November 03, 2003

The Referral Log Knows All

Lookout Records has posted an mp3 from the upcoming MTX album. It's called "She's not a Flower," it's track #1, and it's downloadable here.

It's sort of funny how I learned of the fact that the mp3 was up. I mean, I knew they were planning to do it at some point, and I knew the first one would be one of two that we'd agreed on, but I didn't know when. There wasn't anything about it on the Lookout Records front page, and I don't routinely check the "sounds" section. (Is that how people find out about LK's mp3s, by checking the "sounds" section to see if there's anything new? A DIY kinda thing? No idea...) Anyway, I found out about it because I saw this live journal link (not sure how you link to individual lj posts-- scroll to "She's Not a Flower") on the referral log of this blog, and read all about it that way. The guy (from Manchester, I gather) has what I imagine to be a typical story of Alcatraz confusion and eventual acceptance, running parallel with a tale of love gone funny, then re-arranging itself into a different pattern. Like it always does, eh?

Well, there's no turning back now. Rock out or something.

UPDATE: as I've had a few requests, here be the lyrics:

She's not a Flower

She's not a flower
she isn't growing in your garden today
you couldn't cultivate her anyway

you're not a king bee
you like honey and you're packing a sting
but there really isn't such a thing

you're in flight, and she smells all right
but she's not a flower

She's not an ocean
that you're an island in the middle of
and there isn't any prison of love

you're not a freebird
hey you, up on that mountain peak
can't you hear what's coming out of your beak?

you can say you'll fly away
but you're not a freebird

Love's not a poison
you better find a better reason why
you feel like you want to die

a broke heart won't kill you
you might suffer till the end of your days
but that was gonna happen anyways

and even if the love you mourn
is equal to the love you scorn
and fortune mocks the love you gave
and someone lays her on your grave she's not a flower

© 2003 Dr. Frank, Itching Powder Music (BMI)

Posted by Dr. Frank at November 3, 2003 04:05 AM | TrackBack

Excellent song Frank. As promised, I have made all the finishing touches for She Runs Out...just have to get to my friend's to create it digitally. Really, really looking forward to the new album.

Posted by: Bill at November 3, 2003 05:11 AM

That's cool, D.F. When can I get a copy of the album? Can I order it now?

Posted by: Cloveclone at November 3, 2003 05:17 AM

I absolutetly love it!

Posted by: justin banal at November 3, 2003 06:02 PM

Frank, it rules. Yesterday, today and tomorrow. ;)

Would it be classifiable as post-pop-punk? ;)

Real good job on the vocals!

Posted by: JB at November 3, 2003 07:29 PM

By the way, I have a personal story of immediate Alcatraz acceptance. Got it last week, liked it near instantly. The arpeggios from We'll Get By burrow deeply into the brain's pleasure center. Great lyrics all around.

Posted by: JB at November 3, 2003 07:43 PM

It's an instant classic. Boom.

Posted by: David at November 3, 2003 08:05 PM

Wow, that off-key or minor-key line ending really caught me off guard. But I think it works (especially when you hit the "poison" raspiness).

I can see how it'd be initially hard to convince the rest of the band and recording attendees how (and why) you meant to go down to that note. Anyway, glad to finally a bit of the new album. (I haven't done much searching, but are these lyrics up anywhere?)

For what it's worth, link directly to the SNaF entry:

Posted by: dave bug at November 3, 2003 09:33 PM

Yes, it's the clear winner of this week's hit parade. Certifiable chartbustin' stuff. Now about that Lookout! site... Why am I so bothered that the good folks at Lookout took the liberty of truncating the song title? And more importantly, when are we gonna see Bobby J. and Ted pictured on the MTX portion of the Lookout site? Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against Gabe. But c'mon, it's like almost 2004 already.

Posted by: J. Francis Gretchen at November 3, 2003 10:59 PM

Wow! Those people at Lookout musta read my mind. The entire Mr. T Experience page was updated today. Woo hoo!

