EVAN GREER & FRIENDS - NEVER SURRENDER

by Evan Greer & Friends

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about

This was my first full-length release with a full band. I gathered together some of my best friends and some of my favorite musicians to collaborate for a big sound that ranges from pop-punk to bluegrass.

Produced by Jory Leanza-Carey of NY hip-hop troupe BROADCAST LIVE

Featuring
legendary labor singer ANNE FEENEY on harmony vocals

popular folk-rock duo EMMA'S REVOLUTION

incredible singer TAINA ASILI (formerly of the feminist punk outfit, Anti-Product and currently fronting an Afro-Carribean latin@ rock band)

Boston's renouned hip-hop jazz horn player AfroDZak

NYC songwriter MIMI LAVALLEY

SEANTEL CHAMBERLAIN of BELL's ROAR and BROADCAST LIVE

and so many more amazing folks.

credits

released February 1, 2009

All songs by Evan Greer
Produced and engineered by Jory Leanza-Carey

Evan Greer - guitars, vocals, banjo, (tr)andolin, harmonica, percussion, kazoo

Ben Lucal - drums

Jory Leanza-Carey - vocals, bass, keys, guitar, drums

Anne Feeney - vocals

Pat Humphries & Sandy O - vocals

Taina Asili - vocals

Sohrob Kazerounian - violin

Mimi LaValley - vocals

AfroDZak - trumpet

Erin Ryan Fitzgerald - vocals, rhythm fish

Seantel Chamberlain - vocals

Dave Scandurra - drums, percussion, vocals

Arik Grier - upright bass

Erin Ryan Fitzgerald - vocals, rhythm fish

Chorus:

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Track Name: Never Surrender
it's been raining for a couple of days now
and my dad's pond is overflowing
the orange fish are at the back door
the toxic flood-water is glowing
and we shake our heads
and get in the car
forget those things we said
making love under the stars stars

i go back and forth daily about us-and-them
and who's really to blame
but i think it's pretty clear who has got the most to gain
from a divided up society that's terrified of honesty
and we can't discern our enemies
so we give them our complicity

they make beer, and we buy it
they make cars, and we drive them
they build walls, we just give in
they build boxes that we live in
they make gods for us to pray to
jobs to give our days to
binaries of gender
but they can't have our surrender

we look at the world around us
and everything we see is crazy
so we drink and we smoke and we watch the tv
they say "don't take your life so seriously"
i say this is the only way i know how to be

‘cause we need passion not fashion
we need food not lawns
we need action not factions
we need everyone here to be singing along
we need stories not glory
we need friends not fans
we need guitars not rock stars
we need more than just loud drunk straight white male punk bands
let's destroy out of love
and build out of anger
get our heads out of our asses
and see our lives are in danger

