Muse Tree (European demo)

by Julean and the Rai

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about

The album "Muse Tree", which contains many songs from early in Julean Rai's songwriting career, as well as some newer songs, written for the album about real people and events at around the same time, starting from his journey leaving home at seventeen. From "The Roots" (a story about losing a first love while at the same time choosing to leave home), to "Fifth Street Coffee Song" (a story about 90s coffee shop culture, to "For Me" (a song about a last jaunt with an old friend before friendship fades into early adulthood), each song is an autobiographical account of real life, real people, real loss, and real change.

In an abandoned warehouse -- turned into rented artist's studios -- with two guitars, a snare drum, a mixing console, scattered percussion instruments and piecemeal recording equipment, Julean set out to create an album that had been both performed and waiting for galvanization for over a decade. The studio became his home for the next 40 days -- waking to record and often falling asleep at his board. Julean would eat, sleep, record, and master his creation; rarely leaving the confines of the studio. These sessions for the "Muse Tree" would also include sessions for album two, "Darlene" (European release: "Here."), as well as "Alexandria, Falling" and "Disconnect". He would not return to New York until all four projects were completed, and ready to be heard.

With the aid of friend and artist Benjamin Bader and promoter Bill Cunningham, Julean would complete all four projects, returning to New York to begin work on album three, "Secrets and Stains", while writing the material for the more-recent "Candy" EP (featured on "Live at the Baggot Inn").

This was the second attempt to perfect this first chapter: the first occurred three years earlier, in 2003.

"Muse Tree" was recorded alongside and in the same sessions as "Alexandria, Falling", "Here.", and "Disconnect". Intended to be used sellable merchandise to fund a hastily planned move to Europe from New York City, "Muse Tree" was equally hastily mixed, mastered and burned to recordable CDs alongside printed, one-sided covers for the trip.

Distributed by hand during last minute open mic spots, squeezed in shows, busking excursions and eventually real shows in London, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Vienna, Hradec, many points in Romania and Hungary, and eventually Poland (where Julean settled), the album eventually found its way onto the Torrent networks, which was responsible for most of the early distribution of this album.


Julean and the Rai on Facebook: facebook.com/juleanandtherai

"Muse Tree" album on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Muse-Tree/147882018609917?sk=info

credits

released December 15, 2007

All recording, engineering and performances by Julean Rai. Music and lyrics copyright 1995, 2003 Julian D. Rai (BMI); Julean Rai (BMI); Julean and the Rai (BMI). All rights reserved. Cover artwork and inserts by Benjamin M. Bader (neoelegance.com).

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about

Julean and the Rai Denver, Colorado

Julean and the Rai is a genre blended, songwriting heavy, acoustic based indie folk quartet with a powerful lead singer and a wide range of sounds.

Founded in 2006 in NYC by frontman Julean Rai, Julean and the Rai pulls from influences from everywhere from prog rock legend Peter Gabriel to alt country songwriter John Hiatt, and bringing to mind musicians like Richie Havens and Ravi Shankar.
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Track Name: The Roots (European demo)
The Roots
Music and Lyrics by Julean Rai (BMI)
All Rights Reserved.

The madness of your family seed;
The funny way that folks can be;
The fear of Change is weighting me;
Under this solitary shade tree.

The tragedy of childish things;
Moving on, so life can bring
The richness of a medicine;
Hard to swallow down.

I tried to watch you down the drive;
Watch your tailights fire;
But I just weighted down the roots.

Can't say that I was angry;
Can't say that I was anything;
I couldn't feel a lot of things...
It was a solitary shade tree.

This hidden boy is ripe for you;
No hidden heart is right for you;
Butterflies are fleeting things;
You know I got the message;
Step into the world, start out at the roots.

A minutes worth of steady ache;
A little breath, and I can stand;
One little step, and I'm a man;
If steady on the path.

I turned the timepiece over;
This way I could remember;
When my will, so sober;
Washes over everything.

This hidden boy is ripe for you;
No hidden heart is right for you;
Butterflies are fleeting things;
You know I got the message;
Step into the world, start out at the roots.

I knew they wouldn't understand;
They think he's more of man than I am;
For all this time I've ambled on;
The silence never broken.

But I've learned prudence in the innings since;
Cautious love, not bitterness;
No static easy to forget
The rest of us, unspoken.

This hidden boy is ripe for you;
No hidden heart is right for you;
Butterflies are fleeting things;
You know I got the message;
Step into the world, start out at the roots...
Step into the world, start out at the roots...
Step into the world, start out at the roots.

