless and dead. An isle redeemed, stable and free. I wish I could see. Patient like a lamb. I will sing of all the things I wish I could see in the world. A new idea, a way of being that ain't misunderstood A faithful heart that need not be given, or taken, or taught, or unlearned A candlelight at night that never darkens and always burns. And I think that I've seen such things in my dreams. So it must not be too far. So I'll be patient like a lamb. I'll cut your throat if you'll squeeze mine. I'll shake your hand. Butterflies will fly out from our union, and they'll see what we have shown. I ain't asking about violations or how to stop. I'm bored to death, but now I'm not. So go refresh your mind on your broken soul. This country lane is stretched and older than the execution that removed your head. We ain't on no diamond rainbow road, it's just crust and mold that makes you think and do as told. But you're so well-prepared that you're destitute of all the words that could help the truth to blossom out from within you. We'd do anything to be near you! But you can't see what you're being shown. Yea, you're just some asshole's food, and you're out of the loop with the shape of the droop of your own head swooping down. And you're out of your mind because it's running on time, and the fuel's eaten up and there's a clog in the line. So you tap the glass on your broken watch, and hope that what you are is all that you are it may not be enough, but it could keep the vomit down. Yea, the going could get rough, but you can't keep this damn varmit down. I'll cut your throat if you squeeze mine. I'll shake your hand. Butterflies will fly out from our union, and they'll see what we have shown. - That's Griffin McMahon, my little brother, on the keyboard. - Thank you. - This is a really intense story. I need you to follow it, otherwise you're not really going to let what's going on. This has a message. Be good to one another. Jesse Winters found himself alone at 12 o'clock. It occurred to him slowly that loneliness was a path he'd rather not walk. "Poor, poor Jesse," he told himself, "he's on his hands and knees! He's got no pride!" Preparing a letter addressed to the friends and the foes that he happened to have known, he scrawled in ink what was torn in his heart, his tormented feelings and his woes. "Poor, poor Jesse," he told himself, "He's on his hands and knees! He's got no pride! Ahhh." He picked up a rifle, then he stuffed an envelope with his letter to world, and tied his boots with the laces that he once used to hang himself, but broke. "Poor, poor Jesse," he told himself as he loaded up his ammunition. He dropped his letter then he started shooting at the sky in the city square. And as they dragged him away, he told them about the letter to read it out loud at the fair. It said: "My name's Jesse. I'm angry at God, I ain't ashamed to say. And so at noon, I'm gonna shoot Him down from his throne in the sky in the middle of the day. And when He falls down to the earth, my friends, we're gonna have a trial For each and every tragedy and genocide and every single problem that He's made. I'm hoping He'll apologize. Do you think He'll apologize? I don't know. But I hope so. Jesse Winters.
Workman Song, a.k.a. Brooklyn via Western Massachusetts singer-songwriter Sean McMahon, is known for two things: his "art folk-rock" storytelling and his voice, a passionate, ancient-sounding but agile wail that shares that elusive thing also possessed by -- or in possession of -- Cat Stevens and Jeff Buckley. Prolifically spinning tales with psychedelic silk, he toes a fine line between Father John Mistys snarky post-apocalyptic angst and solo Lennons bleeding-heart quest for truth and love, all the while dodging reverent comparisons to Sexto Rodriguez and Dylan. McMahon, backed by his band The Highway (featuring younger brother Griffin "Mista Entertainment" on keys), has shared bills with Northeast indie luminaries Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, Rubblebucket, Streets of Laredo, Wilder Maker, and And The Kids. Watering his fanbase with off-beat, impassioned revival-style performances and plenty of brotherly hijinks, Workman Song has been hailed as the "unrelenting local force" behind "a sound that transcends anything currently in the New York music scene."