Mikey Jukebox

by Mikey Jukebox

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  • "Mikey Jukebox" is the debut solo effort from former Longwave drummer and Mercies frontman Mike James.

    This is the digital master, and the initial release of the record. Mastered by Jay Franco at Sterling Sound.
    This is a wav file download version for superior quality!

     $9 USD

     

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about

In an era where too many indie-pop groups sound like they’re merely pursuing a peer-approved lifestyle, one listen to Mikey James’ estimable and growing catalog bears the heart of an artist who writes, sings, and makes music because he has to. Edgy melodic music is in his blood; there’s a beat, a tune, and a sound in his head at all times that must be liberated, or, like the also prolific Robert Pollard, he will all but explode in creative expression looking for release. In short, James lives the music, and his energy, drive, and desire are products of that lifelong quest for a hook that won’t quit.

Mikey James started out playing drums in clubs when he was only six. After learning guitar at the age of 16 with the help of his “pops” and Steve Schiltz (Longwave), he started writing and performing all the instruments on demos around the age of twenty. He’s since learned guitar, bass, drums, keys/synth, and percussion and spending years on his four track recorder, eventually coming into own as a producer of his own music as well as other bands, most recently The Demos.

After playing drums for New York City’s post-punk band Longwave (for whom he wrote a few songs), and fronting The Blood, DJ Dick James/Footage, and, most recently, The Mercies, James has taken on the pseudonym Mikey Jukebox and hand-crafted his self-titled solo work Mikey Jukebox.

In October 2007, James began recording and mixing with Bill Racine (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, Sparklehorse, Phantom Planet, Mates Of State, etc). However, he scrapped the project and started from scratch with John Hampton of Ardent Studios in Memphis mixing this time, and then scrapped it and started over again (for the last time) at GFI in James' hometown with Sam Polizzi. Such fastidiousness is typical of James, who has been known to accumulate 90 different tracks for one song and then start madly stripping everything down, and who will often tweak and re-tweak until the cows come home. Such is the blessing/curse of one who writes, records, and produces all of his own music.

The musical references of Mikey Jukebox are too numerous to list, but suffice it to say that James is so skilled at synthesizing the disparate that the listener will be taken on a virtual tour of production values ranging from 1955 to today. And James is clear: he wants the kids to hit the dance floor. Dynasty-era Kiss, for example, rubs crotch with David Bowie's Let's Dance. Devo flirts with Tommy Bolin. Michael Jackson circa Off The Wall feels the body heat of a bleary-eyed Martin Gore -- all to a soundtrack of handclaps on, “Song for Chuck Berry”, straight out of an Elvis Costello rev-up. Much of the songwriting was also influenced by a “50’s Memphis/Rock ‘N’ Roll” phase (Haley, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Sun Elvis, Orbison, Jerry Lee) combined with a passion for Klaxons, CSS and a love for French House music and early Source Records.

The song that is the biggest example of Mikey Jukebox’s perfectionism and smorgasbord of influences is “!Hello Dreamer!” There are four recorded versions of this song that James considers “some 70s teen idol song.” Of the song, James remarked, “I consider myself by all means a glam rocker at heart (T.Rex, Bowie, Roxy, Sweet, Kiss, Dolls, Transformer, Mott), and the song really lent itself to it in ways. In the end I was trying for an epic “Station to Station” (Bowie) thing production wise. A lot of the lyrics on the record have to do with being trapped with this idea of a needing to be a star and being trapped in surroundings that are unfit to compel yourself. This song sets the record up.”

