It's Mikey Here: The Lost Mikey Chuck Rivers Album

by Ivan Rivers

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    this is some legit ass hidden shit
    forged from the fires of a burnt ego
    drowned in crushed pbr cans
    you get it all

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about

From the desk of Celebrated Folk Icon Ivan Rivers:
Mikey Chuck Rivers was a transitionary project; a transition from the Bright Eyes-indebted indie wunderkind of my younger years into some sad adult Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down kinda fella, warm 24 in one hand, a collection of Haruki Murakami novels in the other. I was too ashamed to put out this record after a mental health breakdown where I fully embodied the Mikey Chuck Rivers "character"; a bipolar diagnosis and a transcendental spiritual quarter-life crisis later, I shelved the record forever. Today, I'm happy to release it to the world along with Eternal Bummer Records for free download, stream, or PWYC. From the mind of Mikey in the midst of his mania:

"Hey y'all!
It's yr ole pal Mikey Chuck Rivers here, written' from Clinton, Ontario to introduce to you a record years in the womb. This here's It's Mikey Here, the debut full-length of the drinkin' man's thinkin' man. The songs you'll hear are over three years old, written as a Mikey Manifesto, the guide to agin' disgracefully, keepin' it light, thinkin' fast, takin' it slow. Hunkered down in the Swamp Songs studio space in lucky Lucan, Ontario, the ever patient Matt Weston helped facilitate the recordin' of the Real Bleeders Band in all its fragmentations and permutations over the two-plus year recording period. It's been a real mission and I'm stoked to finally be able to share it with y'all. Thanks for joinin' yr ole pal Mikey on our infinitely intertwined loosey goosey celestial paths.

The record is dedicated to Old Man Rivers, my father Dr. Jan Raczycki in his memory, as all songs were written prior to his passing on July 31st, 2011. He gave me my name, my life, and his unrelenting support, plus a serious penchant for Parsons and Guy Clark. Thanks dad."

credits

released October 5, 2016

Mikey Chuck Rivers - vocals, harmonies, acoustic and electric guitars, bass
Pat "The Dome" Armstrong" - drums
Josh Geddis - mandolin and fiddle
Kevin Kennedy (The Dyadics, The Marrieds, Neverending White Lights) - steel guitar and banjo
#jillside: several organs

Produced by Mikey Chuck Rivers & Matt Weston
Recorded, Engineered, and Laboriously Doctored by Matt Weston in Swamp Songs Studios, Lucan, Ontario.

Recorded between Winter 2011-Summer 2013.

All songs written by Mikey Chuck Rivers.

SPECIAL THANKS:
Matt Weston for the eternal patience, Shawn Hebb for the start down in Hali on my birthday with the pedal steel, Kevin for texturizing, Josh for the shredding, #jillside for the beauty & talent & inspiration, Pat "The Dome" for keepin' time and survivin' that blown tire way back in February 2012, the garage crew: Josh & Ryan & Brando & Ian & Joe & Rosha & Katie, Cactus Keith Holland and the Holland Family for takin' me to Nashville and teachin' me the real joy of country music, Steve Dawe for the shirts and being a neighbour, Curt Lobb & Aaron Bell for flyin' to Hali to film some real fun music videos and seein' the province, Johnson & Nigel for their backwoods buddha powers, the Eternal Bummer extended family and all the Bummerati stayin' bummed around Huron County, the town of Clinton, Ontario for raisin' me, the town of Toronto, Ontario for teachin' me, the town of Halifax, Nova Scotia for strikin' a balance, the Bourbonite Regret Society of Toronto (drink bourbon, have regrets), Jud Block, Dan and the Rancho Relaxo crew, Ben and Collective Concerts, PouzzaFest, CMW, NXNE, SPAY, the punks, the drunks, and my entire Raczycki and McKinnon clans back and down the line, especially my parents and my autoharp strummin' sister Scarlett the Finko Palinko.