because the world as we know it
is not gonna last forever and these could be the last days
so lets spend them together
and let's never surrender
Track Name: Adderall Song
mrs greer your son acts up in class
he asks the questions that you're not supposed to ask
mr. greer, it's pretty plain to see
your son has got adhd
and the doctors say he needs
30 milligrams of amphetamines
(go!)
when i turned eight years old
they put me on the pills
one to focus me at school
help me follow all the rules
and one to keep my tears away
cuz little boys should never cry
one to help me through my day
one to help me sleep at night
and i had so few memories
of what it was like before
that i took those damn pills everyday
since 1994
now i recognize the system
i see what they're really for
i'm not giving you my money
i won't take them anymore
i was in the dead center of the country
when i popped my final pill
i sold the rest of the bottle
to some kids from chicago
then turned toward something new
and for the first time in my life
i felt at peace with who i was
i couldn't wait to share the new world out there
with all the people that i loved
and i had so few memories of what it was like before
the first week i went without them felt like i had been reborn
now i recognize the system i see what they're really for
i'm not giving you my money i won't take them anymore
that's when i got to thinking
about this society
and how there's something wrong
when a kid so young's put on amphetamines
at first i blamed my parents
then the doctors then the schools
but if you wanna fight back
look higher than that
at the filthy frat cat with the big contract
at those puppy killing labs
the results come back
taking science fiction and calling it fact
and if it screws you up they don't give a crap
cuz they can still drive home in their cadillacs
making money off a game where the decks are stacked
and if that's not enough it's bigger than that
that's just one of this system's many attacks on you
so what are we gonna do?
and do i have so few memories of what it was like before
that i can write this song with smoke in my lungs
and a bottle on the floor?
now i recognize those systems
i see what they're really for
i'm not giving you my money
i won't buy it anymore
Track Name: !Ya Basta! (feat. ANNE FEENEY)
¡ya basta! enough is enough
¡ya basta! enough is enough
you ask why are we angry i say look at history
the cause of all our troubles it is not a mystery
there are those who's lives are easy
there are those who's lives are rough
now is the time for us to rise and cry out enough is
enough borders enough nations
enough corporate exploitation
enough racist air pollution
enough racist institutions.
enough chains and enough cages
enough starvation wages
enough highways and gas stations
enough control by corporations
we won't take it anymore
yeah, this is class war!
we will fight you in the streets
and we will dance on your defeat
¡ya basta!
i swear to you there'll be a day when the melting pot will boil
and you only bring us closer with each war you make for oil
each union that you break and each ballot box you stuff
brings us closer to the day when we will cry out enough is
enough greedy politicians
enough gender-role traditions
enough hierarchies
enough of living on our knees
enough gouging of the planet
enough destruction of the earth
enough tearing of her flesh
to see what the insides might be worth
and all around the world the people are fighting back
each day another shard of the system starts to crack
in oaxaca and argentina, with our rage and with our love
the people are all crying out enough is
enough war and occupation
enough propaganda stations
enough enforced reality
enough police brutality.
enough nuclear arms
and enough factory farms
enough stolen women's choices
enough silenced women's voices
enough words have been said
enough songs have been sung
enough protests have been had
enough banners have been hung
we are many they are few
there is so much we can do
when we use what we have learned
and fight them on our own terms
because they need us
and we don't need them
it is our sweat and labor
on which they all depend
they need us to drive their trucks
they need us to shine their crowns
they need us to be the cops
who beat our comrades down
but what good are all their laws
with no one to institute 'em
and what good are all their guns
if there's no one there to shoot 'em
Track Name: I Want Something
she's sittin in a bathroom stall
with a marker in her hand
scribbling down the words
to her favorite song by her favorite band
and she hopes someone will read them
and maybe they'll understand
how it feels
to care so much it hurts
to fight so hard you shake
to love so intensely that it scares you
to build so much that something breaks
she knows that she's not the only one
but sometimes it sure feels that way
in a little college town in ohio
so there's a song that she sings everyday
i want something
that's better than this.
and i'm not sure exactly what it is
but i think that we could build it
if we try together
and if we all sing...
and 500 miles away, down I-70
there's a boy sitting in a room
full of patches and pcp
and the kids all drink the same beer
and they talk about anarchy
and he wonders if he's the only one
who remembers what that used to mean
and the punk-rock band plays on
long into the night
these days the girls with the empty eyes
hardly even put up a fight
and he watches as his friends give up
and slowly start to die
sticking needles in their arms
because punk-rock boys never cry, and he sings
and that very same night
kids all across the earth
felt lonely and confused
frightened and unsure
and we're trying to find one another
through a system that keeps us apart
to match the weapons that we hold in our fists
with the passion that we carry in our hearts
and we know it's gonna take a long time
and we know that we'll fuck up along the way
but i've got a feeling that we're winning
as i hear more and more and more of us say
Track Name: Fame
what's the point of fame
except to reinforce the social hierarchies we oppose
what's the point of a name
if it just becomes something that you drop
when you feel insecure
and you're not sure
if everybody in the room will have heard of your band before
and you're on tour
and haven't seen a friend in at least a couple of days
let me count the ways that i abuse the privilege
granted to me by this mandolin
and my white skin that bought me my first guitar
everybody told me boy you're bound to be a star
oh yes you are
boy you're bound to be a star
and like every major threat
they somehow find a way to buy it
they co-opt what we create
while they get rich and we deny it
the TV tells us there are stars and fans
and there's just one way to make it
follow the label's rules
use the master's tools
and when the big deal comes you take it
you're selling hope to angry kids
who think that you're the only ones
who sing about what makes them sad
who understand the way they feel
that's just cuz your label pays
for multi-colored tour posters
so no one ever hears about
the kids doing it for real
and i'm so tired of these anarchist celebrities
selling $10 shrinkwrapped CDs
full of paper made from old growth trees
and i know that we all have our hipocrisies
this isn't about purity or punk rock points
it's about taking back what's left of our ideals
and trading in our egos for our dreams
and if i start to act like them
please call me on my shit
cuz sometimes i get jealous
i'll be the first one to admit
i've been brainwashed all my life
and now i'm trying to think for myself
i think that i might need your help
Track Name: Picketline Song (feat. ANNE FEENEY)
well my mother never told me what was right or what was wrong
she never taught me to play guitar never taught me to write songs
but one thing that she taught me i'll remember for all time
and that's that you should never walk across a picket line
oh i would never walk across a picket line
solidarity forever don't mean just sometimes
so long live the union!
cross my heart and hope to die
if I should ever walk across a picket line
she took me to the factory where the workers were on strike
the company had called in scabs to break the union's might
my mom went to the front and she addressed those greedy swine
said i dare any of you men to walk across this picket line
well one of them came forward and he had something to say:
no woman will stand between me and one day's pay
i don't care 'bout the others i am taking what is mine
and with that he tried to walk across our picket line
mom called him a dirty scab and gave him two pieces of her mind
she picked up and she threw every rock that she could find
and when he called the cops on her she kicked his behind
and said that's what you get when you walk across a union's picket line!
well to this day i can remember what my mother used to say
we're fighting for a better world, not just for better pay
and if we stick together then we'll win this fight in time
so long as we don't walk across each other's picket lines
Track Name: Ballad of Hurricane Katrina (feat. AfroDZak)
the ticketseller’s terrified
he'shaunted by his dreams
of half-empty trains
rolling out from New Orleans
and the thousands who came begging
but were harshly turned away
how many of them died
'cause they could not afford to pay?
with three days warning
all the suburbs turned to ghost towns
second cars left locked in driveways
while in the city people drowned
because they had no escape
from the fury of the sea
what happened here was murder
not some simple tragedy.

