We're in This Thing Together

by Rich Restaino & The Obits

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about

FROM BIG WESTERN FLAVOR BLOG REVIEW (3/10/10)
bigwesternflavor.blogspot.com/2010/03/team-spirit.html

"Rich Restaino & The Obits were one of the first bands I ever listened to for a Demo Sweat. They're still one of my favorites, with the willfully anachronistic love of vocal harmony and sophisticated arrangements we share. As many nice things as I've written about the band in the past, before having the chance to really inhabit their new CD We're in This Thing Together I believe I've sold them short. I recognized Restaino from the first as a disciplined songwriter whose central late-70's influences gave him an unfashionable, two-level approach: big, wide melodies, simple rock changes, and sugary vocal hooks for people listening on AM radio through crackling car speakers; unfathomable depths of backing vocals and additional instrumentation for those who like to spin LP's with headphones on. Most people don't listen to records any longer, and hardly anybody music on AM radio, so there's a appealingly perverse charm to the style."

With their 2010 full-length, "We're in This Thing Together," Austin, TX's Rich Restaino & The Obits made a conscious effort to make a record that kept the emphasis on fun. The 12 tracks mine the small victories that make life worth living, while not entirely ignoring the pitfalls and frustrations of modern-day life.

The eight-piece band, led by songwriter, singer, and guitarist Restaino, is in top form on this set. Drummer Dave Wylie and bassist Alexei Sefchick hug the pocket, laying the foundation for Restaino's and Hunt Wellborn's guitar work and Lloyd Wright's piano and organ. The arrangments are tight and clean, leaving room for background singers Sara Shansky, Roz Mandola, and Elzie Ivey Restaino to work their harmonic magic. Added to the mix are two of Austin's most in-demand hornmen, Mark Wilson (Burning Spear, Killer Bees, etc.) on saxophones and flute and Ed McNames (Tribal Nation, Gingerbread Men, etc.) on trumpet. Other aural flourishes include bits of banjo, glockenspiel, and plenty of handclaps and tambourines.

credits

released February 18, 2010

LABEL: madhouse! records/Austin, TX indie

Produced by Alexei Sefchick & Rich Restaino
Recorded & Mixed by Alexei Sefchick
Mastered by Randy Avenell
Arranged by Rich Restaino & The Obits
Horn Arrangements and Charts by Alexei Sefchick

Rich Restaino: vocals, acoustic/electric/baritone guitars, banjo, glockenspiel, percussion
Alex Sefchick: bass
Dave Wylie: drums
Hunt Wellborn: guitars, vocals
Lloyd Wright: piano, organ, synths
Sara Shansky: vocals, percussion
Elzie Ivey Restaino: vocals, percussion
Roz Mandola: vocals, percussion

with:
Ed McNames: trumpet
Mark Wilson: tenor & baritone sax, flute

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Rich Restaino Austin, Texas

"Rich Restaino covers a lot of territory, as apt to remind you of Carl Perkins as David Byrne." -- www.austin.com

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Track Name: Spirit of the Law
"Spirit of the Law"
(R.F. Restaino)

I heard you say that’s not what I said
After I repeated what you just told me
You like to quote lines from the movies
But I use the term loosely ‘cause you get it all wrong

You get it all wrong but I get what you’re saying
Your paraphrasing is driving me mad
You seem to be acquainted with the spirit of the law
And if the letter gets lost, well that’s too bad

Everybody knows that nobody’s perfect
And you’ve got to be some kind of jerk to point out little quirks, but
I know that I’m a jerk but I won’t let it stop me
I will edit your copy when you get it all wrong

You get it all wrong but I get what you’re saying
Your paraphrasing is driving me mad
You seem to be acquainted with the spirit of the law
And if the letter gets lost, well that’s too bad

(I’m not the only one with irritating habits) I know
(How about the way) The way I always interrupt your lines
It’s true, there’s more wrong with me than there is with you

You get it all wrong but that’s why I love you
I don’t have to kid glove you and you give it right back
You get it all wrong sometimes, but I think it’s cute
And the point’s become moot so let’s not fight
It’s better that you understand the spirit of the law
And if the letter gets lost, well that’s all right
Track Name: Best Friend
"Best Friend"
(R.F. Restaino)

