HARD TIMES, GO!

by beat radio

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about

Before I explain our new record I should maybe introduce myself. I’m Brian Sendrowitz and I live with my wife Liz and our 3 young boys in Bellmore, NY. Bellmore is a small town near the south shore of Long Island. I’ve been putting out music as Beat Radio since 2005. I guess my music career/family trajectory was sort of backwards. I never wanted to put my life on hold for my art. The lineup for the band has changed a lot over the years, but the latest record has primarily been a collaboration between my drummer Brian Ver Straten and I.

I’ve somehow gotten into the habit of writing songs as lifelines. Last fall when I started working on the material for this album I was in sort of a dark place. The existing band lineup seemed to be dissolving. I don’t remember an exact moment when it happened. All I can remember is feeling a strong urge to start writing and figure out what the next step should be on my own. Liz and I were going through difficult times financially, struggling to make things work from one month to the next. Like so many people around the country we felt trapped and disillusioned. It started to feel like the walls were closing in around us.

I needed a place to put my anxieties about things, and perhaps more than anything I needed an escape. I headed down to my basement studio. In the past I’ve drawn inspiration mostly from artists like Sparklehorse, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Van Morrison. Last fall I fell headlong into a deep obsession with the Swedish pop star Robyn. I listened to her Body Talk album on repeat, hunted down all the remixes, watched endless Youtube clips of live performances. Liz and I would spend long road family road trips analyzing the narrative complexity of her songs. We also started writing songs together, trying to capture a little bit of the brilliance we heard coming through the speakers of our minivan.

The sound of the new Beat Radio album was beginning to take shape in my mind, and my ambition was to work with the rhythms and melodic structures of electronic dance/pop music, but flesh things out with more organic sounds. Lyrically I felt like the stories I had to tell needed to be more focused around the realities of what we were going through. My records in the past have been thematically centered around a romantic escapism and a nostalgia for things past. I wanted the new songs to address real adult problems, in the way Bruce Springsteen had started to do with his records Darkness on the Edge of Town and Nebraska. I didn’t feel like I should hold anything back, and I wanted to be as direct and honest as possible. I decided to follow Robyn’s lead and release a series of EPs the way she had done with Body Talk. My original ambition was to have the entire album thematically correlate with Robyn’s album, sort of in the way that Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville was a companion to the Stones’ Exile on Main Street. That plan ended up being a bit more grandiose than what actually happened.

In the end, we ended up with another Beat Radio record. We challenged ourselves to make it. The songs feel special, and we’re really proud of them. We’re trying to spread the word about our music as far and wide as possible. If you could share with your friends that would be awesome.

Thanks for listening,
Brian

credits

released 19 February 2013

BEAT RADIO IS: BRIAN SENDROWITZ AND BRIAN VER STRATEN

ALSO: BRYAN BRUCHMAN PLAYS GUITARS ON TRACKS 1, 3, 9, 10
MAIA MACDONALD SINGS ON TRACKS 1 AND 8
DAN BILLS PLAYS SYNTH ON TRACK 8
PETE OBERG SINGS ON TRACK 9

TRACK 1 WRITTEN BY BRIAN SENDROWITZ, BRIAN VER STRATEN, BRYAN BRUCHMAN, AND VINCE BAUTERS. TRACK 2 BY BRIAN SENDROWITZ AND BRIAN VER STRATEN. TRACKS 3 AND 5 BY BRIAN AND ELIZABETH SENDROWITZ. TRACKS 4, 6-10 BY BRIAN SENDROWITZ, COPYRIGHT 2013 - MIRACLE FLAG (ASCAP)

PRODUCED AND RECORDED BY BEAT RADIO AT MIRACLE FLAG IN BELLMORE, NY

BIG THANKS TO OUR FAMILIES AND EVERYONE WHO HAS SUPPORTED US OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, AND A SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR KICKSTARTER SUPPORTERS WHO FUNDED THE PRESSING OF THIS RECORD.

contact: brian@beatradio.org
press contact: karen@bantermm.com

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Track Name: Hurricanes, XO
I pulled the pages out of books just to catch my breath
I kissed every girl i knew and then i dreamed a dance of death.
I was thunder against water as I thrashed around the room
I knew the sunset when i saw it
Shared my visions with the moon.

