Gigantic

by Bruce Grover

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about

Boston, September 2002-- "RockFolk. Folk. Rock. Whatever you want to call it -- it's acoustic music for the modern world," says Bruce Grover of his debut solo CD Gigantic, released on his own imprint Buji Baba Records. The nine songs on the disc feature Bruce's distinctive voice and acoustic guitar, cello, and drums.

"Gigantic is gigantic 'cause it's a huge step for me," Bruce says. "I've been in bands and written music for other people but always wanted to make this record."

While fronting the noisy but melodic Boston band little a, which played up and down the East coast supporting three full-length CDs and multiple singles, Bruce was slowly writing Gigantic in his tiny apartment in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston. Gigs writing and performing music for internationally acclaimed movement-theater artist Erika Batdorf and Boston's up-and-coming modern dance wonder Digby Dance began to show Bruce he could write.

"In little a I didn't write the music," Bruce explains. "I just wrote the words and screamed my head off. Playing with Erika and Digby Dance was really encouraging because I had to play guitar and piano and get good enough to be the live soundtrack."

Gigantic features Bruce's range of voices -- from full throated wailing to floating falsetto -- and expressive acoustic guitar. Cellists Angela Letizia and Reimar Seidler fill out the tracks, bringing an unusual beauty to the songs. Ken LaRouche, formerly of the world-music band Do'ah, plays a stunning alto-flute solo on Times.

Angela plays with Bruce regularly and contributes a keen musicality to the songs and an engaging presence to live shows. Since taking up the cello at age 4, Angela has played with a variety of ensembles from the New England Philharmonic to the rock band Moxie.

"Working with Bruce has given me the opportunity to take the cello beyond mere accompaniment," Angela says. "I get to be an equal partner to the voice and have to use the breadth of the instrument to match the range of Bruce's writing."

David Westner, drummer with Boston folk phenomenon Jabe, co-produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered the disc at David Minnehan's Woolly Mammoth Studios in Boston. He also played drums on Tiny and Farmer Brown.

The range of songs on Gigantic shows the distance Bruce has come from just being a singer to pulling together an entire record. From the art-rock-ness of Wishes Fishes to the biting commentary of Rock Star to the dreamy Island, the songs tell stories of urban isolation, love, and post --modern life with words that are by turns poetic and hilarious.

For all its variety, Gigantic never loses its focus and has a consistent vibe that is somehow unique. The songs are based in American music but are tinged with eastern melodies reflecting the six years Bruce lived in India as a child and a year in Israel after high school.

Combining "strikingly sensitive and poetic lyrics" (The Boston Globe) with a "haunting voice and expressive acoustic guitar" (The Boston Phoenix) Gigantic is rockfolk for the modern world.

credits

released September 1, 2002

Bruce Grover: Vocals, guitars, bass. David Westner: Drums. Angela Letizia: Cello (2, 4, 5, 9). Reinmar Siedler: Celle (1, 6, 8). Ken LaRouche: Alto flute on TImes. Tara Smith: Backing vocal on Wishes. Produced by Bruce Grover and David Westner. Recorded, mixed and mastered at Woolly Mammoth, Boston. Design: Mick Khavari at Tinderbox Studios. Cover photos: David Torres. Interior photo: Mick Khavari. All songs copyright 2002 Bruce Grover. Buji Baba Records.

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about

Bruce Grover New York, New York

Grew up in India, Maine, Israel, Boston, New York City. Sang in bands. Wrote music, words. Released 45s, CDs, MP3s. Played shows. Told stories. Collaborated with music, theater, dance people. Learning that love of possessions and power are weaknesses to be overcome. Believe that being and doing are like breathing in and out. Believe peace is our next evolutionary, inevitable, planetary step. ... more

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Track Name: Farmer Brown
Happy birthday Farmer Brown
Have a good time but I won’t be around
I hope your day just goes along fine
I won’t be at yours but I’ll expect you at mine

Happy birthday Farmer Brown
I hope this phone call didn’t bring you down
I’ll swing by next week with your gift
It’s some music and that’ll give you a lift

But it’s not the words that you say
About the games that we play
It’s what your actions say about
How you really feel

Happy birthday Farmer Brown
Skip that phone call and let’s head into town
We’ll window shop and just walk around
And maybe buy a CD and just watch the town go by

But it’s not the words that you say
About the games that we play
It’s what your actions say about
How you really feel
Track Name: Island
So we drove out to the ocean
All we were and we knew was all we had
And we spent that night on the water
It was deeper than we knew but we floated

We two on an island
We two in blue
All I lost I found in you

So we drove away from the ocean
Into wider mid-western open skies
And we’re crossing more than one border
All we have and all we’ll be is open, open

We two on an island
We two in blue
All I lost I found in you
Track Name: September Night Walk
September night walk home alone
With the laundry and the deli on the right
Walking by the convenience store
See them standing in the door
Another happy couple in line
Holding hands