Copyright 2007 Julian D. Rai (BMI); Julean Rai (BMI); Julean and the Rai (BMI), All Rights Reserved. ISRC# US-J3V-07-34268
Track Name: Missing It (European demo)
Missing It
Music and Lyrics by Julean Rai (BMI)
All Rights Reserved.

I told my brother I was moving out.
(Not like he didn't hear the argument).
I took a look around my room again;
Packed up the stuff that I'd be needin'.

It took a moment just to breathe it in;
Nobody calling for me;
Nobody coming for me...
'Ain't gotta' listen to her bellyachin'...
And I 'ain't missin' it.

'Ain't never felt this kind of freedom before...
'Ain't never felt this kind of freedom before...
'Ain't never felt this kinda'-

Knocked on the door of my friend Ryan;
He promised me that I could move in...
Sure, his place smelled like cat and incense,
But I was happy just to move in.

Well, I took a walk down by the waterside...
Nobody calling for me;
Nobody coming for me...
'Ain't gotta' listen to her bellyachin'...
And I 'ain't missin' it.

'Ain't never felt this kind of freedom before...
'Ain't never felt this kind of freedom before...
'Ain't never felt this kind of freedom before...
'Ain't never felt this kind of freedom before...
-freedom before
-freedom before...

...I stayed up until well after 3am.
Nothing complicated, just the situation.
Playing music with all my friends.
Nobody coming for me,
Nobody calling for me;
And I admit that I 'ain't used to it, no...
But I 'ain't missin' it.
Yeah this is livin', man!
And I 'ain't missin' nuthin'--

'Ain't never felt this kind of freedom before...
'Ain't never felt this kind of freedom before...
'Ain't never felt this kind of freedom before...
'Ain't never felt this kind of freedom before...
Freedom before, freedom before, freedom before...

Boogie down now;
Boogie down now.

Boogie down now;
Boogie down now.

Boogie down now;
Boogie down now.

Boogie down now;
Boogie down now.

Boogie down now;
Boogie down now.

Boogie down,
Now...

(And I found him sitting in the armored chair
Where he was, where I was
Aren't we the lucky ones?
I said with a grin
River winds,
Let the Spring Begin:
Seven-ten
Waking up the neighbors with our tin-can band.

Eating out, sleeping in, all our high school friends
Skippin'; never had a lesson
Never needed them...

Wooden fife, passing an afternoon at windowside

Building up...
Curl up and kiss the River
One, One, Carry On!)


Copyright 1995 Julian D. Rai (BMI); Julean Rai (BMI); Julean and the Rai (BMI), All Rights Reserved. ISRC# USJ3V0734269
Track Name: For Me (European demo)
For Me
Music and Lyrics by Julean Rai (BMI)
All Rights Reserved.

Banging on the frame
Of my window-screen
Can't stay long...
That's why we chose the morning.

I was lying on the couch
Groggy, but awake
Sure I love to pro-test...
But we know it's okay.

Chorus:
And oh, we planned to do this thing today
Like, yesterday.
And the morning sun
Was streaming in.

And we gathered up the things we need
For the thing
When you came for me,
For me.

Verse:
To the riverside
Right by where I live
(Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na...)
Strolling down the banks...
Collecting twigs.

We were the best of friends
Brothers, in a way
I would bring the air...
And you the common ground to bind us there.

Chorus:
And we together, where the world would spin
The best of friends.
And I would have called on you,too
Old friend.

Verse:
Put them in a cross
In the muddy grass
Try to light a flame...
But it won't catch.

Chorus:
And oh, we tried until the sky turned blue
From golden hues.
And oh, we tried to crumble paper up, but
It got wet too...
And we decided that we'd give it up
And go to school...
(Or at least you
And I'm not gonna' keep you out.)
And you, you brought along a can of fish
So we had breakfast
You said you found it...
I think it was sturgeon!

Looking back, I always think
You rose up at three
And you came for me
Yes, you came for me
And you came for me,
Yes, you came for me.
And you came for me...

For me.

Copyright 2006 Julian D. Rai (BMI); Julean Rai (BMI); Julean and the Rai (BMI), All Rights Reserved. ISRC# US-J3V-07-34270
Track Name: First Light (European demo)
First Light
Music and Lyrics by Julean Rai (BMI)
All Rights Reserved.

Verse:
I'm down at the precipice.
Door's locked, and I'm pissed.
And I've knocked and jerry-rigged...
I can't believe it would come to this.

Mike's probably sound asleep, or
Following that girl again, who wants
Nothing to do with him...
Sometimes you'd think he'd just 'pack it in'.