After a set up like that, it’s hard to ignore Mikey Jukebox.

credits

released 11 June 2010

Produced, Written & Performed by Mike James
Recorded by Sam Polizzi, Rochester
Additional Recording by John Hampton & Adam Hill
Mixed by Jon Gray for Big Life Management, London
Mastered by Jay Franco, Sterling Sound, New York

Backing Vocals and Additional helps from:
Callan Saunders, Jason Milton, Tara & Kristina Polito


Mikey Jukebox is: Mike James
Produced, Written, & Performed by Mikey
Recorded by Sam Polizzi
Recorded at GFI, Rochester
Mixed by Jon Gray for Big Life Management, London
Mastered by Jay Franco, Sterling Sound, New York

Additional Recording

Bill Racine at Mirror, Rochester;
Adam Hill & John Hampton at Ardent, Memphis

Guest Performance

Callan Saunders- backing vocals (1-6, 9,10)
Jason Milton- piano (2, 7); backing vocals (1-6, 9,10)
Sam Polizzi- synthesizer (8), backing vocals (1, 2, 6, 7, 9)
Tara & Kristina Polito- backing vocals, attitude (1-10)
Devon Tramell- horns (5)
Brandon Lown- percussion, backing vocals (1)
Bill Racine- treatments (1, 4)

Additional Productions

Sam Polizzi (2, 5, 7, 8, 9); Steve Schiltz (3, 4, 8, 9);
Callan Saunders (1, 2, 5, 10); Jon Gray (1, 8, 9);
Bill Racine (1, 4, 9); Arthur Brand (1, 3);
Gene Cornish (2); Antonio Gross (2);
Jason Milton (3); Joel Giannone (9);
Alisa Strassner (9)

*numbers indicate track selections


Thanks & Gratitude to:

Antonio Gross at GFI; Jill Hollywood at Big Life Management; Armand & all at Mirror; Jay & Erica at Sterling; Jody Stephens, John Hampton, Adam Hill, Dan Russo & all at Ardent; Peter Shershin, Bill Racine & Dave Fridmann; Dave Marchese; Mori Ninomiya, Jack Rabid & all involved

“Jukebox Boombox” photo by Dinh La
“Young Lion” by Roger DeMuth
Layout by Dinh La & Mikey


All songs written & published by Rocknrollarama Publishing (sesac)
except (4, 10) Deejay Dick, Action Kid (ascap)

www.mikeyjukebox.com

The copyright in this sound recording & artwork without
limitation, all text, sound recordings, artwork contained in this product is owned by Young Lion of the West Recording Company. Marketed, manufactured & distributed by Young Lion of the West Recording Company. Unauthorized copying, hiring, lending, public performance, transmission and broadcasting of this product, including the text, sound recording, artwork contained is prohibited. All rights reserved.

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feeds for this album, this artist
Track Name: !Hello Dreamer!
I’VE LIVED
IN THE VALLEYS BELOW
AND DROWN
BY THE OBVIOUSLY FLOW
SAID SOUND AND VISION
HERE WE ARE

YOUR DREAM AS A ROCK ‘N’ ROLL STAR
AND CRASH IN A FABULOUS CAR
YOU’RE AN EASY LOVER
WHERE’S THE CROWD?

HELLO DREAMER
YOU’RE A BELIEVER
YOU SHOULD TAKE A LOOK
AT WHO YOU ARE
IF YOU SHOULD SEE HER
AND DO RECEIVE HER
AND SEE THE WORLD
FOR WHO YOU ARE
THEN YOU’VE GOTTA KNOW

IF YOU THINK, YOU CAN SHAKE IT
ONCE YOU’RE ON, THERE’S NO BREAK UP
WAKE UP, YOU CAN SEE THE SKIES COLLIDE
WITH YOUR DREAMS

THE KING FOUND IT HARDER TO SLEEP
THERE’LL BE ONLY ONE JERRY LEE
AND THE MUSE HAS HUNG UP ALL THE STARS

HELLO DREAMER
SO YOU STILL FEEL HER
BETTER TELL YOUR MAMA
SEE HER ‘ROUND
THERE’S NO RELIEVER
THERE’S NO DISEASE WORSE
THAN IMAGINATIONS VAIN
AS OURS
AND YOU’RE GONNA KNOW
Track Name: New Radio
I’VE BEEN A ROCK ‘N’ ROLL MAKER
WALKING MY WALK FOR A LONG, LONG TIME
THEY SAY THAT EVERYTHING COMES
THEN EVERYTHING GOES
THEN THEY PUSH YOU OUT

