Danny Michel (Live)

by Danny Michel

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about

Recorded live at the Westend Cultural Centre

Danny Michel, environmentalist, pacifist, romanticist, archivist and space enthusiast, returns with Matadora, his newest and most deeply humanist album to date. As a whole, the ten- song collection explores themes of individual and collective agency, and wills us to and hope in grief, tolerance in violence, and love in hate.

After the musical village approach involved in making an album in Belize, Matadora’s origin is a different sort of island, self-produced, recorded and mixed all by Michel in his home studio in Waterloo, Ontario. Matadora tempers the tropical escapism of the Juno-nominated Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me with a dose of harsher realities – breaking news, loneliness, laundry – all delivered tenderly with Michel’s signature empathy.

In place of Black Birds’ balmy clime, the warmth of Matadora comes from within, as materially present as breath that condenses on a window. This body-generated steaminess is front and centre on “Get Lost,” a knee- weakening soliloquy with a slow jam beat.

Matadora has two types of love letters, those meant just for one and those addressed to all. The song “Click Click” is one part dream sequence, one part political platform – as passionate as “Get Lost” but on a much larger scale. “Click Click” shows Michel’s mastery of exploring big questions in small details; with his signature earnestness he confronts tragedy and violence with delicacy and grace.

There are also a handful of songs that taste of ocean and carry forward the vibe and instrumentation from Black Birds in breezy fashion. Title track “Matadora,” “Paris Las Vegas,” and “Good Old Days” provide a bridge from Michel’s previous release, one that consumed two years from recording to the final sold out stop on the North American tour he did with The Garifuna Collective. On Matadora, Michel’s red flag waves as an open-ended question posed in the title track: Are we all the bull on beaten days, or are we the matadora in many ways?

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BIO -
With nominations for three JUNO Awards, The Polaris Prize, The CBC’s "Heart Of Gold" AND a pile of albums under his belt, Danny Michel is unquestionably one of Canada’s finest songwriters. His thoughtful lyrics & earnest performances have earned him a devoted fan base. A musical chameleon, able to slip into many genres with ease. “An adventurous & fearless artist”. “A master at striking the right balance between unpredictability and meeting expectations, leaving you wanting more as soon as it’s over”.

Past critics have praised Danny’s lyrics for having “something to say" without coming off preachy. His environmental song “Feather, Fur & Fin" landed on both CBC’s “Global Goals Playlist” & David Suzuki’s “Playlist For The Planet”. Other songs ask big questions like "If Gods' on your side, then who's on mine" and “Who’s Gonna Miss You when you’re gone?” a song which explores karma asking “Did you live it right or did you live it wrong?”

In 2011 Danny relocated to Belize and founded the “Danny Michel Ocean Academy Fund” to help raise scholarships for small non-profit community high school. To date he's raised over $70,000.00 for the school and volunteers there when he can.

Later he tracked down one of his favorite bands; The Garifuna Collective, a unique Afro-Amerindian cultural group and convinced them to make an album together. That album (“Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me”) was quoted as “One of the finest musical works of our time” By Billboards Larry Leblanc. The album landed him a 3rd JUNO nomination (this time in the “World Music” category) and a sold out summer tour of North America with The Garifuna Collective.

At the moment Danny is sitting in front of a blank canvas contemplating where his next album is going to take him. It could go anywhere from here. Knowing Danny, wherever it goes – it will be an adventure”


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Michel#Biograpy

credits

released February 14, 2010

All songs my Danny Michel socan/burnt bun music
Live recording by John Arnott
Mixed by Danny Michel

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Track Name: Into The Flame (Live)
With a ghetto blaster strapped across his chest
He sprawled across my hood and he did his best
So I put a loonie in his paper cup
The sky it cracked and opened up
And the wind it started whispering in my ear
Telling me things I don't want to hear
Like telling me it's time to go
Move on son, blow wind blow

If you leave right now and drive all night
You will make it,
And Winnipeg was right, I don't want to fight
You so let's not fake this
Those prairie nights, those western winds
They feel so right, I'd fit right in
Those empty roads, they clear my skin
They call my name - into the flame

Sell your things and give the rest away
Bring only what you can carry we're leaving today
Abandon all your rusty dreams
Trade them in for magic beans

If I leave right now and drive all night
Do you think I will make it ?
And Winnipeg was right, I don't want to fight
You so let's not fake this
Those prairie nights, those western winds
They feel so right, I'd dig right in
Those empty roads, they clear my skin
They call my name - into the flame

And ride, right into the night
Right up out of Drumheller
Ride into the sun.
And cry, I just might
What if we arrive and I'm the only one ?