Last night you called me up
Said you had some happy news
The guy who broke your heart
Was back in town and took you out
And now you wanna know
Just what I think about it
What can I say, hey,
Color me suspicious
But, mark my words, in two weeks
You'll be downright superstitious
'Cause every dog has his day
And now you wanna give him three
But when he makes a mess of it all
You'll be coming back to me, because

This time last year you were crying on my shoulder
Telling me all of the things that he said,
How he lied and he cheated
And treated you oh-so bad

Can't sit by and watch him hurt you again
But you never did listen to me anyway
And don't think I haven't noticed
Just how much you would put up with
To have someone to call your own,
Someone that you're in love with
But there's a line you never cross
No matter how you say he's trying
There's got to be some more to love
Than sitting home and crying
Yeah, someone must have got to you
And twisted up your reason
'Cause the way you let him back into
Your life was simply treason

This time last year you were crying on my shoulder
Telling me all of the things that he said,
How he lied and he cheated
And treated you oh-so bad

And all the times I comforted you
When he walked out again, leaving you crying
I was swearing that this time
I'd make you all mine

That's when you said I was your best friend
You always knew just what to say
Best friend, you wouldn't have it any other way
But, baby, I been thinking
Why can't best friends be lovers too?

Best friend, and this you're scared of losing
Best friend, you never were too good at choosing
But baby, what are best friends if not honest with each other
And baby, I can't stand to see you walking with another
Baby, I been thinking
Why can't best friends be lovers too?
Track Name: Hey Hey Hey
"Hey Hey Hey"
(R.F. Restaino)

The word on the street is you’re skipping town
Heading down to Baton Rouge
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey
Take the money right out of my pocket
It’s the least that I can do
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey

It’s not so very unusual to find that your mind has
Made itself up on you
Sometimes the things you want get somehow undermined
By the things you’ve got to do

I got me a car that’s running
And a place to lay my head
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey
And with hurricane season coming
You might find you need a bed
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey

If it’s always wintertime somewhere in your mind, you might find
It coloring your view
Could be on the beach in San Juan, living on rum and lime
And be frozen through and through

You can sublet out your apartment
Buit can you outrun your soul?
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey
You can come into all kinds of money
And still feel like you’re on the dole
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey

Your plans may work out fine or maybe all of them will fall through
You still got folks at home who always will be rooting for you
And sometimes you find that what makes it all worthwhile
Are those things you’ve got to do
Track Name: Susie
"Susie"
(R.F. Restaino)

Susie got knocked up over the summer by her boyfriend
But she never even told him
She broke the news to her mom and dad over breakfast at the IHOP
On a Sunday morning

And by the time the check was paid she knew
She’d made a big mistake
They couldn’t tell her what she wanted to hear
What she needed to hear
Let the record show she done her best
But there’s some folks you just can’t confess to
But somehow, Susie, I think you’ll be OK

Susie found herself a part-time job after school
And had some plans to take some classes in the summer
She was crashing on the couch of an acquaintance
She had met at a part, but it was getting harder

And every now and then, she’d call her dad
‘Cause her mother just would not come to the phone
He’d send her money but he’d never tell her what she wanted to hear
What she needed to hear
It got to be so hard to try
But she held out hope in the by-and-by that
Everything was going to be OK

Last I heard, Susie had a little girl, got her GED and
Started talking to her mom again
And although things are still a little strained
She began to understand what she put her mother through

And though she never heard the words she vowed that
Her own little girl would, Susie would tell her all she wanted to hear
What she needed to hear
She prayed that if she did her best she’d
Live her life without regrets and, somehow Susie,
I think you’ll be OK
Track Name: Framed
"Framed"
(R.F. Restaino)

Imagine yourself painted into a picture
No say of your setting, no way to get out
Perhaps the colors may flatter your features
But give up all hope of ever moving about

I been framed
You’ve got a way of misplacing the blame
Maybe I posed for a picture or two
But the brushes, they belonged to you

All of my friends said I was a sucker
The way that I let you play me like a drum
All I knew then was how much that I loved you
But you mistook my love for a new medium

I been framed
You’ve got a way of misplacing the blame
Maybe I posed for a picture or two
But the brushes, they belonged to you

I still remember when I was your muse
And all-too eager to bend to your whims
You made me up just the way that you wanted
And whomever you wanted, I was glad to be him

I been framed
You’ve got a way of misplacing the blame
Maybe I posed for a picture or two
But the brushes, they belonged to you

I know the secret of old Mona Lisa
And I know the tune that Whistler blew
When he painted his mother on that old rocking chair
Stranted in stillness, forever in blue

