Let's Be Brave

by Rain Perry

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about

IN DECEMBER 2017, the Thomas Fire swept through
Southern California, burning 500 structures including the houses of dozens of Rain Perry’s friends and neighbors and Rain’s own music studio. Her home, thankfully, survived, but she lost all her instruments, career memorabilia and older recordings that had not been digitized.

As a longtime activist grappling with our current political climate, having just spent three years filming and touring The Shopkeeper, a documentary about the music business in the streaming era, Rain staggered into 2018 unsure of how she fit into much of anything. Like the burned chaparral around her home, though, Rain’s artistic drive resprouted with a passion, and she wrote and recorded Let’s Be Brave, her fourth album with multi-instrumentalist and Grammy-nominated producer Mark Hallman at the Congress House in Austin, Texas.

With a cover photo by Patricia Houghton Clarke of Rain lying on the burned foundation of her studio, and featuring cameos by Chuck Prophet (“St. Julie of Iowa”) and Jon Dee Graham (Bruce Springsteen’s “Rocky Ground”), with a kickass backup choir by Noelle Hampton, Jaimee Harris, Daisy O’Connor, Shawnee Kilgore and Emily Shirley, Let’s Be Brave is a joyous, honest, rocking celebration of bravery of all kinds.

credits

released April 26, 2019

Produced by Mark Hallman
Recorded by André Moran, mixed & mastered by Mark Hallman at the Congress House in Austin, TX
Chuck Prophet’s guitars recorded by Chris Von Sneidern at Tape Vault Studio in San Francisco, CA

Words and music by Rain Perry, Precipitous Music/BMI, except “California I Love You,” words by Rain Perry, music by Rain Perry & Mark Hallman, Precipitous Music/BMI and Blue Racer Music/BMI; “Rocky Ground” by Bruce Springsteen, Universal Music Publishing, Inc.; and “Johnny Appleseed” by Joe Strummer, Warner/Chappell Music.

Rain Perry – vocals, iPad guitar, sound editing
Mark Hallman – vocals, drums, bass, electric & acoustic guitars, Hammond B3 organ, Wurlitzer electric piano, Rhodes electric piano, synthesizers, Mellotron, mandolin, bouzouki, accordion, harmonica, Irish flute, percussion, tambourine, finger snaps
Jon Dee Graham -- Lead vocal on “Rocky Ground”
Chuck Prophet – Acoustic and electric guitars on “St. Julie of Iowa”
Noelle Hampton, Jaimee Harris, Daisy O’Connor, Shawnee Kilgore and Emily Shirley -- Background vocals on “Whittier Street,” “Vapor,” “Rocky Ground” and “Johnny Appleseed”
André Moran – Electric guitar on “Earthquake Country,” “Rocky Ground” and “Johnny Appleseed”
Lily Brown, Noah Lashly & Stella Slaughter – audio clips from the Comedy Party Thing on “Misfits”
Taylor Hallman – tambourine on “Misfits”

Lyrics and full instrumentation at rainperry.com/music.

Photograph of Rain on the burned slab of her studio © 2018 Patricia Houghton Clarke – patriciahoughtonclarke.com
Manzanita regrowth pastel – © 2018 Elizabeth White – ojaistudioartists.org/artists/

Album Design – Jesse David Morgan – jessedavidmorgan.com
Stylist – Jasmin Abdel-Nabi

“Postfire resprouting: the ability to generate new shoots from dormant buds after stems have been fully scorched by fire.”
-- Juli G. Pausas, “Evolutionary ecology of resprouting and seeding in fire‐prone ecosystems”

Acknowledgements:

By now I can assert that there’s such a thing as “our sound,” and I am grateful to my partner Mark Hallman for the ongoing quest to create and explore it. I love you, Marky.

Success as an artist is best measured in the quality of the people with whom one gets to work. Thank you: Patty Clarke, Jon Dee Graham, Taylor Hallman, Noelle Hampton, Jaimee Harris, Shawnee Kilgore, André Moran, Jesse Morgan, Daisy O’Connor, Chuck Prophet, Emily Shirley, Chris Van Sneidern & Elizabeth White.

This album owes a special debt to two projects by other artists: Derek Delgaudio’s In and of Itself and Lucy Bellwood’s 100 Demon Dialogues.

Thank you to my beloved family and friends and the communities of Townies, activists and artists who inspire and support me and what I do in every way.