my letters turn like hurricanes in notebooks filled with coffee stains swaying with the record player never growing old again and if I write a seasick waltz or disappear to shopping malls take refuge from the wind and rain and we could find our way to fall

Stardust, fools, and nonsense
Some things I want to say to you
We meant all the things we said back then
Some promises fall through

And when we came in from the wilderness
and when we stayed awake all night
i was the prayer inside a moving car
I was the last electric light

If I commit the perfect crime make little sounds from broken chimes repeating in a feedback loop to say your name a million times and if i write a melody of ashes in infinity and count the space between the stars then there’s a place for you and me

But in between the weeks and days
we stumble and we lose our way
unravel from the inside out
and lose the things we dream about

my letters turn like hurricanes in notebooks filled with coffee stains swaying with the record player never growing old again and if I write a seasick waltz or disappear to shopping malls take refuge from the wind and rain and we could find our way to fall
Track Name: East Coast
i came in from the east coast
now i'm tired and i'm broke
and no one here is laughing
at any of my jokes
got a high and lonesome feeling
i've been haunted by the ghost
and i feel so disconnected
from the things that i love most

and i miss you
i miss you

if i could only tell you everything
that my heart wants you to know
then we could turn the tides around
we could let these hard times go
and go back to the beginning
and we'll be better that before
and you would fall into my open arms
just like a wave against the shore

and i miss you
i miss you
Track Name: Dreaming Wide Awake
Ive been thinking of that moment my eyes first met yours
After hours stealing glances from across the floor
then we're talking, standing closer and we're losing track of time
when we go i don't think twice before i take your hand in mine

and everything i know is gonna change
and now it's hard to tell where things fit it
but i can feel my heartbeat getting faster and i'm in a state i've never been

daylight breaking, we go walking through this sleepy lakeside town
feels like dreaming wide away and there's no one else around
kiss you in the tall grass underneath the weeping willow tree, put my hands around your hips and I pull you close to me

but everything i know is gonna change
right now it's hard to tell where things fit in
and i cant feel my heartbeat getting faster and i'm in a state i've never been.

I was fine before
I was stumbling around in the dark
and i never wanted anything more
but i didn't even know my own heart
i was busy making plans
there were things i wasn't ready to face
but now is the only time
this is the only place

and everything i know is gonna change
and now it's hard to tell where things fit it
but i can feel my heartbeat getting faster and i'm in a state i've never been
because everything i know is gonna change
and now it's hard to tell where things fit it
but i can feel my heartbeat getting faster and i'm in a state i've never been
Track Name: Hard Times, Go!
Are you headed for somewhere?
Are you running away?
Do you call it religion?
Or a game that you play?
Now the summer is over
See the leaves turning brown
Do you feel like a failure?
Did your dreams let you down?
Hard times come and hard times go
Its hard to change when its all you know
I don't say the things I need to say to let you in
I haven't been as brave in how I've loved you
As I know I should have been
I thought if I kept quiet
You might think I was strong
And now that its over
I can see I was wrong

When the parachute opens
Is it fun anymore?
Are you more scared of falling?
Or just being bored?
Our love was a promise
That we made in good faith
And it all seemed so perfect
But the circumstance changed
So I spend my days in a fever dream
In a lakeside town with the kings and queens
I don't say the things I need to say to let you in
I haven't been courageous in my love
the way I know I should have been
I thought if I kept quiet
You might think I was strong
And now that its over
I can see I was wrong
Track Name: Days Like Diamonds
my mind is daylight and broken flowers
storm clouds and falling silver stars
i was the wind in abandoned buildings
watching the sunlight fade alone in my car
solving my problems with melodies
lost in the minor keys
waiting around for something new
i made my home by the willow tree
alone in my revery
but all i could think about was you

hold on
i've been dreaming about this day
we'll be ok
i know that i'm asking alot of you
this time i can see where i need to change
i'm not the same
let's go
we are young and our hearts are true

my mind is longing for days like diamonds
waiting for weekends underground
i went back home with the broken records
somehow i'm always getting lost in the sound
solving my problems with melodies and lost in the minor keys
i try not to worry anymore
down on the boardwalk with hazy eyes
the band's playing lullabies
at sunset we walked along the shore