I been framed
You’ve got a way of misplacing the blame
Maybe I posed for a picture or two
But the brushes, they belonged to you
Track Name: What's He Thinking?
"What's He Thinking?"
(R.F. Restaino)

What's he thinking stepping to me like that?
Where does he come off thinking
He's got a chance at bat?
When me and my girls go walking past
He ought to bite his tongue and watch his ass

He's the kind who whistles at every skirt he sees
Old ladies, trannies too; he's straight out of the seventies
When I tell him to fuck off
He says, "Oooh, baby, I like it rough"
It's time we put him in his place

What's he thinking stepping to me like that?
Where does he come off thinking
He's got a chance at bat?
When me and my girls go walking past
He ought to bite his tongue and watch his ass

He's the kind who likes to think he's every woman's dream
Thinks that his Chevy van
With the teardrop window is a love machine
No need to get my man involved
'Cause me and my girls can take this slob
We'll send him back home to his mama

Lefty, she's killed before
Don't mean nothing if she kills one more
Don't get us wrong,
We're just as sweet as we are strong, but
He's the kind of guy no one would miss
If he wen't bye-bye
Dead men never get out of line

What's he thinking stepping to me like that?
Where does he come off thinking
He's got a chance at bat?
When me and my girls go walking past
He ought to bite his tongue and watch his ass
Track Name: Save It for the B-Side
"Save It for the B-Side"
(Zimmy T.)

The man from Muscle Shoals came down to the show
Said, "I wanna give you a try in one of my studios."
I said, "I got no problem with that." So I took off just like a shot
But when I got down there, he tried to sell me some girly crap

I said, "Save it for the B-Side, baby"

Because I've only got one chance to make some crackers dance
I can tell you how I'm gonna be a man
It just takes me two minutes and twenty-seven seconds

I don't wanna talk about puppy dogs, sweet romance or fire logs
I don't wanna sing about your first kiss
Mr. Redding wouldn't have to put up with this
No, I need a dance, something with heart
No wussy crap's gonna get me on the charts
I don't wanna sing about your jilted lover
We ain't gonna do no crappy Beatles cover

Save it for the B-Side
Save it for the B-Side
Save it for the B-Side, baby
Track Name: Friendly Traveler
"Friendly Traveler"
(R.F. Restaino)

Como estas, Usted, señor
Allow me to walk you to your door
Think nothing of it, no problema, es para mí un placer

I have some money in my pocket to spare
Vamos a cantar y beber
Leventemos nuestras gafas a los nuevos amigos

CHORUS:
I’m simply passing through to nowhere
I’ll know it when I get there
But for now I’ll sit and drink with you
I want to know therefore I go
Would you like to come along too?

Bonjour étranger, hello
There’s something I would like to know
Voulez-vous boire avec moi? I’d like to talk with you.

I’m simply passing through to nowhere
I’ll know it when I get there
But for now I’ll sit and drink with you
I want to know therefore I go----
Would you like to come along too?

Come away and drink with us
Venite e bevete con noi
Kommen Sie und trinken Sie mit uns
Ben e bebe con nosotros

It’s such a lovely day; it’s like an endless holiday
We’ll sip and sup and tell dirty jokes
In our native tongues
We’re not hurting anyone

Autumn will be here soon, my friends
And then I must leave here once again
Surely our paths will cross again
We who make the road our home

We’re simple passing through to nowhere
We’ll know it when we get there
But for now we’ll sit and drink with you
We want to know therefore we go
Would you like to come along too?
Track Name: Turn Key
COMING SOON
Track Name: The Staying Kind
"The Staying Kind"
(R.F. Restaino)

I was not the kind of guy you'd ever run with
You figured I would just be someone to have fun with
I took one look at you and knew
I'd have to change your mind
I may be rough around the edges but
Baby, I'm the staying kind

You had been messed around by guys you thought were keepers
They all had steady jobs, nice cars, but nothing deeper
I've got some addictions, can't hold down a job
But bear in mind
Sure, I've got my problems but
Baby, I'm the staying kind

You're daddy and me get along
It seems that we agree
And you'll always be a daddy's girl
But now your daddy's me

I can wait forever
I got nothing to my name but time
Just let me prove it to you baby
I'm the staying kind
Track Name: Too Slow
COMING SOON
Track Name: Sallie Mae
COMING SOON!