"Portrait of a Muse" is the first album entirely produced by the songwriter Mr. Chris under the pseudonym The Joint Stock Company. It is an analog recording from the fall of 2001 done at Belongrooves Studio. Additional musicians include Sonny Rothchild, Joe DiVita, Todd Devine, and Tim Gober. The blend of acoustic instruments, light percussion, and surrealist lyricism are evident throughout and begin to set the stage for later albums including Mr. Chris' "A Little Unfolkist" (2002), side projects such as the mandolin drenched Laughing Bones' "Ramblings" (2004), the traditional folk blues album "4/4 Blues" (2004) by Peter Spencer w/ Mr. Chris, and the electrified sound of the live band the Lowdown (2005-2009). With an overflow of original material, Mr. Chris decided to form the Mr. Chris and Alley Band, a group dedicated to playing these songs live. The first official Mr. Chris and Alley release came in 2010 with the double album "Mourning in the Garden/ And Down Went the Sun" which was written, produced, and performed by Mr. Chris. Alley Band shows are updated periodically on the CD Baby website. Enjoy Mr. Chris' early gems with the Joint Stock Company's "Portrait of a Muse" (lyrics below).
Lyrics / Stories...from the mind/subconscious/ramblings of Mr. Chris
JACK THE RUFFIAN (written 12/98)
Jack was quite a man back in his day...
Conquered many, fought so few, 'til one day...
Slipped him some wine, which was fine until an hour went by.
Asleep for some time...
"The pleasure's all mine," the servant said, as Jack lay on his bed.
Lost all of his pain only to find...
10,000 men huddled below watching Jack's mind.
"Sleep!" they all said.
He thought, 'they want me dead' so he took out his sword instead...
..."Please let me go."
They charged for his land, they charged for his soul,
but Jack wasn't ready to let it all go.
"Fight for your mind, but this is the battle you can't win, not this time."
THE STORY OF DANNY K. (written 12/98)
Sittin' up all night, trying to discover,
Those blinding lights...whats up above them?
Frontman plays his songs, and no one listens...
Searchin' his whole life, ain't one damn thing missin',
...but it was love all along, singing its sweet song
Personality fading, friendship gone awry.
Mother Nature's remedies can't clear up his mind.
Looks like nasty weather...running out of time
Visions of that humble life are keeping him alive...
...but it was love all along, singing its sweet song.
ALASANMDER SALAMANDER (written 5/00)
Ally lived his life in a subtle way...pleased all his friends but kept them saying..."Ally, you won't live to see 2 million days," But he shrugged his shoulders and kept his sway. Living proofs from those scientific views can't explain all those hidden truths.
So it was one day, that Ally's DNA had spilled upon the Amazon in such a natural way...or was it DMT that killed the cat instead...but curiousity was still inside his head when things began to change and light was now not just a ray...he asked the question 'Who am I?' and they said...
...Plain old Alasanmder Salamander,
...Same old, dripping down the north panhandle,
...Strange hold on a captivating plastic chandelier,
...Lain cold by the glistening yet rainy part of year.
Ally moved along on his steady plain...not comprehending his new antiquated name and they said..."Ally, you don't seem the type to go insane," but he threw them a dollar since he knew he needed change and it didnt seem too long, after what he'd done that he screamed out loud 'What does it mean?' and they said...
So Ally kept his speed, until he'd find a need to come to terms with what was learned and freed...and they said...
"Ally, it's been done before but never gone this long,"
He just smiled with a grin that said it all...and as he walked on proudly onto the center part of town, he asked the question, 'When will I come down?' and they said...
INDIGO WAMPLUS (written 1/98)
I was walking to a place I could hide,
When out came the moonlight and sunshine inside.
Garage doors are open, signs every which way.
Memories and dreams...10,000 a day
Heartache and troubles, we will find their homes.
Walls among many, melt into their own.
Watchin' your light show, you won't need a friend.
Indigo Wamplus has done it again.
...You can't give what you take so just put it away,
...You can't use what you find so just put it to shame,
...You can't take what you give but it's all the same,
...Find your life in another direction right out of the flame.
You find your friends, lost and confused.
Don't take for granted, what you abuse.
What you can't handle is all in your mind.
What you can deal with is wasting your time.
BARBUR BLVD. (written 5/00)
Spaceshuttle pollen...next thing I hear is that we have no more air.
Tom Robbin's Alobar, mistress always braiding his hair.
And laughing out the sadness always hides the thoughts that you care.
And you say please sir, tell me where my prison lies?
Harmful operations...you call that civilized?
And laughing out the sadness can't bring that joy back into your eyes.
River overflowing, bed's been dry for days and maybe more.
Birds have all been chriping, wondering whats been smokin' at your door.
And laughing out the sadness...well Mardi Gras's been done before...
...on Barbur Blvd.
...leaving only what is ours so we can be free.
Spaceshuttle kindness is drifting through the veins that you once wore.
Portrait medication...exaggerating what it's really for.
And laughing out the sadness...is that what you call a cure?
COOKIE SPOKANE (written 7/01)
HEADLINES (written 3/01)
Turning the pages of this local tribune...
yet only seeing stages of a nation-gone-cartoon...
My nation gone so soon.
The puctuation that I see is only fading to a white uncut melody...my white uncut remedy.
...And these headlines are eating my soul away,
...Yet instead I'm reading them anyway,
...Paperboy, won't you read me one good line,
...Let me leave reality so far behind.
THE HOODOO'S BLUES (written 9/01)
Got the message from all of my friends
That you're just a little man.
Take a hit and tell that you're hate won't end,
You better run for days 'cause mine just began.
Living stone, dreamin' without a mind,
And your statue clone, can't compare to my nature's crime.
Wear me down til I no longer see, hear, think, or dream.
...I got the hoodoo's blues
...Just when I'm bound to lose,
...They have to follow my every move.
CIERRA'S BLUES (written 1/01)
Growing up with a rattled head...cursed at birth might as well be dead...and he grew up with a silver spoon that turned to lead...and he prayed and prayed for something good to happen instead.
Now all of his life he lost track of time...and his cold old blood left him behind...and in his mind they told him that "We can't tell who I am." 'They' say I'm Johnny Doe with extended REM
And he'd continue to dream, but it would fade away while the others would be well on their way. Father Clandestine held his head up high and the political woman, shut the door and said good bye.
Livin' out a dream inside his head with the policeman sayin' that his mommy's dead.
Johnny listened to what the people'd say...even though he was jsut as good as they...but pure truth is just what is seen through humble eyes...and they'd continue to preach with nothing left to criticize.
And he'd continue to dream but it would fall apart...while the others would be so wicked from the start...and livin' like this wasn't meant to be...can't bloom in a garden of dying weeds.
Livin' out a dream inside his head with the policeman saying that his daddy's dead.
But he knew it was meant to be and who know it would end in this old twisted way...and who knew that it was ok...and who knew that livin' wasn't meant to be free.
SOUNDS OF LIFE (written 2/98)
I can't tell you the meaning and I can't tell you what you're seeing for the first time or the second or the third time. Listen to the sounds of life. They're all around you. They're getting closer and closer. Need that feeling? Follow life so ideally? Then they're getting closer to the meaning. Listen to life...there's a sound around you...and society won't allow you.
You can't find your religion. I conquered mine so make your decision for the last time...for the final time. Here it comes to us all. Waiting in our minds...waiting all along.
Thank for your support,