Dilettante

by Toot Sweet

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    -jacket, inner sleeve and label design by Ashley Soliman
    -photographs by Rocio Segura
    -back cover text and innver sleeve notes/illustrations by Mary Spencer Knapp
    -front cover text by Cristina Ramos

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about

all music & lyrics by Mary Spencer Knapp © 2016 [ASCAP], except track 13: "Milord" by Marguerite Monnot/Edith Piaf 1936.

credits

released March 25, 2016

Produced by Oliver Ignatius at Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen 2015

Mary Spencer Knapp - lead vocal, backing vocals, accordion, piano, electric keyboard, wurlitzer, organ
Tyler - backing vocals, trumpet, synth, wurlitzer, organ
Doug Berns - bass and guitar
Javier Ramos - drums and percussion
Oliver Ignatius - electric guitar (1, 10, 12)
Lucy Breidenthal and Lauren Santiago - backing vocals (6, 9, 12, 13)
Madeline Gioia - alto sax (10)
Marco Sanchez - trombone (10)

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Toot Sweet New York, New York

le SOUL CABARET:
the scene is set for a disaster, now tell me...

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Track Name: Dilettante
Dilettante woah-oh
Dilettante, dilettante
I’ve got a knack for many things
But they suspect that I don’t really care

Dilettante woah-oh
Dilettante, dilettante
I’m told it’s an affliction
But I think it’s getting me somewhere

Dilettante, woah-oh
Dilettante, dilettante
I’ve got a knack for many things
But how much do I really care?

It’s an affliction, but I
It’s an affliction, but I
It’s an affliction, but I
Think it’s getting me somewhere!

Started when I was quite young
Seemed I did things for the fun
Never practicing my scales
Always feeling like I’d failed

I found it hard to dig deep
Got distracted easily
“Don’t be a dilettante,” teacher said
And it became that thing I dreaded

Well I took some Spanish
Then I took some French
I can’t speak either, but I’ve got a great accent
I’ll tickle the ivories, sing in a high key
But don’t expect me to write a symphony!

Dilettante, woah-oh
Dilettante, dilettante
I’ve got a knack for many things
But how much do I really care?

It’s an affliction, but I
It’s an affliction, but I
It’s an affliction, but I
Think it’s getting me somewhere!

But we’re all dilettantes, don’t you see?
It’s a dilettante society!
With our pretty liberal arts degrees
Yeah that sprinkling of humanities

See I can’t make up my precious mind
And I’m too distracted to unwind
Yeah I don’t know how to use my time
I don’t wanna be a---

Dilettante, woah-oh
Dilettante, dilettante
I’ve got a knack for many things
But how much do I really care?

It’s an affliction, but I
It’s an affliction, but I
It’s an affliction, but I
Think it’s getting me somewhere!

Aaaaah-aaaah
Track Name: Stations
Navigating muddy water
Suffocating before we've started
Our mission is hazy, but we keep moving forward
Our minds grow lazy waist-deep in water

Watch out for the serpents
Slithering through the grime
Watch out for the clock
We're running out of time
Time to turn back
Time to surrender
Time to come home, how do we get there?

Do you know the way home from here?
It's getting dark and I'm afraid of fear
I can't stand still, but I can't move on
Oh will you wake me will you take me home?

At the station
No connection
What's my location?
No recollection
Never quite precisely knowing what I'm searching for
Often sensing a disturbing presence at my door

Do you know the way home from here?
It's getting dark and I'm afraid of fear
I can't stand still, but I can't move on
Oh will you wake me will you take me home?

Muddy water
Guide me homeward

Navigating
Home
Navigating
Home
Navigating
Home
Navigating
Track Name: The Underbelly
Woke up with a pain
Underbelly digesting
Ugly people of the night
They’d ruined my things
Stretched out the bellows
Cuz I didn’t do ‘em a favor
And that pain was injustice
It fumed from the belly up
I was choking on my breath
But I sat up in bed
Straightened my spine
Gulped down my liquids
And I was on my merry way
Lit by embers of the
Underbelly
Underbelly
Underbelly
Underbelly

Then it’s late at night
I’m alone on my couch
Nothing left to digest
I’m running on empty
Craving a feeling
So I fill my belly up with oil
But the emptiness is isolation
The oil coats my belly
But it’s no replacement for a friend
So I stand up straight,
Walk out the door with a smile
And the faith that someone’ll come and greet me
And I’m on my merry way
Lit by embers of the
Underbelly
Underbelly
Underbelly
Underbelly
Track Name: Interlude No. 1: A Faulty Exchange
When she wanted something from me
She sucked
And I unwittingly was drained
Of an imperative of support
Revitalized in the nick of time
By a secure mutual exchange
She could feed on me no longer
And only then did I know what a feeder I was