Posted by: J. Francis Gretchen at November 3, 2003 11:02 PM

I have to admit, I'm both confused and in love with the song. I wasn't expecting one of the new songs to have this sound, especially guitar sonics. When I first got Alcatraz, I already had the Dr. Frank solo record and wasn't caught completely off guard (even though Alcatraz is nothing like the solo work on "Show Business Is My Life"), but I did have to listen to it a few times to digest it. It's probably up there with all my favorite MTX records. But I am caught off guard cause I was expecting MTX to get further away from the "pop-punk" genre. Even Mr. Ramones seems like it only sounded the way it did, to make a point, or at least illustrate the lyrics better. Is the rest of Yesterday Rules like this? Or is this another single song fluke on the album (as I recall Lookout put an MP3 for Mr. Ramones up before the Miracle of Shame came out, and it's the only "punk" song on that album)? Regardless, I love it. It's a really good song.

Posted by: chach at November 4, 2003 12:16 AM

Dave: Minor second rise for early verses, major seventh fall (for poison verse).

Again, great lyrics, right melody to go with them.

Posted by: JB at November 4, 2003 01:32 AM

No she's not, is she?

Sounds great, boys.

Posted by: Matt Riggle at November 4, 2003 04:53 AM

For me, the problem was that "Alcatraz" leapfrogged my emotional state at the time. It took me a good two and a half years to really come to terms with it. It wasn't even that I didn't like it -- I just didn't *get* it. Fortunately, Frank has waited a few years before this release, and I think I've done the work necessary on my side of the relationship to prepare for it. Here's hoping.

All I can say is keep the surprises coming. Great stuff.

Posted by: Wes at November 4, 2003 04:59 AM

I love the song. Great vocals. I'm so excited about the album.


Posted by: Bal at November 4, 2003 07:59 AM

Wow, love the melodies! Funky bassline too...Great song Frank, cant wait to hear the rest.

Posted by: Danny at November 4, 2003 10:33 AM

That's way cool, Frank. I can't wait to take a road trip when the album comes out so I can yell all the words out the window.

Posted by: Amy 80 at November 4, 2003 02:53 PM

Yep, love the song. Although, I'm surprised I'm the first to mention that the lyrics link isn't up? (Or maybe it's just me? Please God, don't let it be only me...)

On a side not, I've always loved Alcatraz. I ordered it from Lookout when it came out and it blew me away. But then again, as a "broad-minded individual," I'm really just easy to please. :D

Posted by: Dave at November 4, 2003 03:09 PM

Dang it! It's only me! 'cause I'm too dumb to click on the link...

Posted by: Dave at November 4, 2003 03:11 PM

Ok, now I'm flooding the comment board. I just want to add that Dr. Frank lyrics never cease to amaze me. Yes, the content of the lyrics is typically good (if not great or amazing), but what always gets me is how on the page they seem to be virtually unsingable! Even after I've heard a song dozens of times, I'll open up the CD booklet and look at the lyrcis and ask myself, "How the hell did he do that?" But when you listen and sing along, it all makes sense. This song is certainly no exception, imo. How _does_ he do that?

Posted by: Dave at November 4, 2003 03:20 PM

Excellent stuff. Count me in, re: buying the CD when it's out. (Like I wasn't gonna do that anyway.)

Posted by: geoff at November 4, 2003 03:48 PM

Chach, the goal, as with the last two releases, was to come up with something where none of the songs sounded like any of the others. I think we came pretty close this time, and I think you'll probably be surprised by most of the songs/sounds. At least, I hope so.

Posted by: Dr. Frank at November 4, 2003 05:50 PM

great song.

i liked alcatraz right away. so there.

Posted by: ted at November 4, 2003 06:26 PM

I like and have always liked Alcatraz but the Miricle of shame has always more or less eluded me, although Spy vs Spy is genius and Dan treacy is very good too.

