Brown Paper Bag

by Jonathan Burks



tracked live with full band at Howl Street


released January 1, 2009

Jonathan Burks, Joe Peschio, Nick Westfahl, Marc Luther Paul, Dan Boyles, Jacob Sutrick

recorded at Howl Street Recordings by Shane Hochstetler

mastered at Mastermind by Trevor Sadler

album art by Nick Westfahl


Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.



Jonathan Burks Milwaukee, Wisconsin

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro"

here's some pro tips:

1) Keep a scream journal. Scream into a camera or microphone at least once a day. Any word or sound will work. "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK" seems to work for me.

2) Dance for 5 minutes daily. Dance on the way to the bathroom or kitchen. Dance as ugly as you can.

3) Make funny faces. Sit in front of a mirror and get strange.
... more

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Track Name: Gin Soak Baby
hold me like you hold your liquor
hold me like you hold your gun
ride me like a freight train baby
be my honey buns
you and me's two peas in a pod
two drunks in a brown paper bag
i know i can't quite drink like you
but i can still hang

gin soak baby
my gin soak girl
apple schnapps of my eye
rye whiskey of my world
here's to you my darlin
a toast to you my friend
when we get together girl
the good times never end

you're smarter than most and tougher than the rest
sexy as you wanna be and cool as a pimp
long as I'm being honest, sometimes you're a total bitch
somehow it suits you honey, don't ya change a bit

you're complex like a russian novel
you've got depth in spades
you blush at the silliest of things yet you really don't care what nobody say
you're classy and brassy, a woman to the core
a feminist to the nth degree without the pomp and bore
Track Name: I Like You
as I travel down this path alone
memories I keep stitched into the pockets of my soul
like whiskey on a winters night making warm the cold
i take a pull and think on good people that I've known

I like you like i like having fun
I like you like i like making love
you are the sunshine in the darkness of my soul
you are the goodness, the rock to my roll...home

I've known women in my life
who showed me how to live
when all I know how to do was die
I've lived long enough to learn
to appreciate precious things
if your cups overflowing
go ahead and take a drink

I like you like i like having fun
I like you like i like making love
you are the sunshine in the darkness of my soul
you are the goodness, the rock to my roll...home
Track Name: Sticks and Stones
you can call me a gin soak
you can call me a lush
you can call me anything you want
it can't harsh my buzz
life is for the living and I'm living it up
can't nobody judge you when you just don't give a...

sitting at the bar putting back a few
must have drank myself a 6 pack or two
heard some fools next to me
trying to talk some trash
couldn't seem to pay no heed
as I ordered another glass

you can call me a booze hound
you can call me a drunk...

when it came down to closing time
when 2 o'clock came round
didn't feel a bit sick or dizzy
felt solid as the ground
got up off of my barstool
walked across the floor
feeling loose and satisfied
as i stepped out the door

you can call me a wino
you can call me a bum...

woke up this morning
wrapped in a hazy peace
hit the snooze button
and I went back to sleep
I've tried clean living
I've tried all kinds of things
but traveling by wagon
just aint the life for me

you can call me a ginsoak
you can call me a lush...
Track Name: Ped Xing
get out of my face with them gasoline fumes
got a real bad case of them walking blues
walk to work, walk most everywhere I go
don't mind it none, but all them cars got to go away
they keep getting in my way
honking their horns, spewing their fumes in my face
didn't nobody else take drivers ed in the 11th grade?
they said pedestrians have right of way

I don't care if its a big mac truck
or a fancy car worth a million bucks
if see me coming don't you get in my way
pedestrians have right of way

where you gotta be that you wanna run me down
you've got the stereo on and the car's nice and warm
you've got that steel encased frame
to keep you safe from harm
and personalized plates that say 'i'm da bomb'
you got 4 wheels I got 2 feet
don't need to be a rocket scientist to see
you're going to get where you're going
must faster than me

once I got a ticket for j walking
had to bite my tongue to keep me from talking back
oh mr. officer how sweet, looking out for me
would you like to hold my hand while i cross the street?
I don't need a crossing guard to cross the street
I look both ways from left to right
and then i step off the curb
like I know who's got the right
Track Name: Station Song
walk me down to the station
see me off down the line
give me a hug and a kiss
but honey don't you cry

aint no sense to sit and wonder
or cry and blubber over me
there's other fish in the forest
and this monkey's out to see

I'll be down in the darkness fumbling
searching for my missing spark
as the moth takes to the flame
so flies my heart

there's a howling ache gnawing
on the marrow of my soul
if I stay i'm bound to break
break like brittle bones

so won't you walk me down to the station
see me off down the line
give me a hug and a kiss
but honey don't you cry
Track Name: Ha
I got some bucks in my pocket a gut full of blues
churning in my stomach, in my heart, in my shoes
burning in my mouth like a stubborn dying tooth

I been searching every corner bar
for good time to ignite this
lonely lonely carcass
moping round lame and lifeless
oh me oh my man the irony is priceless
the cure of my blues is the cause of them too

hey hey hey ha ha ha hee hee hee
if god has got a sense of humor the joke is on me

do what I want, I got style, I got grace
so gracefully falling down on my face
it aint cool it aint good but it's o.k.
I'll get on up out this rut someday

I get stuck, I get stumped, I get carried away
stuck in all the in betweens that aint got no names
caught up in the bramble, stranded in the rain
I keep on writing rambling songs
but i aint going no place

self medicated, frustrated and jaded
so lonely lonely lonely getting fucked up and faded
there's so many girls in the bar tonight for a change
but my words keep getting slurred
as they make their way out my face

