Narrow Escape Duo

Moon Ducky Album

 "Onliner" Notes

 In an effort to be kinder to the earth (and to save money, we admit) we've opted to go paperless with our CD liner notes...We hope you enjoy our "onliner" notes right here...

Track 1: A Step Ahead of the Blues © Jim Baldessari

Lead Vocals: Roberta Pescow

Backing Vocals: Jim Baldessari

Piano, Guitars, Bass and Drums: Jim Baldessari

Instrumental Arrangement: Jim Baldessari


"...I had written this song years ago for someone else to sing, I think it was even performed live on WKCR once. Years later when I first met Roberta, I pulled this song out again and she made it her own and now I can't imagine anyone else singing it. I got the idea for the backing vocals after watching the film 'Going My Way."--Jim


I’m floating along just thinking of you

A foot off the ground, a step ahead of the blues.

I’m feeling no pain from my hat to my shoes

I found my stride a step ahead of the blues


The blues sat on my shoulders and I carried him along

But he saw you and tumbled off and now I sing your song

The time I spend with you is like I’m walking through the clouds

And it still knocks me off my feet when you say my name out loud


We’re rounding the corner, am I the one you choose?

Say yes and keep me a step ahead of the blues.

Track 2: Call You Mine  © Roberta Pescow 

Lead Vocals: Roberta Pescow

Guitars: Jim Baldessari

Instrumental Arrangement: Jim Baldessari


"...I wrote this a number of years ago when I was beginning to have feelings for a certain someone that I never dreamed I'd be free to reveal..."--Roberta


Sharing a laugh, or sharing a song

But holding a secret for oh so long

And only in the bravest dreams I dare to dream

I can call you mine


Taking a walk, or a long country ride

Trying to take theses feelings in stride

And only in the bravest dreams I dare to dream

I can call you mine


I lay down at night, and close these tired eyes

I watch the world fall away

Then our lips fall together, it's all so sweet you whisper

Darling this was always meant to be but-


Here comes the dawn, and the sounds of the street

A dose of reality with my morning cup of tea

And only in the bravest dreams I dare to dream

I can call you mine

Track 3: Bluegrass Skies © Jim Baldessari


Lead Vocals: Jim Baldessari

Backing Vocals: Roberta Pescow & Jim Baldessari

Piano, Guitar, Bass & Drum Program: Jim Baldessari

Instrumental Arrangement: Jim Baldessari



"...I used to spend my summers going from one Bluegrass Festival to another playing guitar and drinking. The trouble is that the two activities are diametrically opposed to each other. If you drink all day you can't play the guitar very well. The gypsy larvae line is a reference to the year that the Gypsy Moth larvae hatched the same weekend as the  Windgap Bluegrass festival and the whole place was literally crawling with caterpillars."--Jim


Going down to Stanky town, gonna spread some cash around

a buck three eighty still goes far if you’re sleeping in your car

Excuse me ma'm is that your face? Then I guess that this must be the place


Chorus: 

I wonder did it all pass me by looking from a distance through those 

bloodshot eyes? 

Home again then roam again as the world passed me by

The smiles begin to fade beneath those bluegrass skies


Passed out near a port-a-john some of them will not come home

Worn and tired, disaffected, shot down, put down and rejected

Button, corn and pigeon holed, stolen, traded, bought and sold

Chorus

Why did I think that this was fun? Now I’m afraid of everyone

Gypsy Larvae everywhere even in their underwear

When I take a look around not one true friend can be found

Chorus

Track 4: Vanilla in the Morning © Roberta Pescow

Lead Vocals: Roberta Pescow

Backing Vocals: Jim Baldessari and the synth

Guitar, Piano, Bass, Percussion: Jim Baldessari

Concert Flute: Special Guest Margo Kalogera

Instrumental Arrangement: Jim Baldessari


"...When my son was just a toddler, I found this weird lump in his neck and totally freaked. Thank God it turned out to be nothing. But it opened up the haunting, taboo question: How does one go on after losing a child?