Chorus:
Been on my own six weeks,
Didn't even think to get a key.
Didn't think it applied to me, 'cause...
Someone's always gonna' be inside, and now

I'm locked out of the house again;
Stuck out on the porch tonight...
Someone better be coming in soon, like...
Don't wanna' be here 'til first light.

Verse:
So I
Walk down to the coffeeshop
To maybe try to sit and have a cup, but the
Coffee-man was closing up.
Shook out the rug and the door shut!

Mom stopped by this afternoon.
Brought some clothes and a box of food;
Said 'They really miss me up at school', but she
She didn't speak of what she do...

Chorus:
Aw, but I can guess her
Apology by the gesture, you see--
Apologies are not her...
After a fight.

I'm locked out of the house again;
Stuck out on the porch tonight...
Someone better be coming in soon, like...
Don't wanna' be here 'til first light.

Bridge:
So many people sleeping on the floor,
You'd think that somebody'd be home, right?
A little thing I counted on...
A little thing I counted on...

So I'm gonna' learn to be a star;
Just a little kid with a big guitar.
And I'll break it out and play wherever we are.
I'll break it out and play wherever we are.

'Cause up against the buildings I project
That probabilities are endless...
No point in getting any less.
No point in getting any less.

But can I find my way alone?
Or will I only feel alone?
And can I at least fail alone?
Can I at least fail alone?

I'm sitting here alone, alone, alone.
Sittine here alone, alone, alone. Alone.
Sitting alone.
Sittine alone.

Positively independent.
Positively independent;
Because I'm all alone.
Because I'm all alone.

I'm positively alone.
I think we're really alone.
We're positively alone.

Copyright 2005 Julian D. Rai (BMI); Julean Rai (BMI); Julean and the Rai (BMI), All Rights Reserved. ISRC# US-J3V-07-34271
Track Name: In This Water (European demo)
In This Water
Music and Lyrics by Julean Rai (BMI)
All Rights Reserved.

Verse:
You were a waitress;
Sat down in your section
To surprise you.

I waited around until eleven,
Because you made promise to.

You said you wanted to take a drive;
There was no one there to talk to...

And we pack up the car
And started driving.
You started talking and I
I started listening.

We headed to the creek
At your suggestion.

Chorus:
And I'm aware that in that water
It's so dark, you'd never know
Just what's sliding through your fingers
And what's crawling through your toes
And that especially at night
This is where the lovers go;
I didn't say a word about it,
But I know.
But I know...
But I know.

Verse:
We pulled up and you remarked
There were a billion stars above our heads.

Then you followed me running,
Through the sand,
To the water's edge.

Then grinned up at me devilishly;
Asked if I was adventurous...
And I said 'yes.'

Then you slid out your clothes
And started wading.
With nowhere else to go
I had to join in.
And through the waters, cold,
We started laughing.

Chorus:
And I'm aware that in this water
It's so dark, you'd never know
Just what that is between your fingers
And what that is between your toes;
And I could barely see your figure
There in the darkness, down below...
I didn't say a word about it,
But I know that you know that I know.

Bridge:
Then we talked about your father
And how he wants you in 'that school'
And how he wants you with 'that boy'
How he's in everything you do...

And then we talked about your mother
How she's a mystery to you
And how it's awkward how you love then;
But you do, but you do...

And how you'd love to speak up to them
And tell them what you want to do
Don't even want to be a lawyer
Not even really sure about school...

I didn't breathe a word of contradiction
Just let you say what you had to
You didn't say that you were leaving;
But I knew.
But I knew.
But I knew.

Verse:
We drove of barely dressed, and dripping wet
I'm sure we offended some.

And I wasn't tired yet;
Hell, it was only ten to one.

But the night was obviously
Done.

And so I acquiesced
It was kind of late, then.

You thanked me for listening
To what you were saying...

And I said I should be the one
Doing the thanking.

Chorus:
'Cause I'm aware that in that water
It was so dark, you'd never know
Just who that was between your fingers
And who that was between your toes--
We made a date for hanging out
I tried to come, but couldn't go.
You tried to act 'not disappointed'...
But it showed.

Copyright 2005 Julian D. Rai (BMI); Julean Rai (BMI); Julean and the Rai (BMI), All Rights Reserved. ISRC# US-J3V-07-34272
Track Name: Fifth Street Coffee Song (European demo)
Fifth Street Coffee Song
Music and Lyrics by Julean Rai (BMI)
All Rights Reserved.

Verse:
Same.
Feels like a year has
Come and gone...
A shame;
eleven months now
On my own.

In the shop behind me
Music plays
Marcos plays the spoons
Scott and I play the plates
And the pipers mom
Says 'Let the music breathe'
Like this...