I aint known a woman's touch now for so many days
I've reached the born-again-virgin stage
of not getting laid
I know what to say and I know what to do
but I'm too messed up to get up and make a move
Track Name: Just a Path
my disposition is a little homely
aint met a women yet who could comb me or mold me
even when I was nothing
but a rubbery substance in the palm of her hand
I don't wanna die alone
I just need some more time to roam
it aint good, it aint bad, it's just a path

I been loved and I been blessed
by the goodest and the best
in the present tense I'm appreciating
what i took for granted in the past
I messed up so many times
I'm beggin to see the light
and it aint good, it aint bad, it's just a path

nothing to live for but life itself
no pot to piss in, all is well
I'm learnin to love myself
after all what the hell
it aint good, it aint bad, it's just a path

the phoenix in my heart
keeps tearin my life apart
I stop drop and roll and roll and roll
but can't seem to slow the coals burning in my soul
I don't want to die alone
I just need some more time to roam
it aint good and it aint bad, it's just a path
Track Name: Bloody Knuckles
I'm not an easy man to love or live with
I've spent a lot of time on my knees
I'm done with bending over for forgiveness
this heart is a fickle shark, love it or leave

you ride me all the time like a circus donkey
no wonder I bark and bray like a drunken ass
my back is aching, I must buck and break free
you can dangle carrots for some other monkey man

a warm bed starts to feel like cold shackles
a light kiss turns to vice grip too darn fast
are we holding hands or playing bloody knuckles
when we dance it just feels like a wrestling match

I'm moving out of this dingy ol' dog house
gonna let my tail surface and wag
no more bending over for forgiveness
no more all fours I'm standing on my own two legs
Track Name: Getting Wasted
bottle of wine deep
running on 4 hours of sleep
instead of getting a bite to eat I tottered to the bar
and got blasted out of my mind,so wicked so divine
now my body feels so dirty but my mind is clean

a friend ran into me there
falling out of my bar chair
when closing time arrived she offered me a ride
I gave her a hug goodnight
said 'darlin you're alright'
fumbled with my keys and stumbled up the stairs

getting wasted, getting drunk
getting lit and all tore up
it aint good but that don't bother me none
once in awhile you gotta let loose the reins
run wild with the joy and the pain
dumb down that stuffy brain and have some fun

it aint cool the way I live
let me be clear folks and friends
I do the best I can but I'm a flawed man
my role in this model aint glue
it's more like a stompin shoe
the pieces just make more sense to me
when i'm smashed

this world is one of woe
this life it aint no joke
it's as dear to me as all the good people i've known
if you see me at the corner bar
eyes glazed, drinking hard
it aint cause i hate this life
I love it so
Track Name: Gotta Get Around
I don't like my roommate, I hate my job
I like getting drunk but it don't pay a lot
I like getting high, I like writing tunes
love me some women, baby I miss you

so dissatisfied, so doggone blue
pacing the floor, wearing holes in my shoes
drinking beer in the morning, smoking all day long
I'm in love with a woman who's gotta get around

if I had my druthers I would surely stroll
stuff my duffle bag and just hit the road
if I had the money I wouldn't even pack
just hit that ol' highway with the clothes on my back

I can't stand my roommate, lord I hate my job
I like singing songs but it don't pay a lot
going out and getting loaded, I aint never coming down
I'm in love with a women who's gotta get around
Track Name: Drink My Mind
lord have mercy on my wicked soul
it keeps taking me places I don't want to go again
things that I've said and things that I've done
they wont leave me alone

I'm going out tonight, gonna drink my mind
and look at the ladies looking so nice
this space and this time they are mine to fill
got a restless heart and a twenty dollar bill

one dollar short and two steps behind
I try and I try but can't seem to walk no straight line
a fate and a path they get bent like a back
so I just try to stand up as straight as I can

got an itch in me that I cant seem to scratch
short on patience and short on cash
'there's floor space at my place
if you need somewhere to crash'
darling you bet I said as she slid off my lap
Track Name: Brew City Blues
I was going to get sober but there's too many bars
there's too many bars, there's too many bars
I was going to get sober but there's too many bars
in between where I work and where I live

lord have mercy I got the Milwaukee blues
I got the Milwaukee blues, I got the Milwaukee blues
lord have mercy I got the milwaukee blues
there's a bar on every corner hallelujah amen

if I had a car I would drive straight home
I would drive straight home, I would drive straight home
but I aint got no wheels and it's a long walk home
and there's so many bars along the way

guess I kinda like it and I shouldn't complain
I shouldn't complain, no I shouldn't complain
guess I kinda like it and I shouldn't complain
I go from bar to bar and they know my name

that's right, I like it and I aint complaining none
I aint complaining none, no I aint complain none
damn strait I like it and I aint complaining none
go from bar to bar and I have my fun
Track Name: Stumble Down
I know regret is just a waste of breath
but self-pity has got me
wishing I could change the past
don't know what you got till it's gone
I really hate that cliche
it keeps on punching me in my face

as we stumble down the after-bar streets
drunken angels arm in arm
shout to the sun coming up
'here we are and there we go again'
you throw your head back and laugh

nostalgia's a wicked drug
helps you cling to broken love
keeps you thinking about the way things used to be
if I don't watch myself I drift
to 3 a.m. Riverwest porch-steps
where I'm throwing rocks up at your window