Those northern lights, those western winds
They feel so right, I'd fit right in
Those empty roads, they forgive my sins
They call my name - into the flame
Track Name: The Invisible Man (live)
If I stop combing my hair,
If I stop shaving my face.
Would you notice or care,
Would it just be a waste ?
If I stop changing my clothes,
If I stop watching my weight.
Yeah, how far do I got to go ?
Just what do I got to say ?

I’m the invisible man…
Everybody shakes my hand but you,
I’m the invisible man…
But the only body I want is you.

I walk in slowly with grace,
I hit a couple home runs.
I stand right up in your face,
Still I don't block out the sun.
So I go out on a limb,
I get all true blue and sincere,
But I don't show up on film.
I can't be seen in a mirror.

I’m the invisible man…
Everybody shakes my hand but you,
I’m the invisible man…
But the only body I want is you.

Some would sneak into ladies locker rooms,
Or armoured trucks chuck full of jewels.
But I keep my hands where you can see them,
Oh any fool can see them,
Why can't you see them?
I know when I’m beat.
I know when to stay down.
You put floppy shoes on my feet,
In a big happy frown.

I’m the invisible man…
Try and catch me, If you can.
I’m the invisible man…
I’m right behind you, Here I am.
My friend
I’m the invisible man…
Everybody shakes my hand but you,
I’m the invisible man…
But the only body I want is you.
Track Name: Toledo (Live)
Well I don't know what day it is
And I'm afraid to say I'm not sure where I am
And these hotel rooms and greasy spoons
Have over stayed their welcome once again
And the folks down in the hotel lounge
Sit far apart and order rounds all night
And I'd rather be upon the moon
'Cause atleast from there I'd have you in my sight

I'm sure it's indisputable I hear Toledo's beautiful
But not here from this hotel lobby phone
So no offense Toledo but I'm going home

And if I was there I'd pick you up
And take you out and head down to the crown
We'd trip the light fandango
Tie a yellow ribbon around this town
And I'd sing for you karaoke
So go on girl and pick your favourite song
And the Japanese- Jimmy-Deans-Rock-a-Billy boyfriends sing along

I'm sure it's indisputatble I hear Toledo's beautiful
But not here from this hotel lobby phone
So no offense Toledo but I'm going home

And your voice is in my heart and it's pounding like the sea
It sings at night alone in perfect melody
But the voices in my head are still fighting off at sea
So come down from that widow's walk
And lay your heavy heart on me

I'm sure it's indisputable they say Toledo's beautiful
And I'm here at the perfect time of year
But no offense Toledo but I'm outta here
Track Name: White Lightning (Live)
There's a woman counting quarters at the table
There's a gentleman taking tickets at the door
And I'm slipping out tonight
Cuz the moon is yellow bright
And I'm afraid that I don't love her anymore
I heard a song come on a speaker
It said something 'bout slipping out the back
Or making a new plan n' some guy named Stan
Well I said "Thank you Paul for keeping me on my track"

I wish it was 1930 at the old Kentucky derby
And I was riding White Lightning off the bluff
Cuz I need a racehorse and some old rusty spurs
Cuz I can't get away from her fast enough

There's a woman rolling nickels on the counter
There's a man chopping wood outside the door
She said, "Every room is sold"
So I slept out in the cold
And it occurred to me I'd never slept better before
I found a perfect dirty bar room
Full of liars, cheats and losers all around
I said " Gentlemen hold your pistols,
I'm just here to wet my whistle
And forget that woman I left back in town"

I wish it was 1930 at the old Kentucky derby
And I was riding White Lightning off the bluff
Cuz I need a racehorse and some old rusty spurs
Cuz I can't get away from her fast enough

You ever tell yourself a lie so many times
That you convince yourself that it's true
Well I don't regret a single thing in my life
But I curse the day that I ran into you

I wish it was 1930 at the old Kentucky derby
And I was riding White Lightning real rough
Cuz I need a racehorse and some old rusty spurs
Cuz I can't get away from her fast enough
I just can't get away from her fast enough
I just can't get away from her fast enough
Track Name: Whale Of A Tale (Live)
I used to drive a racecar
But I won every single time
I once met the great Elvis Presley
Way back in his prime

And a pilot had a heart attack
Yes so I had to land the plane
And I once saved a little kid from drowned end
And I invented cellophane