WE’RE THE ROCK N ROLL MAKERS
ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK
AND WALK THE LINE
IF YOU’RE A PRETTY YOUNG FACE
LOOKING FOR YOUR OWN PLACE
YOU COULD BE DOING TIME

RIP IT UP
DON’T FEAR
STRAIGHT AHEAD
I’LL STEER
BOOGIE DOWN
AND YOU’LL HEAR
I’M A ROCK ‘N’ ROLL MAKER
GONNA COME TO YOUR TOWN

THEY WERE THE ROCK N ROLL MAKERS
TALKING THEIR TALK IN A BRAND NEW LIGHT
THEY HAD THE WORLD IN AN UPROAR
MIXING THEIR COLORS FOR A BRAND NEW SHINE
IT WAS JOHNNY B. GOODE
WITH LUCILLE AT THE WHEEL
KEPT YA UP ALL NIGHT

RIP IT UP
DON’T FEAR
STRAIGHT AHEAD
MAMA I’LL STEER
BOOGIE DOWN
AND YOU’LL HEAR
I’M A ROCK ‘N’ ROLL MAKER GONNA COME TO YOUR TOWN

SO JUMP UP ON THE STAGE & LET IT GO (LET IT GO)
THIS IS THE NEW RADIO (RADIO)
AND YOU CAN’T HELP BUT START TO DANCE
CUZ THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL’S
WHERE IT’S AT

A WASTE OF TIME, YOUR WRINKLED EYES
AND YOU’VE NOTHING LEFT TO SHOW
YOU DID YOUR BEST, YOU PASSED THE TEST
MAMA, I’M A ROCK N ROLL MAKER
COMING INTO MY SOUND
(GONNA COME TO YOUR-- TOWN)
Track Name: American Noise
I KNOW THAT YOU’LL TAKE ME FOR IT ALL
LIKE YOUR LAST CIGARETTE YOU JUST STEP ON
I RELENT AND THEN LET YOU HAVE IT ALL
YOU CONTEST THAT YOU’VE HAD IT ALL ALONG

CAUSE YOU COULD HAVE ANYTHING
YOU COULD HAVE ANYTHING

AMERICAN BOYS, AMERICAN GIRLS
AMERICAN NOISE, AMERICAN TOYS
(AMERCIAN LUST, AMERICAN BUST)
AMERICAN BOYS, AMERICAN GIRLS
YOU JUST SWELL.....

I KNOW THAT YOU’LL TAKE ME FOR IT ALL
A BABY BOOMER WITH A LARGE TRUST FUND
THERE’S SOMETHING GOOD IN EVERYONE TODAY
IT’S TOO BAD THAT IT FELL OUT OF YOUR HANDS

HAVEN’T WE BEEN PERFECT ALL ALONG
THERE IS ANY MONUMENT TOO TALL
RACE A CAR, DO A DRUG, IT’S YOUR OWN SPACE
BUY A LEADER LUNCH, OR A BRAND NEW FACE

AMERICAN BOYS, AMERICAN GIRLS
AMERICAN LUST, AMERICAN BUST
AMERICAN GIRLS, IN AN AMERICAN WORLD
AMERICAN TOYS, WELL AREN’T YOU ANNOYED
AMERICAN
Track Name: Baby, Baby, Baby
OH BABY, BABY, BABY
TELL ME HOW IT’S GONNA BE
YOU LOST YOUR HEAD ON ME BABE
YOU KNOW WE’RE LOSING THE MYSTERY

AND IT’S THE TWO OF US TO BLAME
AND I KNOW WE COULD MAKE IT BETTER
THE TWO OF US TO BLAME
WHOA, OH WHOA, OH

CAN’T ACT THIS WAY ON ME BABE
IT’S TURNED OUR HOPE TO A MISERY
DON’T NEED NO QUESTIONS ASKED BABE
AND I DON’T LIKE SYMPATHY

(CHORUS)