And we spill
Out on the streets now
Like a cloth.
Until
We're rubbing elbows
With the Law.

Because the shop next door just
Called the cops on the
'Damned guitar, and the
Kids and the Goths'
When I just made five bucks
From the guy with a girl on his arm.

Chorus:
Well, in the morning we come
And we light up our smokes
Of course that's noonish for some
And a whole lot of folks we know are
Tucked into tables
Crumpled at the bar, man
Some loathe you, some love you
But all know just
Who you are.

You're at the Fifth Street Coffee Shop.

J...
Yeah, we don't talk
Much anymore.
And that's okay.
He was never much for
My rock-and-roll.

And Virginia's caught on the
Streets, like a refugee, I can
Take her home, she can
Crash with me, and I mean
Just what I say, I said it
Just like I mean, man.

Chorus:
Well, in the morning we come
And we light up our smokes
Of course that's noonish for some
And a whole lot of folks we know are
Tucked into tables
Crumpled at the bar, man
Some loathe you, some love you
But all know just
Who you are.

You're like a Fifth Street Coffee Star.

Bridge:
I got a brand-new pen
And a fresh stack of paper, and a
Bottomless cup, and a
While more to linger, while I
Hear that this place may not have
Long to be here,
Because of the kids, and the cops
And the folk like me
Who 'live here', O...

Down at the Fifth Street Coffee Co.

Chorus:
Well, in the morning we come
And we light up our smokes
Of course that's noonish for some
And a whole lot of folks we know are
Tucked into tables, and
Crumpled at the bar, man
Some loathe you, some love you
But all know just
Who you are.

Down at the Fifth Street COffee Shop.
Down at the Coffee Shop...
...at the Fifth Street Coffee Shop...
Down at the Coffee Shop...
...at the Fifth Street Coffee Shop...
Down at the Coffee Shop...
...at the Fifth Street Coffee Shop...
Down at the Coffee Shop...
...at the Fifth Street Coffee Shop...
Way down at the Coffee Shop...
...at the Fifth Street Coffee Shop...
Down at the Coffee Shop.

Hey!

Copyright 1996 Julian D. Rai (BMI); Julean Rai (BMI); Julean and the Rai (BMI), All Rights Reserved. ISRC# US-J3V-07-34271
Track Name: The Exchange (European demo)
The Exchange
Music and Lyrics by Julean Rai (BMI)
All Rights Reserved.

We had a party in the den downstairs
I mostly disappeared in the easy-chair
I was enamored by her fragrance:
Something by Givenchy they call "Amarige"

Now, it was somebody's home and not a party house
I tried to play it cool, but I chickened out...
She caught up with me on the front stoop;
Knock-knock-knocking on my aloof...

I had to make a move, tried to touch her hair
She wrapped it all around me
And we kissed right there.
She wasn't even slightly embarrassed:
Born in France and raised in Paris,
And our time is wasted.

Could we retain
The student we exchanged?

We made a date for the following night
She had a thing before and she needed a ride.
I got it all together and I dressed real nice...
I didn't really plan on spending time inside;

Well, nothing really happened on the night out.
I didn't know girls, and she kinda' found out
Spent time in the cold, cuddled up for warmth
Just hands and face, arms stomach and waist
And now she's leavin'...

Could we retain
The student we exchanged?


Could we retain
The student we exchanged?

Hey, I don't like to sound like the boy who falls
But I stumble down the stairs ev'ry time she calls'
There's a feelin' in my belly like a lizard who crawls
Can't sleep can't eat can't think at all

I'm gonna' meet her downtown at the coffeehouse
Sit down for a minute, but we'll both slide out
Down in the deepest dark corners of town
But it's too late now, 'cause she's headed out
Now she's leavin'.


Could we retain
The student we exchanged?

Could we retain
The student we exchanged?

I can't picture her leavin'...
And me afterward, just breathin' in
The scent of her, just lin-gerin'
Hey I just
Can't stand waitin' for the shoe to fall
You'd betta' give me somethin'
Or it's nuthin' at all, Hey-

Hey, I don't like to sound like the boy who falls
But I stumble down the stairs ev'ry time she calls'
There's a feelin' in my belly like a lizard who crawls
Can't sleep can't eat can't think at all

I'm gonna' meet her downtown at the coffeehouse
Sit down for a minute, but we'll both slide out
Down in the deepest dark corners of town
But it's too late now, 'cause she's headed out
Now she's leavin'.

Could we retain
The student we exchanged?

Could we retain
The student we exchanged?

Could we retain
The student we exchanged?

Could we retain
The student we exchanged?

