Valhalla

by Danny Michel

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about

Recorded in Bath, Ontario, Canada
Produced by Joao Carvallho

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 1, 2008

All songs by Danny Michel / Burnt Bun Music / Socan Recorded at the Bathouse, Bath, Ontario, Canada 2006 Produced & mastered by Joao Carvalho

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Track Name: It's Not the End of the World
Cannon balls and kettledrums
Catapults and pellet guns
Kiser blades and minor chords
Voodoo dolls and ouija boards
There's vultures lurking in the wings
Sabotaging little things
They've got greasy see-thru friendly grins
I guarantee they'll never win

Cuz it's not the end of the world, just yet

Karma come and karma go
Some days it seems to overflow
The tide will come the tide will go
The sky will fall the wind will blow
If you fly on broken wings
Or cardboard cut-outs hung from strings
On phony backdrop bristle board
I'll play for you a major chord

Cuz it's not the end of the world, just yet
It's not the end of the world, just yet

Quicksand and spider webs
Who's that sleeping in your bed ?
When all you can see is red
When your heart is soaked in gas
And someone fumbles for a match
You'll be rescued by the wind
Treasure trophy accolades
Heads or tails or walk away
The gambler's winning streak will end
The jackpot loser spins again

Cuz it's not the end of the world, just yet
And it's not the end of the world, just yet
Track Name: White Lightning
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: Running
Running (No Doubt cover)

Run (run run run run run)
Running all the time
Running to the future
With you right by my side

Me (me me me me me)
I'm the one you chose
And out of all these people
I'm the one you wanted most

I'm so sorry I keep falling
Help me up let's keep on running
Don't let me fall out of love

Running running
As fast as we can
(As fast as we can)
Do you think we'll make it?
(Do you think we'll make it?)
We're running running
Keep holding my hand
It's so we don't get separated

Be (be be be be be)
Be the one I need
Be the one I trust the most
Don't give up on me

Sometimes it's hard to keep on running
We've worked so hard to get things going
Don't make me want to give up

Running running
As fast as we can
(As fast as we can)
Do you think we'll make it?
(Do you think we'll make it? )
We're running running
Keep holding my hand
It's so we don't get separated

Running running
As fast as we can
(As fast as we can)
I really hope we'll make it
(Really hope we'll make it? )
We're running running
Keep holding my hand
It's so we don't get separated
Track Name: Into The Flame
Into The Flame

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: Midnight Train
Midnight Train

I recall the day
The temperature and time
I'd never felt that way
The day you said you would be mine
But after years of ebb and flow,
Has been tugging at our flame
Is there something I don't know ?
Cuz you don't look at me the same

So I'm leaving on a midnight train
I'm leaving on a midnight train
If you don't call my name
I'm leaving on a midnight train

A razor and a blade
I got my toothbrush and my comb
I made my great escape
And now I'm all alone

So I'm leaving on a midnight train
I'm leaving on a midnight train
If you don't call my name
I'm leaving on a midnight train

I'm standing at the gate
I got my ticket in my hand
I'm praying you're just late
I still don't understand
I sank into my seat
The whistle howled in the rain
We slowly pulled away
And no one called my name

So I left on a midnight train
I left on a midnight train
No one called my name
So I left on a midnight train

Then I heard a voice
"Is this seat right here free ?"
She said "You get no choice"
And now she's curled up here with me

She bought a ticket on a midnight train
She left on a midnight train
She called out my name (my name)
We left on a midnight train
Midnight train
Midnight train (ad inf.)
Track Name: Tennessee Tobacco
Tennessee Tobacco

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: Young Man
Young Man

You will wake up one day
And things won't be the same
And you stare in the mirror
At the old man that you fear
You've worked your whole life
Your fingers to the bone
You settle down with your wife
Young man you are old
Young man you are old