It’s easy to walk out with contempt
And exonerate one’s self
But I was negligent
I am negligent
So here we are
Relative degrees of bad in a faulty exchange
Track Name: Why's It So Hard Pt. 1
Why’s it so hard
So hard
So hard
To be friends with you
To be friends with you
With you
With you
So hard
So hard
So hard
To be friends with you
With
Track Name: Fury
Put the fire on too quick
Now I’m bubbling up through the skin
Spout it out in a blistering mess
I feel a, feel a fool I must confess
So I call you on the phone
In a week or maybe more
Can’t seem to compose myself
I left my, left my notes up on the shelf

Violence infiltrates my head
Corrupts me with each pound
Telling me this fury will resound
It will resound

Got no words
No place to hide
Rather let myself go blind
Let the fury fill my soul
Let it fill me out
Let it make me whole

Otherwise it’s like I’m back in school
Following someone else’s rules
Set my notes up on the shelf
I let my, let my blisters turn to welts

Violence infiltrates my head
Corrupts me with each pound
Telling me this fury will resound
It will resound

Darling, come and kiss my wounds
Please tell me it’s alright
Else I’ll sit and salt my wounds
I’ve no room for you in my life
Track Name: Isn't It Typical
I am content but on the edge
I’m so excited, but what for?
Told someone the other day
That I felt my constant state of happiness
Was a fleeting one
I was drunk
Not sure I really believed it
Well, I did, but I guess not my wording of it
Or the fact that I was putting the feeling into words at all was overstating it

Let me get over myself already

It fades away
The seasons change
Blue to grey
It fades away

This ugly journal that I hold so dear
With so many romanticized entries
So much dreaming so much longing
So much lust
I’ll never change
I may seem more practical
No, not practical,
Self-critical
I’m not really
I just need to keep myself in check from time to time

Blue to grey
Beauty fades away
The seasons change
Blue to grey
Beauty fades away
The seasons change
Blue to grey
Blue to grey

“Ils n’ont pas l’air de croire a leur bonheur!”
They don’t seem to believe in their own happiness
That’s me
I don’t quite believe it cuz obviously
There should be something more at the core
Not this superficial shit
Which gives me an ongoing excited contentment
A potentially destructible one
The essence of which is manifested in my
Subtle uneasiness
Yeah yeah yeah
“Ils n’ont pas l’air de croire a leur bonheur”

It fades away
It fades away
It fades away
It fades away
Track Name: Interlude No. 2: The Big Picture
I created interior worlds
Rooms with many views
I drew a frying pan with an egg in it
I erased the egg and drew sausages
And endless narrative
Within a flat, stagnant frame
This was the smallest scope
Holding my attention
But my heart was so big

I am in a real world
A world with shifting views
I rifle through cabinets
To discover my Morton’s saltshaker has run out
To discover 18 months of my life
Can be measured by the volume of a cylinder
This is the big picture
Holding my attention
And my heart is so big it might explode
Track Name: Narrative Life
What is life without a narrative?
Just a series of imperatives
What is art without a narrative?
What is the heart but a beating imperative?

Life pulses under dim light
Steady steps at my tail
Inside me there’s muscle pumping its chest
I’ll kick your ass to the curb it says
This is the big picture, the pulse
But my heart is growing numb
Where’s youth for the old?
There’s too much youth for the young
Ah-ah ah-ah ah-ah ah-ah ah-ah

I’m joining the parade
Beat beat again
Beat beat again
Life is all the same
Beat beat again
It’s all the same

(Life is all the same, life is all the same you see)
(It’s just a parade, it’s just a parade you see)

Staring at your reflection in the mirror
Seeing something you hold dear
But it’s hard to look at it
Cuz you start to see the wear
But you like it too
Cuz you’re a little refined
And you didn’t even have to try
Life just happened
The narrative life
Driving tracks across your face
Giving life’s journey not time,
But depth and space

I’ve got no tales to tell
It’s all imprinted on my skin
No ideologies to sell
My truth is pulsing from within

I’m joining the parade
Beat beat again
Beat beat again

I’m joining the parade
Beat beat again
I’m joining the parade
Beat beat again

I’m joining the parade
Beat beat again
Track Name: Why's It So Hard Pt. 2
Some days
It’s like the mercury disintegrates all around me
And I can breathe once again
Cuz I’ve got him right there beside me
And I must make amends
With some of the people I’ve hurt
Or better yet the people I’ve ignored
Would you be my friend?
I need you
But it’s so difficult
Tell me why?
I just wanna be friends with you
But I find each time I try
I get stuck…
And he finds a way
Helps me out of my hole
When I need him the most
Yeah… he’s always there
Always there to soothe me when I need…