Copyright 2003 Julian D. Rai (BMI); Julean Rai (BMI); Julean and the Rai (BMI), All Rights Reserved. ISRC# US-J3V-07-34274
Track Name: Mind Games (European demo)
Mind Games
Music and Lyrics by Julean Rai (BMI)
All Rights Reserved.

Verse:
Well,
On the rim of devil's edge
Lies a prophet, like the dead...
Keeping still, his eyes are closed
Hanging on his saviour's robes.

Strike me now, or take your leave-
You run my patience through a sieve...
But only a fool would make me bleed
Prophetess of flaming seed.

I say this once, let's make this clear...
No one's kind is wanted here.

Chorus:
Well I can't stand to hear
Your lusty breath inside my ear
You walk around in your bathrobe
Naked, still, in emperor's robes.
Frolicking in evening's clear
'Aint no way I'd take you here
You, you beckon me and I won't
Come
'Cause all I ask to be is
One.

Verse:
Well
I recall the taste of you.
And I know you remember, too...
Your red hair all across my chest...
Mouth-to-nipple, face-to-breast.

Hey, I can't
Come
So I won't go...
Isn't there something I should know?
You say, you'd like to try your chance with him...
Hah! Just friends?

I say this once, let's make this clear...
No one's kind is wanted here.

Chorus:
Well I can't stand to hear
Your lusty breath inside my ear
You walk around in your bathrobe
Naked, still, in emperor's robes.
Frolicking in evening's clear
'Aint no way I'd take you here
You, you beckon me and I won't
Come
'Cause all I ask to be is
One.

Well, all your mind games make things clear
It takes two to tango round here.

Chorus:
Well I can't stand to hear
Your lusty breath inside my ear
You walk around in your bathrobe
Naked, still, in emperor's robes.
Frolicking in evening's clear
'Aint no way I'd take you here
You, you beckon me and I won't
Come
'Cause all I ask to be is
One.

Copyright 1995 Julian D. Rai (BMI); Julean Rai (BMI); Julean and the Rai (BMI), All Rights Reserved. ISRC# US-J3V-07-34275
Track Name: The Way That Leaving Goes (European demo)
The Way That Leaving Goes
Music and Lyrics by Julean Rai (BMI)
All Rights Reserved.

Verse:
Steady as the shadows;
Steady as it gets.
Abandoning the highway
For the sticks.

We haven't passed that barrier;
We haven't crossed that bridge.
It'll be with some other boy
I guess.

Chorus:
Still got a little while
Left to go.
No need to calculate
The distance.
And I'm no alternate
Road.
It's just the way that leaving goes.

Verse:
Steady on the mileage;
Steady on the gas.
Still shot of quiet...
Let it pass.

Chorus:
Let's pull into a station;
We'll make a meal of
What we get.
And have ourselves a time
To forget.
And nobody's waiting...
This was never said.
But it's just the way that
Leaving is...
It's just the way that leaving is.
Yeah, it's just the way that leaving is.

Copyright 1996 Julian D. Rai (BMI); Julean Rai (BMI); Julean and the Rai (BMI), All Rights Reserved. ISRC# US-J3V-07-34276
Track Name: Muse Tree (European demo)
Muse Tree
Music and Lyrics by Julean Rai (BMI)
All Rights Reserved.

Verse:
Awakening, I heard the sound.
And it reminded me of things...
It's just like me to wax nostalgic;
This is the reason I create.

Oh, but the summer's almost tragic.
And I feel like someone strange...
It may have started from a seed;
Now something else has taken me.

Chorus:
But you are only to be a tree, yes-
On which the muses come to feed.

Verse:
Going outside to greet the day.
Light on the branches I display...
Bills on the table left unpaid;
It does not pay to be the shade.

Oh, I am notorious for things.
But I refuse the change my mind...
I did not choose to be this way;
I cannot choose to be the same.

Chorus:
But you are only to be a tree, yes-
On which the muses come to feed.

Bridge:
Cannot control the doves of day
Or how they choose to light my world...
I cannot stay the crows of night...
These are the shape of things to come...
We are the instruments of change...
Yet we rely on sun and rain...
No telling what next they might say...
And then, like words, they fly away.

Chorus:
But you are only to be a tree, yes-
On which the muses come to feed.

But you are only to be a tree, yes-
On which the muses come to feed.

But you are only to be a tree, yes-
On which the muses come to feed.

But you are only to be a tree, yes-
On which the muses come to feed...

Copyright 2003 Julian D. Rai (BMI); Julean Rai (BMI); Julean and the Rai (BMI), All Rights Reserved. ISRC# US-J3V-07-34277