Nothing and Nowhere (2019)

by B. Hamilton

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about

What started as a bedroom project in 2010 for songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist Ryan Christopher Parks (whose collaborative track with Boots Riley "OYAHYTT" features heavily in Riley’s 2018 film “Sorry to Bother You.”) with the addition of Parks’ good friends Andrew Macy (Tall Grass) on bass, and Raj Kumar Ojha on drums (Once and Future Band, Shannon Shaw Band, Howlin’ Rain), B. Hamilton has since become one of Oakland, California’s staple Rock and Roll bands. With Parks’ moody, atmospheric guitar riffs and lyrical ability to encapsulate entire characters and scenes within a few short minutes, there is a decidedly driven, cinematic feel to B. Hamilton’s sound.

B. Hamilton’s fourth album “Nothing and Nowhere” is an album to drive late at night to, windows down, pounding along with Ojha and Macy’s urgent, yet steadfast tempos and rhythms on the roof of the car to stay awake. Parks’ vocals and guitar take us over potholed, winding, terrain that has lead many from adolescence into adulthood.

In the album opener “North San Juan,” Parks describes the fall out of 1960’s San Francisco’s “Summer of Love” in contemporary Northern California. A situation where “Peace and Love” has given way to addiction, false prophets, and youthful recklessness. Numbers like “45 and Straight” may be more a meditation on the kind of adult one hopes they don’t become: disillusioned, entitled, sitting on a powder keg of resentments. “Song for T.W.” cements the album’s theme that love is excruciating and worth fighting for, while hate is easy and designed for the weak.

-by Esther Liner

credits

released November 12, 2019

Written by B. Hamilton
Recorded and Mixed by Raj Kumar Ojha

Andrew Macy - Bass Guitar
Raj Kumar Ojha - Drums
Ryan Christopher Parks - Guitar, Vocals
Joel Robinow - Keyboards, Vocals
Ryan James Holzer - Vocals
Teddy Rankin-Parker - Cello
Hank Nagle - Steel guitar

Wolf and Knife Records 2019

license

all rights reserved

tags

Track Name: North San Juan
One minute Lilly had a headache
Then I was keeping her from nodding off
In an out of service Crown Vic
On the road to North San Juan

I saw the ruddy from the rainbow
Leave her face a final time
I saw the shudder and the convulse
Into another life

I thought, "how did I get here?
And how long have I been gone?"
In an out of service Crown Vic
On the road to North San Juan

I came from nothing, and nowhere
City college, shitty pot
She said that Sean was a shaman
But he was just another Sean

A white kid wearing dreadlocks
Posters in his parents garage
Expanding his mind?
No
He was just wasting time

Lying naked off the 49
Convincing Lilly they should get gone
In an out of service Crown Vic
On the road to North San Juan

She said she'd grab me in the morning
She arrived at 10pm
I stole my mothers only 20
And let my new life begin

Pushing pills in San Francisco
To some Silicon serviettes
Hopping trains with Sean and Lilly
Just getting high

The end ain't eventual
It just has to come some time
Hey Lilly, I'm uncomfortable
Hey Lilly, this ain't right

He dumped us off at a truck stop
In the misery of dawn
Said he'd go and find help
That was the last I heard of Sean

My Lilly's getting cold now
With her beauty long since gone
Another victim of the void
Another ghost of North San Juan
Another ghost of North San Juan
She was laid out in the moonlight
Track Name: Whatever is Owed to Me
How I've been painted as a simple stupid man
Tricked out of finance
Never in demand
How I've been locked up to corrupt a crooked spine
The jury shouted
Out of sight
Out of mind

How I've spent lifetimes
As a partitioned patriot
I served when demanded
Yet I was discarded and forgot
How time seems distant when the violence out lasts pain
How time seems distant when every days the same

I want to go out and kill tonight
I want to go out and see the sky burn bright
Because it's devastation or parody
From sea to shining sea
I want to go out and destroy
Whatever's owed to me
Track Name: Song for T.W.
Violence was in style
As the sun broke without fade
Traveling on your tight rope
Without humor or charade
The shoulders left to lean on
Were all back-broken and swayed
From your trials of biography
You little renegade

Sell your lonesome for love
She'll be everything you could ask for
Sell your lonesome for life
She'll be everything you need

Swinging on a tripwire, singing
"The boys are back in town"
But your voice is nothing permanent
Systemize the day she came and made you feel calm
Relax, return
To where you wandered from

You don't want to see how this story ends
The circus leaves town
The big tops fall again
But you're smarter than the rest
Yeah, you're smarter than the rest
Insist you're best
Until the rest are not around

Sell your lonesome for love
She'll be everything you could ask for
Sell your lonesome for life
She'll be everything you need
Track Name: 45 and Straight
45 and straight
Caucasian divorcee
60 minutes for a lunch break
In the middle of the day
Nobody ever sees me
Or cares for what I say
The back bone of America
Is just a back bone bent and swayed

The flickers of a day dream
Dissect and burn away
In a flash of A.M. radio
And a glance the other way
My family barely knows me
Or cares for what I say
Springsteen America
Lives on another day

When I make my millions
I'll burn cities to a crisp
Of what they used to be and
In their place a clarion sings
The cracking of a fist
For those who doubted me it's

Hellfire and hallelujah
My genius is in tact
There's no shame in retribution
There's no hope in looking back

To love I never witnessed
To love I can't express

Springsteen America lives on
Track Name: Fight Everything
I hate this city
I hate who comes and goes
So postured and pretty
I hate myself more
For everyday I wake
Comfortably petty

Is that just how it goes?

I woke into a fistfight
With some Chardonnay chaperone
Who was shooting his mouth off
He dropped me gutterwise
As I swung and sold my stride
The good deserve nothing

But that's just how it goes

Still I look for order
On the borders of the fringe
Like finding hope in windshield glass
On a freeway median
I care too much to lie
But I'm only honest when I sing
Fight everything

I hate this city
I hate who comes and goes
I hate myself more
For every day I wake
Track Name: Sarajevo Roses
Tuxedo blue
On the road to San Berdoo
An awkward conversation with a gas station
Part time cleaning crew
I said I owed you a love song
For the shit I put you through
If small talk has no meaning
A promise can't be true
I'm working on it

Late at night the world stops screaming
And screens return to black
When distance returns to its meaning
We all return back
To Sarajevo roses
Painted pictures on a bad scene
One-thousand years from now
We won't mean anything

A hospital room
Wall paper super bloom
Staring at my father
Getting whiter by the hour
No questions
No review
I never tell you I love you
Half as much as I mean too
I'm late for resurrection
Too proud to see it through
I'm working on it

Late at night the world stops screaming
And screens return to black
When distance returns to its meaning
We all return back
To Sarajevo roses
Painted pictures on a bad scene
One-thousand years from now
We won't mean anything

The bus I took, took 15 minutes
After I said I'd be 15 late
The Southwest 9:15 to Oakland
Took off just as I had reached my gate
No more sad songs
No more drinking in my mother's garage alone
No more salty margaritas in Los Angeles
I'm coming home

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