My son used to call the little white cabbage butterflies you find in the morning 'Vanilla' and chase them around the yard. Because of this, I'll always see those white butterflies as 'Vanilla' too. And there lay the answer to my question: In as much as we see the world through the eyes of the ones we love, we carry them with us forever."--Roberta


I watch your high-topped sneakered feet

Run across the wet green grass

And your laughter rises up like bubbles from a soda glass

If I could hold this minute

Or you catch those tiny wings

If the world could be a place of kept not borrowed things

And if ever you were gone

Don’t know how I'd go on

Then Vanilla in the morning would flutter through the sunlight again


Take me to the place you go

Where all the world's a magic show

A mother's kiss heals all and butterflies have names

Today I need your laughter

Like a drowning man gulps air

As Vanilla, silent watcher flies away somewhere


And if ever you were gone

Don't know how I'd go on

Then Vanilla in the morning, would flutter through the sunlight again


Across the lawn beyond your reach
Vanilla's resting on a leaf
To warm herself in a bright patch of light
The years go by new dreams to chase
The giggles streaming from your face
Elusive, fragile – hard to catch as butterflies

 

And if ever you were gone

Don't know how I'd go on

Then Vanilla in the morning, would flutter through the sunlight again…and again…and again…

Track 5: Looking Back Down the Line © Roberta Pescow


Lead Vocals: Roberta Pescow

Backing Vocals: Jim Baldessari 

Guitar, Piano, Bass and Drums: Jim Baldessari

Instrumental Arrangement: Jim Baldessari

"...What would you do if you could go back in time and meet yourself from the past, knowing exactly what was rolling downhill that she had no clue about? And then - what if your future self could come back and meet you now? Would you be ready to hear what she had to say?"--Roberta


I was just driving back from the A&P

When this song on the radio shifts reality

I swear it's been 17 years

But now I see her so clear

The girl I was was feeling raw and used

Thought she'd been beat up by life and seen the worst through

She stood there smug and wounded with survivor's truth

The workings of the world left her vaguely amused

Now looking back down the line of time

I see she didn't have a clue


If I could take her in my arms, say put your head on my shoulder

Cause the future's rolling down like thunder

All the smiles and sadness, glory and madness,

Gonna blow your world to bits

I've tasted every tear that you will cry but you'll

Come together on the other side

And learn to love all the cracks and the pieces that don't quite fit

 

And time it draws a curtain over things to come

Stumbling blind we bluff and hope to be lucky ones

If we saw half the pain we're gonna walk right through

Could we even move?

And if the "me" that I'll be saw the "me" I am still

Smug and wounded and so "know the drill"

Playing it tough in my fading youth

Could I handle the truth?

Cause looking back down the line of time

She'd know I haven't got a clue

Would she take me in her arms, say put your head on my shoulder

Cause the future's rolling down like thunder

All the smiles and sadness, glory and madness

Gonna blow your world to bits

I've tasted every tear that you will cry buy you'll

Come together on the other side

And I wouldn't have it any other way

There is nothing I would change

You haven't lived if your face is too smooth and the pieces all fit

Track 6: Scabby Little Girl © Jim Baldessari 


Lead Vocals: Jim Baldessari

Backing Vocals: Roberta Pescow 

Guitar, Bass, Drums, Percussion and Harmonica: Jim Baldessari

Instrumental Arrangement: Jim Baldessari


"...I had read a story years ago in National Lampoon magazine about a guy who was in love with a woman who's personal habits and hygiene were appalling but he loved her because she was a great filmmaker. I wondered what a love song to such a woman would sound like. Roberta wants to make sure that everyone understands that this song is NOT about her."--Jim


Well She’s a scabby little girl, she bit her toenails as a child

Her breath is like warm cheese, it surely drives me wild

Her skin like greasy mayonnaise, When she slap the monkey down

She got potatoes in her ears and she’s coming to town

Chorus

            She’s a scabby little girl

            She’s a scabby little girl

            She’s a scabby little girl

            And she’s mine all mine

She’s got them summer teeth, some are here and some are there

She wears a dress made of sack cloth, she’s got a weevil in her hair

She keeps her finger in her pudding until her pudding get warm

But when she starts to loving she hollers ‘More, More, More More’

Chorus

OOOH she’s in the bone zone

OOOH she’s in the bone zone

OOOh she’s in the bone zone

And I love her so

Well she’s scabby to her eyeball and her feet’s are scabby too

and if her Daddy’s name was Scooby he would have called her

Scabby Doo!