YOU’RE A TWISTER AND TURNER
AND ALL FULL OF KNOTS
YOU THINK I’M JUST WALKING
YOU’RE IN FOR A SHOCK
A WHOLE LOT OF TALKING
HAS NEVER DONE MUCH FOR MEEE
WHERE WOULD WE START
WELL WE WON’T FIND A STOP
JUST WHEN THERE’S A LIFT
THERE’S ALWAYS A DROP ON ME
Track Name: Open Up Your Heart
LISTEN TO THE WORDS I HOLD
YOU KNOW FOR SURE
YOU CAN’T BE STANDING AROUND
NO ONE TO BE
WAKE UP FROM THE SLEEP, LET’S GO
YOU’RE ASKING FOR MORE,
BUT THERE’S NO WHERE TO GO IN THIS TOWN
SO LET’S ALL DREAM

CAUSE I AM HERE FOR YOU
YOU KNOW I, JUMP IN THE FIRE FOR YOU
YOU KNOW I’M STANDING AROUND
NO FEET ON THE GROUND
SO DEAD TO A START
OPEN UP YOUR HEART FOR ME

EVERYONE’S SO DULL AND LOW
THERE’S NO ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
THEY’RE ALL JUST RUNNING AROUND
WITH OUR BLEEPS AND CREEPS
TIRED OF THE SAME OLD CROWD
THEY DON’T DANCE, THEY POUT
AFRAID OF THE FUN TO BE FOUND
AFRAID TO BE
(WHO ME?)

THAT’S WHY I’M HERE FOR YOU
YOU KNOW I, STAND IN THE FIRE FOR YOU
YOU KNOW I’M STANDING AROUND
NO FEET ON THE GROUND
SO DEAD TO A START
OPEN UP YOUR HEART FOR ME

I’LL BE HERE FOR YOU
YOU KNOW I, SING IN THE CHOIR FOR YOU
YOU KNOW I’M STANDING AROUND
NO FEET ON THE GROUND
LET’S GO, LET’S START
OPEN UP YOUR HEART FOR ME
Track Name: Come On Along
I DON’T WANNA WAIT TO SEE IT THROUGH
SCREAMING ALOUD WITH A WILL TO DO
I’M SICK OF THIS TIRED OLD CLASS
WIDE AWAKE
UNDER THEIR ATTACK
SO C’MON, C’MON ALONG

DISGUISE THE EVENTS
SO I CAN’T SEE STRAIGHT
LET’S DRILL A HOLE
IN THE WALLS THEY RAISE
IF I’M JUST A BRICK
THEN I WANT MINE BACK
FIND A CLIQUE
BUILD ANOTHER STACK

SO COME ON, C’MON ALONG—
SO WHY CAN’T YOU BE FOUND
WHY CAN’T I MAKE YOU GO THIS WAY

NOW IT’S ASSURED THAT I WON’T TURN BACK
THE EGO IT CRIES
WHEN IT’S NOT ATTACHED
I’LL BE READY
WHEN I GET THE CHANCE
LIGHT A FIRE
WATCH IT ALL TURN BLACK

SO C’MON, C’MON ALONG—
SO WHY CAN’T YOU BE FOUND
WHY CAN’T I MAKE YOU GO THIS WAY
Track Name: Song For Chuck Berry
WE LOVE TO ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
WE LOVE TO ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
WE LOVE TO ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

SPIRIT STUCK INSIDE A CEMENT CRACK
SHOE COMES BY
BREAKS MY BACK
DOWN SO LOW
ALL YOU SEE IS BLACK
AND YOU DON’T KNOW...

HOW YOU’LL GET BY IN A WORLD TURNED FLAT
SO SURREAL YOU NEVER COULD SIT BACK
HIGH AND DRY
SO YOU MAKE A PACT WITH THE DANCE FLOOR

WE LOVE TO ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
WE LOVE TO ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
WE LOVE TO ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
Track Name: Ghost of Rock 'N' Roll
WELL, YOU KNOW ALL THE THINGS I LIKE
AND YOU KNOW ALL THE WAYS I PRY
WELL SOME HAVE HEART AND SOME HAVE SOUL
SOME OTHERS HAVE NOTHING TO HOLD