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CELEBRATED FOLK ICON // BARD OF BRUCEFIELD // CANADIANA

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Track Name: Mikey Chuck Rivers - It's Mikey Here
Lord, it's Mikey here
Havin' a beer, thinkin' bout'
Staying alive for a couple more years
I'll give it a go
See how it goes
Thinkin' fast
But I'm takin' it slow

Now I don't get drunk, I get restless
And when I get restless, I think
The last time I drank without moving
Was the first time I started to sink
I was getting gone if I wasn't already there
When it all occurred to me
And Lord, since then I've been rambling
But at least I know how to be

Lord, it's Mikey here
Havin' a beer, thinkin' bout'
Staying alive for a couple more years
I'll give it a go
See how it goes
Thinkin' fast
But I'm takin' it slow

Everywhere I've been is an echo
Of the places I've already seen
Projections of past on the roads and the paths
And where they tend to lead
So if the air I breathe has been breathed before
And it's that same damn knock on my proverbial door
Then I'll just cross my legs on my bathroom floor
And let what came now come to me

Lord, it's Mikey here
Havin' a beer, thinkin' bout'
Staying alive for a couple more years
I'll give it a go
See how it goes
Thinkin' fast
But I'm takin' it slow

I was takin' a drive, to where I don't know
Yeah man, I know, it ain't nothin' new
Chasin' fog over my shoulder, found the world pulling over
Dipping my fingers through grass and dew
So if all my life is just recklessly racing
Avoiding the people and faces I should prolly be facing
Well, maybe I'll quit being reckless on some occasions
Yeah man, how does that sound to you?

Lord, it's Mikey here
Havin' a beer, thinkin' bout'
Staying alive for a couple more years
I'll give it a go
See how it goes
Thinkin' fast
But I'm takin' it slow
Track Name: Old Soul Something
I used to have a spirit in me
That could take me outside
Before shotgunning beers
Gave me a place to hide
Transforming on porches behind the barbecue stand
Falling off playgrounds and landing in sand
Now...I just sorta, stay inside

Am I the last left lonely soul
Who sees kids playing and thinks, "damn! I'm old...
...that used to be me, I used to feel something"
A lot less daydreams now, less fascination
Spent my last ounce of imagination
Now I'm beat
Now I'm just nothing

I could pick up a tree branch
On my way home from class
Trace the whole sidewalk
As it skips long the path
Toss it up in the air, let it snap on the ground
Smack a discarded pop can for that aluminum sound
Then hide it in the batcave
Where I spraypainted "ass"

Am I the last left lonely soul
Who sees kids playing and thinks, "damn! I'm old...
...that used to be me, I used to feel something"
A lot less daydreams now, less fascination
Spent my last ounce of imagination
Now I'm beat
Now I'm just nothing

Once in a while, I feel something
Close to what I once had
Beach days and long nights
Yeah man, things ain't so bad
But I still get anxious for that ole recess bell
For egging a teacher's house and running like hell
For pop and chip parties, fake wrestling fights
Reading books in the bedtime by my loud closet light

Am I the last left lonely soul
Who sees kids playing and thinks, "damn! I'm old...
...that used to be me, I used to feel something"
A lot less daydreams now, less fascination
Spent my last ounce of imagination
Now I'm beat
Now I'm just nothing

****imaginary last verse****
****real human being****
****and a real hero****
Track Name: I Don't Believe in Anything
I don't believe in love
It's just justified lust and Hallmark cards
But I don't believe in much
So I can't take much of your hugs and hearts

I don't
Yeah, I don't
You say I must believe in something but believe me I won't
I don't
Yeah, I don't
Believe in anything

I don't believe in fate
My actions are my own, ain't got no goats to scape
And heaven's another thing
I don't expect to be welcomed by the pearly gates
And I don't believe in life
It's just stumbling bodies on our way to the end
So I don't believe in death
We still just ramble on with whatever's left

I don't
Yeah, I don't
You say I must believe in something but believe me I won't
I don't
Yeah, I don't
Believe in anything

I don't believe in love
But you keep following around tryna change my mind
But I don't believe in mind
So I don't mind slumming round with you just wasting time

I don't
Yeah, I don't
You say I must believe in something but believe me I won't
I don't
Yeah, I don't
Believe in anything
Track Name: I've Grown Up Right
I've had an easy life, I must admit
Can't find that much wrong with it
I sing a feathery song, my life?
It has been light

But something strange happened to me it seems
The spots in life that used to gleam
Have run out of day and
Swallowed me in night

I've grown up right
I can't complain
I've seen some hurt (we've all)
But I've suffered through to gain
I've grown up right
Quite easily
But if I've grown so right
Then why's it all gone wrong for me?