good morning america
how did you get this way?
averted eyes and centuries of chains
here comes the story of the hurricane
thousands dead in the city by the sea
murdered by our greed in new orleans

if you’re black then you’re a looter
if you’re white you’re finding food
i ask myself what i’d have done in any of their shoes?
would i have thought about my neighbors in the other part of town
would i know any of their names? would i have dared to stick around?
you can blame the president
or you can blame the sea
but they were murdered by the culture
of this economy
murdered by our fear
and our apathy
they were murdered by you
they were murdered by me

we lay in your bed naked and we watched it on tv
as the soldiers and the cops marched past the dead bodies
they were only there protecting private property
i felt sickened by the sight and sickened by my memory
of the miles that i’d driven and the gasoline i’d had burned
of the love songs that i’d written, and the money that i’d earned
how can we go on living our lives the same way?
Track Name: The Day All the Democrats Won
on the day all the democrats won
did you sigh and say our work is done?
did you feel at all angry or shocked
that all your dreams could fit in a box?
on the day that they took back the house
did the homeless find shelter at last?
was it one man who stole their dignity?
or all those laws that the democrats passed?
and on the day that they counted the votes
did you drive your car to the polls?
did you think that the wars would just end
if we elected a few different men?
when they told you this time things would change
did you feel hopeful or mostly afraid?
and what made you think it was true
after the lies that the last ones told you?
if you think this is how history's made
that it was lincoln who freed all the slaves
then why do you get out of bed
if all of your heroes are dead?
cuz on the day it comes tumbling down
while they're weeping and stumbling around
let's hope that we've built something new
and that it started inside me and you
cuz when the last gears have fallen to rust
i'll be reaching for you through the dust
there'll be no time to talk right or wrong
we'll just wonder how it took so long
because on the day nagasaki was bombed
kids were singing this very same song
Track Name: By Morning
these past few nights we've slept with skin warm on skin
and the sirens in the hours before dawn
the weak grey light too much to keep me from thinking
your hand in mine enough to keep me feeling strong
and if they come for us by morning
with that knock knock on the door
i'll hold you a little closer as they reach the second floor
and if i have to give my name
you know i won't be giving yours
i'll run my hands through your hair
and say it's them who's really scared
cuz they know our love is stronger
than their bars could ever be
that afternoon we sat cross legged in the backyard
as the smoke erased our pictures dates and names
took just one match to burn this poetic evidence
and just one glance to see our fear reflected in the flames
and if you called me up past midnight
you hear that clicking on the line?
i would try to reassure you that everything is fine
and if you have to give your name
i know you won't be giving mine
you'll run your hands through my hair
and say it's them who's really scared
cuz they know our love is stronger
than their bars could ever be
sometimes you give em hell
and sometimes there's hell to pay
but they know damn well
that we are not going away
we may be lying through our teeth
but we'll still sing we are not afraid
and friends i swear that i'll keep singing
if they take you away
when they come for us by sundown
black steel glints in vacant eyes
we'll shake our heads and link our arms
and ask how many more must die?
in defense of earth and freedom
in defiance of the lies
we've been fighting for so long
and i just can't believe you're gone
still i know our love is stronger
than their guns could ever be
Track Name: Play the Game (feat. MIMI LAVALLEY)
okay it's another day
get up get dressed get ready to play the game
cold coffee and a new cliche
it's summer outside and i'm running out of things to blame
past couple of months or so
i've been feeling like i'm the only one here who cares
depression has a tendency to come and go
think it's gone turn around and it's right there
lately i've seen everybody's looking down
there must be something fascinating on the ground
or are we just afraid to look each other in the eye
what are we afraid to find
it's just a couple more weeks til the school year ends
i tell myself cross the calender brush and walk out the door
i'm afraid to call my friends
i'm afraid to do anything at all
except sit and listen to the same three bands
till you know em so well you think
that maybe they're the friends that you lost
when you disappeared inside of yourself
and traded the warmth of holding hands for cold applause
i think maybe i am coming out the other side
guess this means that we're all gonna be all right
oh i know that this shit will all return
but just think how much we've learned
Track Name: Even if the End is Near
the view from our front porch changes every day