Chorus

Track 7: Your House © Roberta Pescow


Lead Vocals: Roberta Pescow

Guitar, Bass, Synth, Percussion and Drums: Jim Baldessari

Instrumental Arrangement: Jim Baldessari


"...Jim and I were playing a gig at some little cafe where the crowd was much younger and not really into our old jazz standards. The rain was coming down like crazy outside, and in the glow of passing headlights through the huge plate glass window, I watched Jim playing guitar and was overcome with love for the person he is and for his talent...If only he could see himself through my eyes..."--Roberta


I know the way to your house like the letters in my name

Like the words of a childhood game

I could drive to your house with my eyes closed all the way

I know your smile, like the facets of a jewel

How it changes a whole room

How it makes me want to be with you

I want to kiss you in the rain, water running down our faces

In the middle of some very public spaces

And I know, Yes I know

If you could only see yourself through my eyes

Then you would be at peace

The raindrops slide down the window as the cars stream by outside

And we’re bathed in that white light

I could stay like this through the whole night into the day

I know your hands as they sing on the strings of your guitar

With that untamed, haunting power

Do you know how beautiful you are?

I want to kiss you in the rain, water running down our faces

In the middle of some very public spaces

And I know, yes I know

If you could only see yourself through my eyes

Then you would be at peace

Then you would be...

I know the way to your house...I know the way to your house

Track 8: I Don't Know © Jim Baldessari 


Lead Vocals: Roberta Pescow

Guitar, Piano, Bass and Percussion: Jim Baldessari

Instrumental Arrangement: Jim Baldessari

"...I had wanted to write something for Roberta to sing and at the time I was listening to a lot of Jobim. I wanted to use those descending chord progressions with Bossa Nova rhythm but didn't know what I should make the song about, hence the title."--Jim


I don't know why this is happening

I don't know what's right or wrong

If I had to choose tomorrow

I don't think I could go on

Experience should tell me, not to fall in love again

But I always thought that maybe, don't know where, don't know when

If I lived a thousand lifetimes

If I saw beyond today

I might know how I should feel

I might know what I should say

So until that day comes, as I wait impatiently

The only think I know is I don't know

Track 9: Obsessive Compulsive Song ©Jim Baldessari 


Lead Vocals: Jim Baldessari

Backing Vocals: Roberta Pescow and Jim Baldessari

Piano, Bass, Tenor Banjo, Drums and Sound Effects: Jim Baldessari

Neurotic Background Chatter: Roberta Pescow & Elissa Algazi

Instrumental Arrangement: Jim Baldessari


"...This started as a piece of silliness I used to sing for friends. I don't think I ever wrote lyrics down for it, it just grew out of life experience. We had played it a few times at gigs for laughs but then people started approaching me on the street saying 'Aren't you the guy who sings the Obsessive Compulsive Song?' The recording here sounds very different from the way we used to perform it."--Jim