I'm affluent, well-educated
Posh and smart, sophisticated
I've seen the world in stride, I have nothing to unpack
But my pain's so real, it hurts to feel
The problem's I once took in zeal
It seems my right's rode off and it's never coming back

I've grown up right
I can't complain
I've seen some hurt (we've all)
But I've suffered through to gain
I've grown up right
Quite easily
But if I've grown so right
Then why's it all gone wrong for me?

I've seen some rough before
Hell, sometimes I've wanted more
But I never thought that this wrong would bleed so bright

I've grown up right
I can't complain
I've seen some hurt (we've all)
But I've suffered through to gain
I've grown up right
Quite easily
But if I've grown so right
Then why's it all gone wrong for me?

But if I've grown so right
Then why's it all gone wrong for me?
Track Name: The Arboretum Song
As kids we played in dumpsters
Whether spray-paint cans or mufflers
Finding wonders in what others left behind

Me and Zach Mahon spelt curse words
With the guidance of my sister
No legacy or consequence in mind

And time gave it all it gives
I can't repeat what I've already lived
But I'll still struggle with the what and with the why
As I keep moving with the motions
Ignoring all emotions
Lettin' life pass the most of me on by
As something else busies itself with keepin' time

Today we tested out the waters
We were Arboretum wanderers
Lettin' birds land on and eat straight out our hands

Yeah, last we night we pushed the hours
Surrendering our power
If we have to, well, I guess we'll become men

And time gave it all it gives
I can't repeat what I've already lived
But I'll still struggle with the what and with the why
As I keep moving with the motions
Ignoring all emotions
Lettin' life pass the most of me on by
As something else busies itself with keepin' time

Mmmmmhmmm

And time gave it all it gives
I can't repeat what I've already lived
But I'll still struggle with the what and with the why
As I keep moving with the motions
Ignoring all emotions
Lettin' life pass the most of me on by
As something else busies itself with keepin' time
Track Name: The Guilt of Living Simple (in a complicated age)
I wake up with the sun because that's how it's done
Stumble out of bed
Shake my body about, start figuring out
What went on last night in my head
In dreams I'm often terrified by actual things
And my waking world's a nightmare from which I rarely wake
The Guilt of Living Simple
(in a complicated age)

I work hard when I need to, I get things done
Sometimes, done ain't always enough
I lose track of where I'm at in a temporal sense
And all the work starts to stack up
I hold no reservations to holding concentration
Just sometimes being idle is my biggest temptation
The Guilt of Living Simple
(in a complicated age)

I let sounds swell around me then make some of my own
I've never been the quiet type
I battle with space 'til the shape of my face
Inherits a weary kind
Guilt is inescapable as well as regret
But I'll keep on steppin' lightly on a heavenward path
The Guilt of Living Simple
(in a complicated age)

The Guilt of Living Simple
(in a complicated age)
Track Name: Gettin' On & Givin' In
Yeah Jill and I
Spun off 579
Sliding just by Northwood's edge
We were barely halfway to Cleveland
When the fate dogs turned their heads
I heard them barking, Lord
And saw them chomping at the bit
As the sky swung madly backward, we were
Gettin' on & givin' in

You know, I've boiled it down
I find I'm often found
Half-living, while the other half's dreams
And when I was a boy
They never taught me that I
Was reaching far outside my means
So I chased some things I couldn't catch
It seems I ain't stopped chasin' since
But I'm ready now for settling down
Gettin' on & givin' in

Yeah, I have those days
Where the thoughts I keep
Ain't the kind you oughta share
Then there's other days
When them hidden words
Sound much better in open air
So I let out what's been held up
Try and ease my worried head
But it's just those same old words about
Gettin' on & givin' in

So come find me in the open/ocean
I keep nothing now, it's right
Just take whatever's shining
And try and hold it through the night
'Cause there's no point in clenching knuckles
Pickin' which side oughta win
You just let go, you just walk by
You get on, you give in

You get on you get on you get on you get on you give in
You get on you get on you get on you get on you give in
You give in
You give in
Track Name: She's Cryin'; I'm Drunk
I got a call last night while I's sprawled out on my couch
And it took me by surprise
It was a soft little voice and it was soaked in sorrow
I could hear the sound of her eyes
She said "Mikey dear, can you help me here
I got troubles that are bringin' me down"
Though I could hear her loud and clear
I was filled up with beers
And I didn't even make a sound"