OOH, BABY, BABY, THERE’S NOWHERE TO GO
I’M GONNA HAUNT YOU, I’M THE GHOST OF ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

IT MADE THE JUNIORS WANT TO SCREAM
MADE THE SENIORS SHAKE THEIR KNEES
AND YOU CAN ASK THE JAPANESE
CAUSE THEY STILL LOVE A TRICK THAT’S CHEAP

OOH, BABY, BABY, LET’S ROCKET TO THE SHOW
I’M GONNA HAUNT YOU, I’M THE GHOST OF ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

IMAGINE ALL THE THINGS I’VE SEEN
AND PICTURE PLACES I HAVE BEEN
NO TELLING WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
BUT YOU CAN TELL THE END IS CLOSE.....
AND WITH A STRING OF YOUR GUITAR
YOU CAN MELT THE PEOPLES HEARTS
AND WITH THE BEATING OF THE DRUM
YOU TURN THE HURT AND MAKE IT NUMB

OOH, BABY, BABY, THEY LINE UP WITH THEIR SOULS
I’M GONNA HAUNT YOU, I’M THE GHOST OF ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
Track Name: We Don't Stop 'Til The Kids "R" Dancin'
WELL YOU’RE STUCK IN THE CLUB OF THE LONELY HEARTS
WAITING FOR A BREAK IN THE MOOD
AND IT’S TEARS YOU’LL LOSE
EVERY SINGLE TIME
YOU EVEN TRY AND SEE IT THROUGH
YOU NEVER SEEM TO HAVE YOUR DUE

WHEN YOU HEARD THAT CALL TO THE ROCK ‘N ROLL BALL
YOU WERE STANDING ON THE EDGE OF THE ROOF
AND YOU BROKE DOWN AND BOWED,
TO THE HOLY CROWD
OF SPARKS THAT LIT INSIDE OF YOU
BETTER THAN YOU EVER KNEW

WE’VE BEEN WAITING
WE’VE BEEN WAITING
DON’T YOU DARE STALL NOW,
OR THINK TO STOP
OR YOU’LL NEVER, EVER, EVER
HAVE THE GROOVE

WE DON’T STOP UNTIL THE KIDS ARE DANCIN’

THERE’S A DEE JAY IN YOUR SOUL
THAT WANTS TO TAKE CONTROL
AND FIND THE ACTION, REACTION
WHERE THE FLOOR HAS TRACTION
SO MOVE YOUR FEET AND LET’S GLIDE
THERE IS NO NEED TO FEEL SHY
WITH AN AERIAL HEART AND SOUL
BOOGIE ‘TIL YOUR BODY CAN’T TAKE NO MORE

WE’VE BEEN WAITING
WE’VE BEEN WAITING
DON’T YOU DARE STALL NOW,
OR THINK TO STOP
OR YOU’LL NEVER, EVER, EVER
HAVE THE GROOVE

WE DON’T STOP UNTIL THE KIDS ARE DANCIN’


EVERYBODY LOVES THE SATURDAY NIGHT
EVERYBODY WANTS TO PARTY TONIGHT
Track Name: Together, Good Weather
TOGETHER, TOGETHER
YEAH, WE COULD HAVE IT ALL
WE’LL GO THIS WAY
AND THAT WAY
BABY WE’LL SEE IT ALL

CAUSE WE’RE HERE
DON’T TRY TO BREAK THIS WEATHER
OOH, OOH, OOH DEAR
DON’T TRY TO BREAK THIS WEATHER

TOGETHER, TOGETHER
YEAH, WE WILL SEE THE SIGHTS
WE’LL GO RACING
YEAH BLAZING
BABY, ON THROUGH THE NIGHT

CAUSE WE’RE HERE
DON’T TRY TO BREAK THIS WEATHER
OOH, OOH, OOH DEAR
PLEASE DON’T CHANGE THIS WEATHER

CAUSE YOU KNOW
IF WE ARE TO CARRY ON
YOU KNOW THAT WE’VE GOTTA BE STRONG
TOGETHER
TOGETHER