hold on
i've been dreaming about this day
we'll be ok
i know that i'm asking alot of you
this time i can see where i need to change
i'm not the same
let's go
we are young and our hearts are true
Track Name: Strange Harmonies
And in those weeks after the war
We tried to walk a million miles
To find the things that we had lost
And let ourselves go for a while
We needed time to make mistakes
A chance to change or stay the same
To break with what we’d done before
And sleep to dream of golden days
I wanted all of you
You wanted all of me
And I was standing still
Then I was falling free
We stayed awake for 7 days
We wrote our names on paper bags
People and places fade away
And conversations start to drag
When we survive the fiery crash
Will you say prayers for all the dead?
When you put on your lion’s mask
And shadows fall around our heads
If I have all of you
And you have all of me
to fill the empty space
With strange harmonies
And I’ll have all of you
And you’ll have all of me
Cause we were standing still
And now we’re falling free
Track Name: Never Let You Down
i'll never let you down, always let you down
always let you down, never let you down

but it's the simple things that i'll remember in the end
how the light bends around your body in our bed
i'm sorry for the times when i made you feel second best
it's just that sometimes i get lost in my own head

i'll never let you down, always let you down
always let you down, never let you down

it's good to be alone sometimes to settle down your mind
there are some things i had to learn all on my own
but stay away too long and you'll feel lonely all the time
and when you're gone this place just never feels like home

you're staring at the ceiling
i'm staring at my shoes
if we ain't got nothing left
we got nothing left to lose
wake you in the morning
maybe we could start again
because you're all i think about
baby and you're my best friend

i'll never let you down, always let you down
always let you down, never let you down
Track Name: Stars Collided in Our Hearts
it seems like everywhere i go
somebody's asking me what's wrong
so i keep saying things are fine
and everybody plays along
but i remember how it feels
pretending everything is new
but then i find myself alone
i'm wondering who i'm talking to

chorus:
if it's time to go
can we go now?
far away from here
let's just go now

we put our dream into this house
you sign your name, you chose your fate
but was it someone else's dream?
or was it already too late?
this is the town where we grew up
the stars collided in our hearts
we never wanted more than this
one day it all just came apart

if it's time to go
lets just go now
cause we're drowning here
can we go now?

if it's time to go
can we go now?
far away from here
let's just go now
Track Name: Chasing a Phantom
September collapses
it feels like forever, it’s bringing you down
the phantom you’re chasing
will bend and retreat into patterns of sound
and secret transmissions
they’ll make you a crown out of radio wire
before you set sail on
an ocean of fire

Come back and find me, I’m waiting for you
Here in the half light, I’m waiting for you

Where everything’s perfect
and everything’s empty and everything’s fine
we’re perfectly empty
it’s best that we all try and have a good time
the ones who burn brighter
will have no ambition for fortune or fame
but i know you better
because we are the same

Here in the half light, I’m waiting for you
Come back and find me, I’m waiting for you
Come back and find me, I’m waiting for you
Here in the half light, I’m waiting for you
Track Name: Head Underwater
the freeway divided our hearts and the neighborhood changed
the radio speaks of a love that can take away pain
I'm faraway falling asleep to the sounds of the sea
I'm thinking of you, wondering if you think about me
and love isn't something to hold in the crux of your arms
I'd turn all my days on their head just to keep you from harm
remember that time when we danced in your mother's backyard?
I wanna go back to that place but you make it so hard

It wasn't our dream but we played along
we followed the rules, but then things went wrong

meanwhile, back in the city it feels good to be lost
there's freedom in being alone, but it comes with a cost
the subway is keeping me safe from original sin
the sunlight is opening doors and I'm stumbling in
the freeway divided our hearts and the neighborhood changed
the radio speaks of a love that can take away pain
I'm faraway falling asleep to the sounds of the sea
I'm thinking of you, wondering if you think about me

head underwater and heavy heart
we keep it together to fall apart

it wasn't our dream but we played along
we followed the rules, but then things went wrong
and I can remember why we should stay
so head underwater and heavy heart
we keep it together to fall apart
our senses unravel and fly away