Thank you to my sweet Billy, Woog and Stell.

This album is dedicated to Charlie, with a promise to do everything I can to make this world a happy place for him to grow up.

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Rain Perry Ojai, California

Rain Perry’s “Beautiful Tree” was the theme for the CW Network’s Life Unexpected, on which she also had the surreal pleasure of appearing as herself. She has released four albums on her own Precipitous Records, as well as writing and touring a solo play about her childhood. In 2016 she completed The Shopkeeper, her first film. She teaches a series of classes called Songwriting for Civilians. ... more

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Track Name: Whittier Street (feat. Mark Hallman)
Whittier Street
Words and Music by Rain Perry
©2019 Precipitous Music/BMI

Chuck Berry bought a house on Whittier Street
Underneath the poplar tree
When the money came in from “Maybelline”
He built two rooms back of the kitchen screen

A little more space for the wife and kids
But that back room – it was only his
Away from the noise of the neighborhood
He wrote “Rock and Roll Music” and “Johnny B. Goode”

In a room of his own
He had a room of his own

Early in the morning with the coffee, creeping
Loretta wrote while the kids were sleeping
So did Wanda and June did too
A woman does what she has to do

Without a room
A pen and paper
Of her own
A little notebook
Without a room
A corner of the dining table
Of her own
A table in a closet
She needs a room
a coffee shop at
Of her own
Three in the morning
A room
A parking lot
Of her own
Until the kid gets out of school

Bridge:
A time and place for inspiration to linger
What a self-indulgent attitude
We need the song – we’re not so sure about the singer
What is it exactly that they do?

I’m gonna build me a room out in the back
Might be a trailer or a little shack
There’s no such thing as the Industry
So I’m gonna sing for you and me

In a room
A pen and paper
Of my own
A little notebook
A room
A corner of the dining table
Of my own
A table in a closet
In a room
a coffee shop at
Of my own
Three in the morning
A room
A parking lot
Of my own
Until the kid gets out of school

We need a room
A pen and paper
Of our own
A little notebook
We need a room
A corner of the dining table
Of our own
A table in a closet
We need a room
a coffee shop at
Of our own
Three in the morning
A room
A parking lot
Of our own
Until the kid gets out of school
Track Name: California I Love You
California I Love You
Words by Rain Perry
Music by Rain Perry & Mark Hallman
©2019 Precipitous Music/BMI & Blue Racer Music/BMI

California I love you from the redwoods to the sea
From the streets of Bakersfield to the trails of Yosemite
The bells of the missions ring in the air
Under the banner of our lost grizzly bear

California I love you and your little bungalows
Orange tree in the backyard under mountains capped with snow
For Okies and Arkies and Exodusters of old
Fleeing to a better life on the Mother Road

From a hangar in Playa Vista to a garage in San Jose
Misfits with a motto – “find a better way”
Skaters in the swimming pools – dirtbags on the wall
Test pilots above the desert – I love you all

California I love you – though you break my heart
You’re a plane wreck at Los Gatos – you’re a child in Manazanar
You’re the dream of a summer killed in the fall
In a house up a canyon and inside City Hall

You’ve given me everything, oh land of extremes
Land of reinvention – land of broken dreams
The water that we worry for – the earthquake that we fear
The brushfire and the flood we call seasons around here

California I love you and I’ll always be true
Like all the other seekers I pledge myself to you
Turn me into something that I wasn’t before
That’s my prayer facing west from the California shore
Track Name: Vapor
Vapor
Words and Music by Rain Perry
©2019 Precipitous Music/BMI

What lasts is metal, glass and clay
The rest becomes vapor and burns away
We’re here for a minute, so what will it be?
I’ll matter to you – you matter to me

From a father who vanished when you were so young
Your sister got the jewelry – you got the gun
The gun that is burned beyond all repair
With the boxes of letters and the old lock of hair

[chorus]

The words that a girl pours on a page
The pictures from the first time she stands on a stage
Each steel string – every ivory key
All the objects that proved who I used to be

Monuments crumble – signs wear away
But I’ll love you until my dying day
When the time comes that no one remembers my name
I’ll love you the same

[chorus]
Track Name: Earthquake County
Earthquake Country
Words and music by Rain Perry
©2019 Precipitous Music/BMI

Was it the babysitter
Was it the friend of the friend
Or were those aftershocks
Of an earlier event
Was it the guy at thirteen
Or something before
That put the cracks in the plaster
And warped the floor