(He’s the one, he’s the one, he’s the one I need)
(Only friend, only friend, only friend for me)

Why’s it so hard
So hard
So hard
To be friends with you
To be friends with you
With you
With you
So hard
So hard
So hard
To be friends with you
With you
You
You
You
You
Track Name: The Steady Queen
Little brown dove made a home today
A haven from the wayward skies
She put it down with care and grace
And a melancholy song to bide the time
High above the clouds
Gazing patiently
She’s a steady queen
Floating on a cloud

Misfortunes tug at the seems
(It’s a tough gig but they’re a good fit)
Fly higher melancholy dove
Keep giving giving all your love

These empty nests hold broken dreams
(Lost another, sorrowful mother)
Fly higher melancholy dove
Keep spreading your love

They’ve got home in their hearts
(They’ve got each other)
And hearts to the sky
(Don’t need another)
They take it all
They take it all
They take it all in stride

She’s quietly dignified
(She’ll never go breaking her stride)

A quiet force in the night
(She’ll always be there by his side)

The steady queen for all time
(She’ll always be queen of the night)

She’ll never break her stride
(She’ll never go breaking her stride)
Track Name: Milord
Allez, venez, Milord
Vous asseoir à ma table
Il fait si froid, dehors
Ici c'est confortable
Laissez-vous faire, Milord
Et prenez bien vos aises
Vos peines sur mon coeur
Et vos pieds sur une chaise
Je vous connais, Milord
Vous n'm'avez jamais vue
Je ne suis qu'une fille du port
Qu'une ombre de la rue...

Pourtant j'vous ai frôlé
Quand vous passiez hier
Vous n'étiez pas peu fier
Dame! Le ciel vous comblait
Votre foulard de soie
Flottant sur vos épaules
Vous aviez le beau rôle
On aurait dit le roi...
Vous marchiez en vainqueur
Au bras d'une demoiselle
Mon Dieu, qu'elle était belle !
J'en ai froid dans le coeur

REFRAIN

Dire qu'il suffit parfois
Qu'il y ait un navire
Pour que tout se déchire
Quand le navire s'en va
Il emmenait avec lui
La douce aux yeux si tendres
Qui n'a pas su comprendre
Qu'elle brisait votre vie
L'amour, ça fait pleurer
Comme quoi l'existence
Ça vous donne toutes les chances
Pour les reprendre après

Allez, venez, Milord!
Vous avez l'air d'un môme
Laissez-vous faire, Milord
Venez dans mon royaume
Je soigne les remords
Je chante la romance
Je chante les milords
Qui n'ont pas eu de chance !
Regardez-moi, Milord
Vous n'm'avez jamais vue...
Mais vous pleurez, Milord ?
Ça, je l'aurai jamais cru
Eh ben, voyons, Milord !
Souriez-moi, Milord !
Mieux qu'ça! Un petit effort...
Oui, c'est ça!
Allez, riez, Milord
Allez, chantez, Milord
La-la-la...
Mais oui, dansez, Milord!
La-la-la... Bravo, Milord!
La-la-la... Encore, Milord! La-la-la...

MILORD (English translation)
Come, Milord!
Sit at my table;
It is so cold, outside,
Here it's comfortable.
Relax, Milord
And make yourself at ease,
Your troubles on my heart
And your feet on a chair
I know you, Milord,
You've never seen me,
I'm just a girl from the docks,
Just a shadow of the street...

Yet, I crossed you,
While you were passing yesterday,
You were so proud,
God! The sky made you perfect:
Your silk scarf
Floating on your shoulders,
You were so beautiful
You could have been mistaken for the king...
You were walking victoriously
A woman on your arm,
My God! ... How beautiful she was...
It makes my blood run cold...

REFRAIN

Sometimes it's just enough
For there to be a boat
To make everything fall apart
When the boat leaves...
It brought away with it
The sweet girl with the tender eyes
Who didn't understand
She was ruining your life
Love, makes one cry
And life gives you all your chances
To take them back afterwards...

Come, Milord!
You look like a kid!
Relax, Milord,
Come into my kingdom:
I heal remorse,
I sing romance,
I sing about milords,
who are unlucky!
Look at me, Milord,
You've never seen me before...
...But...You're crying, Milord?
That...I would never have believed...
Ah, well, there there, Milord!
Smile at me, Milord!
...Better than that! A bit of effort...
There we are!
Come along, laugh, Milord!
Come along, sing, Milord!
La-la-la...
Yes, dance, Milord!
La-la-la... Bravo Milord!
La-la-la... Encore Milord! ... La-la-la...