Aw shit
She's crying; and I'm drunk again
Too much Pabst Blue Ribbon in my blood again
And she wants to let me know just how she feels
But when I'm replyin', I'm drunk as sin
I'm at my wit's end if I had wits to begin
And I'm not sure what she's feelin'
Is for real
Yeah she's cryin'; and I'm drunk again

The game was on so I just mumbled some
Half-askin', half-hidin' my state
And she poured out her heart to a fuzzy other end
I could tell things weren't going our way
The boys in the back, they laughed and they clapped
As the Avalanche slid 'round the ice
And her heart ached on, as I sat there stunned
Could I ever do anything right?

Aw shit
She's crying; and I'm drunk again
Too much Pabst Blue Ribbon in my blood again
And she wants to let me know just how she feels
But when I'm replyin', I'm drunk as sin
I'm at my wit's end if I had wits to begin
And I'm not sure what she's feelin'
Is for real
Yeah she's cryin'; and I'm drunk again

I was out of my mind
But she stayed on the line
I had nothing left in me to try
The quiet was loud
And in spite of ourselves
All she could do was cry
cry, Cry, CRY

~~spoken like Johnny Paycheck~~
Aw shit
She's crying; and I'm drunk again
Too much Pabst Blue Ribbon in my blood again
And she wants to let me know just how she feels
But when I'm replyin', I'm drunk as sin
I'm at my wit's end if I had wits to begin
And I'm not sure what she's feelin'
Is for real
Yeah she's cryin'; and I'm drunk again

She's cryin'
She's cryin'
And I'm drunk again

Yeah, haha
Track Name: This Garage (Bonfire Redux)
I've passed on more than I can handle
Got my cellphone on the mantle
Dad's asleep on the couch, I crawl outta the house
With some cans full

It's like 10 in the evening
Our odd-workingman's weekend
We get drunk on a Monday, make it last through the weekdays
Then maybe sleep in

We ease into each other
Spellbound sisters and brothers
Tossin' cards 'round in Kings, bumping into our things
Using keg cups for cover

Some leave later than some
Some stay put but still gone
And we pass 'round the starlight
With Blue Ribbon and Bud Light
As the night putters on

I'm not sure what we will hold onto
And what we'll leave behind
Was it coming any clearer
Or were we just wasting time?
I'm not sure what we have held onto
And what we all have lost
But I'll never lose those nights we had
Out in the garage

We take turns with the speakers
Each sharing our keepers
I play "Lost Case of Being Found"
and "Sunday Morning Coming Down"
Tryna reach through the ether

But we're covered in bruises
Each not sure what our use is
'Til we look 'round the room
Catch us burst and then bloom
No need for usin', it's useless

If you're all empty-handed
You'll find the poor fool who's standing
He'll reach behind yr chair to the Frigidaire
And dispense to the demanding

Some spill drinks from their spouts
Some move out of this house
This night's filled with yearning
All bleary eyes burning
As our lives putter out

I'm not sure what we will hold onto
And what we'll leave behind
Was it coming any clearer
Or were we just wasting time?
I'm not sure what we have held onto
And what we all have lost
But I'll never lose those nights we had
Out in the garage

No, I'll never lose those nights we had
Out in the garage
Track Name: Might Miss That Home
I've been shitkicked by a mighty few
Who call themselves friends
When I get caught all wondering
It all crumbles in
I get tossed into tumbling dust
With no letters been sent
They're saying where'd that ole Mikey go, woah
Well, he just gone and went

When I get to slowing down
Then I might miss that home

I ain't some New Radical
I barely appear
I'm just one crash short of an accident
And I can barely steer
I don't know where tomorrow is
But I'll never forget it

When I get to slowing down
Then I might miss that home

~~girl from the north country plays in the musical interlude~~
~~~bobby d hummin' along in yr mind~~~

I still pass by in moments
Small pockets of air
Packed with cut grass and dinnertime
Scuffed knees and cut hair
But I won't hold my breath of it
I let in and pass through
'Cause there's no point in gettin' stuck 2 it
It'll be swept from u

When I get to slowing down
Then I might miss that home

When I get to slowing down
Then I might miss that home