The Honor Bar

by THE UNSACRED HEARTS

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about

Formed in 2003, NYC rockists The Unsacred Hearts rose from the wreckage of teenage dreams, abandoned garages and naive knockoffs to make a visceral, poetic, original noise. While the band made their bones on ultra-distilled rock and roll, weird chords and wild live sets, they always led with the heart. Loud and fast, yes, but the sonic boom was just the straightest line to the truth. Now, with the release of their strangely beautiful second record called The Honor Bar, the Hearts move a bit further down that line.

Rhythmic, romantic, poetic, and still peculiar, The Honor Bar evokes the city of New York itself or, rather, the city resounds in The Honor Bar. The maelstrom and beauty of the city comes across in the sparse, unerring beats, the stark instrumental phrases, the myriad voices in whispers and shouts. Webs of sounds, words and images -- all traffic on the Bowery and midtown sky scrapers -- juxtapose with the sweet intimacy of the fire escape and 2AM walks down solitary side-streets. The constant voice is that of Joe Willie, more poet than singer, with a voice that only implies melody, and words, though littered with the everyday, reach for the grand themes of commitment, friendship, loss and love.

The Honor Bar is certainly not for everyone and neither are The Unsacred Hearts. When they formed, their only goal was to make rock n roll. They did not ask, what is cool, what do people want to hear, or what should we wear. The only question was, how do we keep playing rock n roll? And, over the years, they kept asking that question with each new song, each live set bringing a response. When they last asked, the answer was The Honor Bar.

The Honor Bar is currently available as a CD in a hand silk-screened eco-wallet or a cassette. Lobby us for a vinyl pressing. Digitally you can get it on Bandcamp (pay what you want), iTunes, Amazon, or your favorite digital retailer.

credits

released August 8, 2011

1. The Honor Bar
Dave: guitar, glockenspiel, piano, accordion
Joe: vocal
Travis: drums, bass, percussion

2. Where Are You?
Dave: guitar, bass
Joe: vocal
Travis: drums, percussion
Andy Bean: bax vox, trumpet, guitar

3. Flesh and Bone
Dave: guitar, bass, piano
Joe: vocal
Travis: drums, percussion
Jaymay: singing

4. Be Good
Dave: guitar
Joe: vocal
Travis: drums
Josh Kaufman: bass, piano, singing
Brian Kantor: drums, singing
Chris Weary: singing

5. Hey, Sol LeWitt
Dave: komuz, accordion
Joe: vocal
Travis: guitar, knobs

6. I Am Joe
Dave: guitar, piano
Joe: vocal
Travis: drums
Andy Bean: bass, singing
Fuller Condon: singing

7. The Sleepwalker
Dave: guitar
Joe: vocal
Travis: drums
Andy Bean: bass, vocal

8. I Would Never Let You Drink Alone
Dave: guitar
Joe: vocal
Travis: drums
Andy Bean: piano, singing
Todd Pascarella: upright bass, singing

9. Gunmetal Heart
Dave: guitar, violin, glockenspiel
Joe: vocal
Travis: recorded this on 4 track @ Joe's place

10. I Left My Heart in Brooklyn
Dave: guitar, all instruments
Joe: vocal
Travis: drums
Boshra al Saadi: singing

11. Coast of Cleveland
Dave: guitar
Joe: vocal
Travis: drums
Andy Bean: bass, singing

12. Don't Disappear
Dave: guitar
Joe: vocal
Travis: drums
Andy Bean: bass
Josh Kaufman: piano
Rebecca Roses Harrison: shaker
Mike Phillips: pedal steel
Jaymay: singing
Benji Cossa: singing




The Honor Bar
by
The Unsacred Hearts
Produced by Travis Harrison for Serious Business Records
Recorded and mixed by Travis Harrison
at Serious Business Music, NYC (Brooklyn then SoHo)
starting in mid 2006 and concluding in early 2011
The Unsacred Hearts are Joe Willie, Dave Siegel, Travis Harrison

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THE UNSACRED HEARTS New York, New York

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Track Name: The Honor Bar
Sweet youth misspent, never knew the history
The road remained unbent, never knew the mystery
So I tangled up in highway, became Houdini on the blacktop
When I was deafened by the white noise, I just let the needle drop

Early-sixteen wonder kid, my heart was big but my mind was stuck
A lover’s touch is what it took beneath the stars in her father’s truck

It’ll be alright if you meet me tonight
I send this out to where you are
I’ll be down on the rocks with a boom-box
Then I’ll be at the honor bar
So just meet me at the honor bar

Lights and sirens down the shore where the bricks and the river meet
Circus skies play tricks on eyes but the mist makes kisses sweet
I’m a sailor lost at sea, my radio means so much to me
I hope I don’t lose the frequency, my radio means so much to me

It’ll be alright if you meet me tonight
I send this out to where you are
I’ll be stuck on the shoal of this rock n roll
Then I’ll be at the honor bar
So just meet me at the honor bar
Track Name: Where Are You?
where are you?
I hope you’re right, I shut the light, I hit the street, and the city is bright
With runaways and throwaways and Lady Days dying day and night
With safe bets and cigarettes and silly bands hauling gear to stage
And silhouettes and jet sets and dirty hands clenched in fists of rage

Where are you? Are you watching TV?
Are you doing drugs? Are you looking for me?
Where are you? Where are you?