I might not remember the earthquake
Maybe I was too young
But it’s not hard to see
The damage it’s done
I’m a little unsteady
Not entirely square
In earthquake country
You have to prepare

Place the bolts in the basement
Brace up the walls
Anchor the foundation
So the building won’t fall

I live where it shakes
So I do what it takes

Lakes become meadows
Mountains explode
Faults go inactive
Glaciers erode
And who knows what this landscape
Might look like someday
When to our daughters
We don’t have to say

Place the bolts in the basement
Brace up the walls
Anchor the foundation
So the building won’t fall
So the building won’t fall

We live where it shakes
So we do what it takes

We live where it shakes
So we do what it takes
Track Name: Small
Small
Words and Music by Rain Perry
©2019 Precipitous Music/BMI

Small – small
We’re so small
We could be bigger
But now we’re small

Weak – weak
We’re so weak
We could be stronger
But now we’re weak

We speak through wires and air
We click to show we care
We’re lonelier than we’ve ever been
We seek to know what’s true
Through filters of red and blue
It’s not the way
It’s never been

So we’re scared – scared
We’re so scared
We know about courage
But right now we’re scared

What if I open my heart
Open my arms
Breathe the air you’re breathing
In every family
There’s someone like me
And someone like you
It’s true

Brave – brave
Let’s be brave
We’ve got it in us
Let’s be brave
Track Name: Rocky Ground (feat. Jon Dee Graham)
words and music by Bruce Springsteen

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/bruce-springsteens-lyrics-do-the-talking-in-rocky-ground-88849/
Track Name: Home
Home
Words and Music by Rain Perry
©2019 Precipitous Music/BMI

The new apartment’s on a one way street
But this one goes the other way
How many times around these three blocks
Till we’re done for the day

I love my little girl
She loves her little world
She had to go away
To find her home

You do the baseboards, honey
I’ll do the stove
Will the nail polish come off this floor?
We don’t know

I love my little girl
She loves her little world
She had to go away
To find her home

Loose change and lighters
Old journals by the crate
New systems to set up
Old ones to obliterate

I love my little girl
She loves her little world
We had to be away
To come back home
Track Name: Misfits
Misfits
Words and Music by Rain Perry
© 2019 Precipitous Music/BMI

You misfits
It’s Saturday night
You could be out with people
You could be out in the light
But you’re sitting at home
With your remotes
Studying sketches
Like I studied liner notes

Huddled in dark rooms on beautiful days
Practicing the Harold
and dreaming of some way you could be

Chorus:
Riding together in cars getting coffee
Trying to figure out where the joke lands
Down a trail of index cards and one night stands
Saying the thing that nobody else will
Pushing it to the extreme
And you’ll get no respect for taking one for the team

Hey misfits
You’re not alone
You’re like the tribe of people
With an extra chromosome
A little like us
A lot like you
Nobody sees this world
The same way that you do

We send you to the front line every day
And if we don’t like what you tell us
You’re an easy messenger to slay

[chorus]
Track Name: Johnny Appleseed
words and music by Joe Strummer
Track Name: St. Julie of Iowa
St. Julie of Iowa
Words and Music by Rain Perry
© 2019 Precipitous Music/BMI

There’s a song that everyone sings
And they sing it wrong
It’s Randy Newman’s
“You Can Leave Your Hat On”
They always sing it sultry when they oughta be singing with
Pure delight
I know how it’s done
‘cause I heard Julie sing it one night

She tilted her head back and beamed at the crowd
Like: this much fun should not be allowed
Grinned and told us that she’d take our shoes
And all I could think was “yes ma’am, please do”

Chorus:
Julie knows how to sing that song
She’s been there and back and she’s still standing strong
She’s a line down the middle of rock and roll
St. Julie of Iowa, come save my soul
Sing it, Julie
Sing it, Julie
Sing it, Julie – oh yeah

I didn’t get “Vincent Black Lightning”
I admit I thought “What’s not to like?
It’s a sad song about a bad
Motorbike.”
‘Til I hear Julie sing it
And wring out the grief and the joy
Of a tale that begins at the end
With the death of the boy

It’s the story of the redheaded girls who survives
And the terrible freedom of staying alive
To carry the weight of the gift she’s been given
By putting down stakes in the land of the living

[chorus]

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