I used to be a millionaire
I'd drop a thousand bucks a day
That only made me oh the more lonely
So I threw it all away

And I've lived almost everywhere
Probably right in your own neighborhood
I once broke out of prison
And I hid out in the woods

It was there that I discovered a dinosaur
And I drive a blue Corvette
I once swam clear across lake Erie
Without even getting wet

'Cause I'm the guy who saved the show
'Cause I know how to fix a fuse
Are these pretzels complimentary ?
Well I don't mind if I do

I used to play the guitar myself
Till a press crushed my hand
Have you heard of the great Otis Reeding ?
Well I played in his band

I once worked as a miner
I was an actor for a little while off in France
And my uncle's cousin's brother
Taught Fred Astaire to dance

So if you ask how to tango
I'll wear down any rock
Cause if you see the way those kids all dance today
I swear they're all on drugs

I could drink me a million drinks
If a million drinks did appear
But I only got enough
For one more little beer...
Track Name: If God's On Your Side (Live)
Come down baby from the mountaintop
It's time for you to let this go
There's things out there you just can't stop
There's things out there you just don't know
There's nowhere left for you to run

And all these books and all these words
Incompatible, absurd
You're watching on your TV set
'Til the world's a burning wreck
'Til you can hate someone you've never met

Well all I see is hate and greed
People fighting in the streets
And all these tears are washing me away
And Intolerance and genocide
And your book says that mine's a lie
If God's on your side, then who's on mine?

I woke up sleeping in a dream
All the boys had come back home
Your family's dancing in the streets
Your cousin's on the telephone
There's no need left for you to roam

Jesus, Buddha, Zeus and Jah
Apollo, Vishnu, and Allah
Bullets rain while children play
Do you watch or look away?
Tell me who decides, who will choose,
Who will win, who will lose?

Well all I see is hate and greed
People fighting in the streets
And all these tears are wearing us away
And Intolerance and genocide
And your book says that mine's a lie
If God's on your side, then who's on mine?

You knelt there in a pew
And you said a prayer or two
Lit a candle for luck
Put your money in the cup
You quote chapter and verse
And how your God got here first
In a stem cell petrie dish
There's a Darwin bumper fish

Come down baby from the mountaintop
Take a breath and let it go
There's things out there you just can't stop
There's things out there you'll never know
There's no need left for you to run

All I see is hate and greed
People fighting in the streets
And all these tears are wasting us away
And when we wake up in this war
but no one knows what it was for
Was God on my side, or was he on yours?
If God's on your side, then who's on mine?
Track Name: Sweet Things (Live)
Counting out quarters at the record shop
London Calling and the Pressure Drop
Skipping double dutch with your sister's friends
The landlord's calling for the rent again
If all I have is all I need
And all I need is all I have
Then why is all I ever want is more
Why can't I see the sweet things until they're all gone

Sitting on the grass at your mother's grave
Staring at the letters that spell my name
Stars still shine in a sky blue sky
You just gotta look with better eyes
I lay face down in the summer dirt
My ear pressed into the conducting earth
I hear radio waves and ghosts that fizzle and fade

It's ten years later now
You said I wondered about your age
I said I got ID'd today
You said "ya, I get that too
It's like we'll never die
Just grow younger every day"

Shoe-box photos and birthday cards
I've got an old tube amp and no guitar
Living in a Salvation Army shoe
All we had was me and you
Track Name: Feather, Fur & Fin (Live)
I went to the country to escape the noise and lights
And I laid there in the pine cones all night
I woke in the morning when all the trees were gone
I got this sinking feeling, everything felt wrong
Strip malls and dollar stores and diesel in the air
I slept in a rowboat
And I anchored far from shore
Now I don't hear them chain saws no more
I woke in the morning
When someone pulled the plug
I was stranded in the lake bottom sludge
With all the tires, paint cans and things

Every little critter, feather, fur and fin
Cried to mother nature to come back for them
For every piece of litter, for every little sin
She cried for all of them, feather, fur and fin

I went to an island down the Caribbean way
And I laid there in the sand all day
I turned on a radio and I heard the DJ say
"Baton down the hatches down Santa Elena way"
I swam the ocean reef but the coral all was grey

Every little critter, feather, fur and fin
Cried for mother nature to come back for them
For every piece of litter, for every little sin
She cried for all of them, feather, fur and fin

She saw the eagle's eye weeping in the willow
She prayed to the mantis and she cried into her pillow
For the salmon in the Fraser and the salamander's kin
She cried for all of them, feather, fur and fin