It’s like a thrill from the still of a film that you used to love
It’s like a scene from a dream on the marquee sign above
A little king, a diamond ring, a pretty thing when you’re feeling bad
It’s kinda true, it’s kinda sad, because it makes you miss the things you had

Where are you? Are you watching TV?
Are you doing drugs? Are you looking for me?
Track Name: Flesh and Bone
Flesh and Bone
Picture me, picture you, in a picture book we’re paging through
Picture me with the slings and the arrows, picture me when the dirt road narrows
On a hill, far from home, straits of Gibraltar, streets of Rome
Mississippi River rolling slow, lost in the rain, Juarez, Mexico

When you’re tired, when you’re on your own
I’ll be there, flesh and bone

I miss you, baby, when the river bends, I miss you, baby, when the dirt road ends
Picture me, picture you
Picture me, perchance to dream, picture you, beside the stream

When you’re weary, when you’re on your own
I'll be there, flesh and bone
Track Name: Be Good
be good
Summer days, heavy in the city, the sun took a dive into the street
Dark skies, jets outshine the starlight, the wind is a stranger, kilowatts push the heat
A lover’s touch transmits secret language, a kiss burns a code that doesn’t fade
Signals tangle in the ether and echo to the river through the helicopter blades

These words tumble from your lips
Simple lines ring true
You said, baby, be good to me
And I will be good to you

Scientists with silver blades stalk around my bed
Angel dressed in red flies around my head
She said she’ll get a change a clothes, she’ll get my books, and she’ll get food
But a kiss will have to wait till you feel good

These words tumble from her lips
Simple lines ring true
You said, baby, be good to me
And I will be good to you
Track Name: Hey, Sol LeWitt
Hey, Sol LeWitt

Hey, Sol Lewitt, I watched them take apart your art
Jackhammer to the heart, when they took apart your art

Decked out in municipal red
Fire ants chewing on your art until it’s dead
They took apart your towers, they took apart your walls
I watched the hammer flying, I watched the hammer fall

Hey, Sol Lewitt, I watched them take apart your art
Jackhammer to the heart, when they took apart your art
Track Name: I Am Joe
I Am Joe

I am the freak lilac blooming from the pipe
I am rolling thunder to scare dogs beneath rugs
I am home for dinner, I am round from the beer
I am Solo and Doctor Jones in one room

I am the janitor of your senator’s closet
I am a waitress with pefect omelet lips
I am a conductor of a train who loves his voice in the static
I am lemon swimming in martini sips

When the time comes, I’ll tell you what I know, I’ll tell you all I know
I am Joe

They say that martinis are like womens’ breasts, three is too many but one is not enough
So true was the portait on the Fourth of July, watching the rockets as the water got rough

When the time comes, I’ll tell you what I know, I’ll tell you all I know
I am Joe
Track Name: The Sleepwalker
I don’t want to stay in my bed so farewell avenue with your beauty monitor
Farewell Eveline with your mother’s sick jokes, I am here no more, I am here no more
I took pulse in the dark, the news was grim, but I slept silently then rose at four
To stand before the mirror in naked health but it was dark, I am invisible

I get caught sleepwalking in the moonlight
A riddle on the street in the middle of the night
I get caught sleepwalking in the moonlight
People think it’s strange, I think it’s alright

It makes a funny story, but this turbulent situation is no more
Noon sun doldrums have settled like painkillers, Einstein voted Man of the Century
He must be happy, we must be happy for him and thank him for his notions of time
Reverberating from the cellar to the attic, keeping me up at night, keeping me up at night

I get caught sleepwalking in the moonlight
A riddle on the street in the middle of the night
I get caught sleepwalking in the moonlight
People think it’s strange, I think it’s alright

Now we don’t look at time the same way we used,
funny it’s taking me so long to say goodbye,
I always said I hate long goodbyes, I always said I hate long goodbyes

I get caught sleepwalking in the moonlight
A riddle on the street in the middle of the night
I get caught sleepwalking in the moonlight
People think it’s strange, I think it’s alright
Track Name: I Would Never Let You Drink Alone
I Would Never Let You Drink Alone

There’s a prayer on my lips and poem in my heart
I would tell em both to you if I knew where to start
I used to just run my mouth, now that I’m fully grown
I’ll just say that I would never let you drink alone
I would never let you drink alone

The sun shines like a knife on winter afternoon
But it can’t cut the blues out, we’re waiting on the moon
And I’ll wait with you all night even if we’re just getting stoned
The important thing is I would never let you drink alone
I would never let you drink alone

I spy your eyes between the bottles, it’s a look that’s hard to mend
But I’m looking out for you because you are my friend
And you looked out for me when I thought I was on my own
That’s why I would never let you drink alone
I would never let you drink alone
Track Name: Gunmetal Heart
Gunmetal Heart

I knew the dream was true when the fire grew
Brighter, wild in your eyes
I carried water from the lake till I thought my back would break
I fell asleep, dreamt of goobyes

Don’t aim at me, gunmetal heart
We were not born to grow apart

I slept beneath the glow of your fire burning slow
Then when I knew we would never, ever part
Your chrome caught up in light, your fire burning bright
That’s when I saw my gunmetal heart

Don’t aim at me, gunmetal heart
We were not born to grow apart
Track Name: I Left My Heart in Brooklyn
Drunk parakeets on telegraph hill
Choir on the wire above the Coup de Ville
The old engine idles at the gates of the park
There’s blood in the sky from the shots in the dark

The bricks, the bridges, the underground trains
I’m going back to Kings County and there’ll I’ll remain
When I die and my soul takes wings, bury my body in the country of Kings

The East River crossings, sun through the steel
Stuck in a move, bright but unreal
Juliet watches her brothers, she don’t know her dad
Her mother sends money back to Trinidad
She says, “Oh, Romeo, you silly boy.
Life ain’t a game. I ain’t a toy.”

I was young and full of fire when I left home
No direction, just desire, to wander and roam
I returned, humbled, limp in my walk
Chill in my look, tremolo in my talk
The bricks, the bridges, the underground trains
I’m going back to Kings County and there’ll I’ll remain
When I die and my soul takes wings, bury my body in the country of Kings