When you wake up that day
And your hair has turned to grey
Then it's time for you to stop
And let someone else pick it up
It's time for you to look around
Enjoy the mornings and the sounds
And watch the little ones run 'round
cuz young man you are old
Young man you are old

Your road was so long
And now so much has changed
And now the world seems so strange
Cuz young man you are old
But don't stall or lie in bed
It's all just in your head
Days come, years go,
The best ones ahead, you never know

Young man you are old
Young man you are old and free
And free
Track Name: Save It
Save It

I hitched a ride, washed up on shore
I sat in your room, slept on your floor
Just to be by your side here tonight
Just to have you on my side tonight

I had a love that took so much
I gave and gave till I gave up
You said, "Are you OK ? You look a little spaced"
I just smiled and lied to your pretty face

I'm not here long so save it
I'm not staying long so save it
I'm not feeling strong so save it
For someone else

I looked for you in every place
I found the same girl, just a different face
You said "Boy that's sad it must hurt real bad"
I said, "Girl, its fine, but it's a fine line"

I'm not here long so save it
I'm not staying long so save it
I'm not feeling strong so save it
For someone else

I'm not here long so save it
I'm not staying long so save it
I'm not feeling strong so save it
For someone else

I got my head back, feet on the ground
I don't step on cracks, I don't make a sound
But I'll walk on glass if love comes around
I'll stop on the tracks let it run me down

I'm not here long so save it
I'm not staying long so save it
I'm not feeling strong so save it
For someone else

I'm not here long so save it
I'm not staying long so save it
I'm not feeling strong so save it
For someone else
Track Name: Black Tornados
Black Tornados

Meanwhile in LA traffic
The crowd looks drastic
There's hell to pay
Car tires crushing plastic
And all those things we throw away
Above the engines stalling
The sky is falling on everything
I heard the waves are breaking
The earth is quaking
So I spread my wings

I'm coming home
I'm coming home
And I'm coming home
Back to your sweet potatoes
And black tornados

Tourists are picture taking
This town is faking
But it don't fool me
The waitress is sick of waiting
So she sells gun shells by the sea
I turned the car back over
The engine smoldered
The sky was charred
It was somewhere in Flora Vista
I really missed ya, and it hit me hard

So I'm coming home
And I'm coming home
I'm coming home
Back to your sweet potatoes
And black tornados

I can hear - your boots on hardwood floors
I can hear - your heart and I want more
I can hear - your voice ignite the chorus
I can hear it, I can hear it

Meanwhile in LA traffic
My hands look plastic
It's time to flee

So I'm coming home
I'm coming home
I'm coming home
Back to your sweet potatoes
And black tornados

I'm coming home
I'm coming home
I'm coming home
Back to your sweet potatoes
And black tornados
Track Name: The Valley of Doom
The Valley Of Doom

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: You're Not Alone
You're Not Alone

He stepped into the light
And high above the mike
He sang the wheels right off us
With hair all dried up white
He was the strangest sight
He tore the roof right off us
We fell into a daze
I couldn't look away
He broke the strings right off it
And he only sang one song
But we all felt we belonged
And you couldn't get us off it

He sang : Hang on to someone you love
There's something going on up above
We're going up and out on our own
And you're not alone in being alone

Swinging on a drink
He teetered on the brink
His frozen eyes ignited
And before they caught his name
A second saucer came
He said you're all invited
But the little ones we're scared
And the older ones said prayers
And the lawmen tried to stop us
We traveled all night long
We sang all his songs
And you couldn't get me off it

He sang : Hang on to someone you love
There's something going on up above
We're going up and out on our own
And you're not alone in being alone

I wanna be there when the sun comes up
And all the flags are gone
I wanna be there when the guns all melt
And we lie back in the sun

Hang on to someone you love
There's something going on up above
We're going up and out on our own
And you're not alone in being alone
You're not alone in being alone
You're not alone in being alone
You're not alone in being alone
You're not alone in being alone
Track Name: I Will Love You For Miles
I Will Love You For Miles

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