Well first you wash your hands

Then you wash em, again

You wash em again

You wash em again

Next you wash your hands

Then you wash em again

You wash em again and again

Next you check your lights

You flick em off and back on

Off and back on

Off and back on

Next you check your lights

You flick em off and back on

it’s the Obsessive Compulsive Song

If you step on a crack you break your Mother’s Back

You check the knobs on the stove you check em

forward and back

You scrub the bathroom down for the third time today

But you never touch the toilet bowl anyway

You get your disinfectant and you spray it around

You spray it around

You spray it around

You get your disinfectant and you spray it around

It’s the Obsessive Compulsive Song

If you step on a crack you break your Mother’s Back

You check the knobs on the stove you check em

forward and back

You scrub the bathroom down for the third time today

But you never touch the toilet bowl anyway

Next you check your lights

You flick em off and back on

Off and back on

Off and back on

Next you check your lights

You flick em off and back on

It’s the Obsessive Compulsive Song

Track 10: Chameleon Girl © Roberta Pescow 


Lead Vocals: Roberta Pescow

Guitar, Bass, Xylophone & Synth Cello: Jim Baldessari

Instrumental Arrangement: Jim Baldessari


"...How safe and easy it is to hide behind the mirror of all that surrounds us and just give people back what they want to see. Sometimes I shudder to think that this is no less autobiographical than the rest of my songs."--Roberta


She's always more than willing

To do what you want to do

And she'll offer you a winning smile

That reflects your point of view

And she'll ask for nothing in return

But your true love 'till the end

A chameleon girl in a dangerous world

To survive it's best to blend

You might see the golden daughter

Or the sweet young loving wife

You might see the selfless mother

Secret lover on the side

She's that student full of promise

She's the teacher wise and true

A chameleon girl in a dangerous world

Looks like the best part of you

In the stillness all alone,

Her voice comes clear and strong

Distinct, out on its own

Colors woven through her song

She has been here all along

She has been here all along

If you are very quiet

And you still your busy mind

You might hear the distant colors dancing

Just beyond your eyes

But you'll probably never catch that glimpse

She'll elude you till the end

A chameleon girl in a dangerous world

To survive it's best to blend

A chameleon girl in a dangerous world

To survive it's best to blend

Track 11: Broken Angel © Roberta Pescow 


Lead Vocals: Roberta Pescow

Backing Vocals: Jim Baldessari 

Guitar, Piano, Bass, Drums: Jim Baldessari

Concert Flute: Special Guest Margo Kalogera

Plinking Piano: Roberta Pescow 

Instrumental Arrangement: Jim Baldessari


"...During my scary, bizarre divorce, Jim gave me a beautiful angel pin for strength. I wore it all the time, and when it was pinned to my sweatshirt, it accidentally went through the laundry and one of the wings broke off. It just looked so sad, but I suddenly realized I kind of liked it better that way. Who gets through life without getting beat up like that in some way? And yet, what doesn't get taken away is our ability to love, to give, to be angels for one another, broken though we may be..."--Roberta


In this place of things discarded

Shards of glass, and old crushed cans

Stands an angel, with one wing sheared off

No more to fly across this land

With eyes on mile-high piles of snow

Caked with soot and sand

Dark clouds tremble as the sun falls

Into my angel’s open hand

Broken Angel, Broken Angel

Walk beside me; take my hand

Who among us comes through unbroken?

I think my angel understands

I am guided, I am grateful

I’m inspired where I stand

I have seen tears stirred into laughter

By those alchemistic hands

And I’d not trade this angel

For a thousand more unscathed

Nothing flawless could be more perfect

No other love could fill this space

Broken Angel, Broken Angel

Walk beside me; take my hand

Who among us comes through unbroken?

I think my angel understands

In this place of things discarded

Damaged hearts and shattered minds

Stands an angel, roughed up and grounded

Who pours heaven though his eyes

Broken Angel, Broken Angel

Walk beside me; take my hand

Who among us comes through unbroken?

I think my angel understands

Additional Credits

Cover Art

Front album cover art: Jim Baldessari with background material contributed by Elissa Algazi

Back album cover photography: Roberta Pescow

Special thanks to Ray Winch for mastering this album. 

Special thanks to Margo Kalogera for her beautiful flute contributions. 

Many thanks to Elissa Algazi for contributing to the album cover art. 

This album was recorded at Rubber Ducky Studios (that would be Jim's living room) and engineered by Jim Baldessari & Roberta Pescow 

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