I went to the city when all the trees were gone
And I lay there on her asphalt lawn
She cried out a thousand days of hurricanes and floods
Her face ran with tears, and the streets ran with blood
Fur coats and sushi boats and diesel in the air

Every little critter, feather, fur and fin
Cried for mother nature to come back for them
For every piece of litter, for every little sin
She cried for all of them, feather, fur and fin
Feather, fur and fin, she cried for all of them
She cried for every fin
Track Name: I Will Love You For Miles (Live)
You took a picture
Of my crooked smile
I was so full of liquor
There is no denial
I laughed when I saw it
I said, "Take one again"

I will love you for miles
I will love you for miles
I will love you for miles
Or until this road ends

I took her picture
But not of her face
Cuz I love your fingers
Every wrinkle and trace
You sighed when you saw it
You said, "They look old"
I said :

I will love you for miles
I will love you for miles
I will love you for miles
Or until this road ends

I went to a psychic
When I got nothing from prayer
I need a glimpse of the future
To see if you're there
I gazed into her crystal
She said, "What do you see ?"
I said :

I will love her for miles
I will love her for miles
I will love her for miles
Or until this road ends
Track Name: Tennessee Tobacco (Live)
She came in through the doorway like a whirlwind
Dragging mud and muck across my floor
She sat down in the chair where I was sitting
Picked up my guitar and made a chord

She said "Your love's like Tennessee tobacco
It's killing me but all I want is more
Your heart's a lonely little chapel
But I love its dusty pews and creaky floors"

She said "babe did you forget today was Friday ?
You promised that you'd take me to a show"
I said, "I swear the TV said that it was Monday"
She kicked my shin and walked right out the door

She took my car and drove down to the legion
Grinding all the gears as she drove
She said, "The old guys there know how to treat a lady,
And by the way your car got towed"

I said "Your love's like Tennessee tobacco
It's killing me and all I want is more
Your heart's a lonely little chapel
But I love its dusty pews and creaky floors"

I try my best, I swear I do
And my best is all I know
I'll never leave this one horse town
If you decide to hang around

I found her in the morning at the table
Hung over and staring in her spoon
I tried to make some cakes on the griddle
She just laughed and sang her little tune

"Your love's like Tennessee tobacco
It's killing me but all I want is more
Your heart's a broken little chapel
But I love its dusty pews and creaky floors

Your love's like Tennessee tobacco
It's killing me but all I want is more
Your heart's a broken little chapel
But I love its dusty pews and creaky floors"
Track Name: The Valley Of Doom (Live)
To the valley of doom
I was banished for life
To where no flowers bloom
And not a sliver of light
I kicked and I squirmed
Ya, I put up a fight
In the valley of doom tonight

It sounds so dramatic
But it's really quite light
A little spark from the static
And my imagination ignites
Call it reincarnation
Call it karmic-revenge
But you were my salvation in the end

Cuz I got so lost on life's crooked road
So say what you want
I am what I am
But for you I will be
Yes for you I will be
Just for you I will be a better man

I came by coach and horses
With a new battle plan
All those people I loved
I can no longer stand
Still I tried not to call you
But my heart was so small
So I've come back to gamble it all

Cuz I got so lost on life's tricky road
So say what you want
I am what I am
But for you I will be
Yes for you I will be
Just for you I will be a better man

So take me to Vegas
Cuz my heart's feeling wild
Where no one could save us
There's not a preacher for miles
Drag me out to the desert
Under a neon haze
We'll get so lost in life's sticky ways

So say what you want
I am what I am
But for you I will be
Yes for you I will be
Just for you I will be a better man
Just for you I will be
Yes for you I will be
Just for you I will be a better man
Track Name: Perfect (Live)
I got halfway to the canyon,
And all the stars were shining bright.
Your polaroid on the dashboard,
It kept me going through the night.
So don't wait up, just rest your eyes.
'Cause I can't rush this beautiful ride.

Nobody move, this is perfect.
It's just like you.

I saw the sun c-c-crash in the ocean.
And all the vampires on their way.
All the pretty girls spill tanning lotion,
And they scatter in the rain.

And my walkman sang my favorite song.
In this perfect light I can't go wrong.

Nobody move, this is perfect.
Nobody move, this is perfect.
Nobody move, this is perfect.
It's just like you.
I'm counting the drop that ran down the window.
I'm counting the girls on the transport flap.
I saw the curve of the earth devour,
As you fell asleep in my lap.