September night walk home alone
Past the statues and the trash in the park
Walking by the video store
See them standing in the door
Another happy couple in line
Holding hands

But it’s not who they are that makes me lonely
And it’s not who I am to be jealous of them
But I’m looking through the window
At what they got
And it just reminds me
Of what I’m not
And I’m sick of being lonely
So I hold on to me only
‘Cause I’m sick of being lonely
But I’ll walk home alone again I’m sure

So I turn and slowly head home
On this September
Nights are always the worst
And this one won’t be the
First one, and look there’s another
Happy couple
With their goofy displays of affection
Grabbing at my attention
Is a hotel room worth a mention
I hope they got protection against

September night walk home alone
Down my street again
Walking by the liquor store
See them headed out the door
Another happy couple holding hands
At the end of their day

And it’s just who they are that makes me jealous
And it must be who I am that makes me lonely
Track Name: Rock Star
We’re in trouble.
We got super models as role models.
We idolize movie stars who aren’t so bright
We got politicians by birth right
And everybody wants to be a movie star
But not me.
I want to be a rock star
Or just a little quasar
Or a 15-minute dwarf star
Or just a blip on the radar

You can go to your corporate whirl
Or become one.
Either way you’re screwed

We’re in trouble.
I’m changing the channels but it doesn’t change me.
I’m still on my sofa with my fat head
And my 401k is being bled
By Arthur Anderson
So can I be a rock star
Or just a little quasar
Or a 15-minute dwarf star
Or just a blip on the radar

You can go to your corporate whirl
Or become one.
Either way you’re screwed

You got your big house and your big car too
But I’ll never see you driving it down Blue Hill Avenue
You got your fancy house out in Brookline
But you’re scared to ride on the Orange Line

Ride on the Orange line
Straight through the color line
Ride through the color line

We’re in trouble.
We got super CEOs as role models
And all the black boys go to jail
While the white CEOs are making bail
And all of them want a handgun but not me
Cause I’d rather be a rock star
Or just a little quasar
Or a 15-minute dwarf star
Or just a blip on the radar
Or even a folk singer star

You can go to your corporate whirl
Or become one.
Either way you’re screwed
You can go to your corporate whirl
In America
Track Name: Honey Bun
It’s some kind of kooky mystery
All this love in me
I laugh at you and cry at commercials on TV
Hold that thought
Take a number
I stand in line for you
And I’ve been saving all this
For the right time and place
I think I’ve been saving all this for you

So we’re opening the sun
Baby you’re my honey bun

Oh my precious little monkey
Eyes like augies, smiles like tomorrow
You recognized me
First try, straight out of the starting gate
Mmm you slay me every time
No one else can possibly ever touch this
No one else can possibly kiss me like you do

You’re my honey bun, my apple pie
My triple-chocolate mousse cake
You’re my cantaloupe, watermelon, pecan pie,
My peach-ginger sorbet
You’re everything I ever wanted in a dessert
Track Name: Fishes
If I asked you a question and let it sit
And waited for an answer would you answer it
All my wishes like fishes in a jar
Looking at your choices tells me who you are

I walk the city counting trees
I recognize the same drunks that she sees
All my birds are singing in a cage
Looking like a hipster doesn’t hide your age

But no matter how you fly
You’re way up high

So if I open and let it show
You’d see what hasn’t burned out is just a glow
But all my lights are slowly coming on
Put another match to wick before the fires gone

No matter how you fly
You’re way up high

All my wishes like fishes finally free
Swimming from the shore line out to the open sea

No matter how you fly
You’re way up high
No matter how high you fly
No matter how, when, or why
I’m going for the pie in the sky
I want to be up high
No matter how high you fly
No matter if you laugh or cry
In stormy or clear blue skies
You are way up high
And no matter how you fly
You’re way up high
Track Name: Tiny
I’m tiny when you’re beside me
I feel big when I wear your wig
I feel small next to all
Then I feel gigantic
I’m the wide-open Atlantic
Ocean
All gray emotion

The only thing worse
Than my empty bed
Is the hole in my head

I’m too nice to screw you over twice
But I’m too mean to play on the same team
I feel, well, kind of vague
Like my brain is delayed
And then I feel specific
I’m the wide-open Pacific
Ocean
All blue emotion

The only thing worse
Than my empty bed
Is the hole in my head
Track Name: Times
One of my down times
When I don’t know what you want for me
So I stutter when I sing for you
And I fall when I run to you
And I stay down when I should get up for you

One of my alone times
When I don’t know what I want for me
Alone again with all these voices
And my scary choices
And I don’t know which way to go

One of my joy times
When the light filters down to me
And I laugh at how small I am
And I cry at how glad I am
And I let go of all that I am

Funny how we paint our lines