they stack bricks on top of concrete
and they haul the rest away
we wake up every morning to the sound of their machines
and i think i might go crazy without you lying next to me
i am not ashamed of my sadness or my fear
about where we are today and where we'll be in 50 years
but it's you who keeps me sane who gives me hope who keeps me clear
on why we should keep doing what we do even if the end is near
sometimes the sunsets somewhat terrify me
they're beautiful and colorful but not the way they used to be
when the scariest statistics are racing through my head
at least i know when you get home you'll tie me to the bed
and i'll forget all about hopelessness
and feel hopelessly in love
for an instant i remember
all the dreams i've ever had
it's not escape, it's ecstasy
it's never felt so right to me
i have so much more hope now that
there's someone here to fight with me
cuz what the end has in store
will be no match for you and i
we're not afraid to be afraid
or to just break down and cry
and we may be overwhelmed
but we won't be immobilized
and together i think we can
touch this world before we die
Track Name: Another Song About Ohio
i got drunk before the show in cleveland
and i screamed through my whole set
and the audience all loved it
but never heard a fucking word i said
there's something else that's missing here
besides a string on my guitar
i never would have started out back then
if i thought it'd get this far
oh oh oh ohio
a wo oh oh ohio
on my way ay ay to ann arbor
and if i get there things will be fine
and the greyhound smells like gasoline
as it carries me away
from another heart stopped beating
rustbelt city u.s.a.
and i can't recall a single name
of the people i just met
if i'm not making friends
how am i making folk a threat?
Track Name: A House in Massachusetts
last year my dad got all excited
about our house in massachusetts
he wanted to make outside of it look real nice
real nice like the other real nice houses in massachusetts
so he put on a big addition and hired this young kid
to come and plant lots of plants around the outside of the house
dad watered them every day oh he took such good care of them
it looked really nice, if you’re into that kind of thing
and in the backyard a little pond by the patio
and a little waterfall where the water always flowed
up through a little tube in the little pond that brought the water to the top
and there were even little fish, i think they were orange
but then a massachusetts winter came we got about fifty feet of snow
and the plants were all buried, and the pond i think it froze
the fish probably died, but i’ll probably never know
cuz when springtime comes i’m most likely going to louisiana
or maybe pittsburgh i’m not really sure yet i’ll let you know
one december morning dad and i got up real early
and took the dogs down to the old sledding hill
no one else was there so we left our footprints proudly in the snow
and it felt just like the old days back when i was half as old
oh i was not so old how did i get so old?
we stood for a long time, a good long time up there on the hill
while the dogs barked and ran around like they were crazy
and i could hardly feel it through my big red winter jacket
when dad put his arm on my shoulder and he said
“look at the way the snow climbs in the trees
it’s nice. it’s real real nice.”
and if i were bob dylan i’d use that little story
as a jumping off point to teach you all a lesson
about sharing about caring about the uselessness of staring
at all of the things that we collect
that we call our wealth
but i am not bob dylan, even though i’ve got curly hair
and play the guitar and my voice is kind of whiny
no i am not bob dylan, but i’m also not too sure who i am
so maybe i should just shut up
but while i’ve got these two chords buzzing i may as well keep talking
see if i might have something to say
sometimes i get so scared and i think the world is ending
and you and i are the last chance we have left
and other times i sit on the ground and i look at things
like stars and planets and little tiny bugs
and mostly i just feel small
and like i shouldn’t think too much at all
i definitely think too much these days
what a crazy time for us to be alive
Track Name: Home
i've been sittin by the train tracks
i've been waiting for the train train
if one doesn't come soon i don't know what i'm going to do
i've got to get back home
mama don't you worry
cuz i'm coming home
mama don't you worry
cuz i'm coming home
i've been sittin in the school house
i've been learning right from wrong
but they told me not to ramble and they told me not to sing
so i have gone for to travel
now i'm riding on the train train
watching the country waving bye bye
my guitar it has grown heavy while i've been growing thin
my traveling feet are tired from all the places that i've been
now i'm walking down the highway
my troubles are forgotten in my footsteps
the rain it starts to fall but i don't mind at all
i am baptized by the roadside and i am born again
now the sun is out a shining
and the grass is dancing round my toes
but there's nothing earth or sky
like a mother's shining eyes
i've got to get back home