Posted by: Danny at November 4, 2003 10:53 PM

Reagrding Dr. Frank's comment about none of the songs sounding the same, that was one of the things I liked about Tony Visconti as a record producer. He did that and I think every album he's produced (that I know of) is better for it, e.g. Ralph McTell's "Not Till Tomorrow," for example.

Posted by: Don at November 4, 2003 11:03 PM

Milk Milk Lemonade! Night Shift at the Thrill Factory! Our Bodies Our Selves!!!! Once again, Frank, you threw us for a loop when you told us the "classic" MTX sound was dead because "there were too many sound-alikes". I love the new stuff, but I'll ALWAYS love the old stuff too. I'll part with these words "the bartender thinks we're okay, says that we kind of remind him of Green Day". THE DUMB LITTLE BAND LIVES ON!!!!!

Posted by: Channon at November 5, 2003 12:15 AM

That's great frank. I expected to be suprised. I want to be suprised and I am all for variety. I can't stop listening to the mp3 while i'm on the computer. Can't wait til January.

Posted by: chach at November 5, 2003 01:15 AM

From the astonishing number of positive comments, could this perhaps end up being the biggest MTX seller ever? One hopes so.

Posted by: Don at November 5, 2003 02:49 AM

Great song. The last line is brilliant, well, the whole song is brilliant. It sounds almost Milk Milk Lemonade-ish to me, but obviously different. Or am I just an idiot?

My acceptance of Alcatraz was fairly slow for an MTX album, even though it only took about a day. I listened to it and was completely baffled. So what I did was I picked like the four best songs, listened to them over and over again, realized that it was your best stuff to date and then gradually started checking out the other songs. As I said this all took place within a day, so I can't say that I like it right away, but it grew on me within a matter of hours. So I guess I'm somewhere in the middle. I can easily say that in my lifespan I've listened to Alcatraz more than any other album.

Posted by: Ron at November 5, 2003 03:44 AM

Man I miss Alcatraz... and Revenge Is Sweet... and ... And the Women Who Love Them (Special Edition)... damn car breaker into-ers... well thieves.

Posted by: chach at November 5, 2003 04:33 AM

I have yet to hear the new mp3 as my computer isn't up to scratch. I liked Alcatraz right away but the Miracle of Shame took me a while to warm to. I've been listening to it alot lately. For some reason 8 Little Songs helped me to like Miracle of Shame more. I had never noticed just how wonderful 'leave the thinking to the smart people' is, it washes over you. Then again I am just about out of pre-school as far my musical eduation goes, but Frank's a great teacher. My god i think i just invented a cliche.

Posted by: Georgie at November 5, 2003 09:32 AM

Great stuff Frank! I am VERY excited to buy the new album in January.
Also, hope to hear from you soon about getting a show here at my club in Alabama!
Keep in touch!

Posted by: Rapid Randy at November 5, 2003 03:33 PM


The "punk rock Pet Sounds" characterization did not have me expecting the best, so this is a happy result.

Posted by: spacetoast at November 5, 2003 10:07 PM

Although many shirts and stickers over the years have done so, this is the first album cover that uses the abreviated name MTX. What does the spine of the CD say?

Posted by: Matt Riggle at November 6, 2003 03:31 PM

Matt, we haven't designed the spine yet. What do you want it to say? The abbreviation worked best with the design concept, I feel.

Spacetoast, I know you're a hard man to please, so I find that encouraging. Not that I'm saying that that's what it is or anything, but what don't you like about the idea of a punk rock Pet Sounds?

And hey, I gotta say I find all the Alcatraz acceptance stories interesting. I suppose readers of my weblog (or those who dare to comment) are a self-selected group of the Alcatraz-friendly; and the Alcatraz-averse (which I imagine to be a dwindling but still-sizable cohort-- OK, let's face it, maybe it's wrong to use words like "sizable" here) have, true to their principles perhaps, shied away from the blog or are just too polite to reveal their affiliation? Or perhaps we have entered an era where a small, diverse coalition of the Alcatraz-neutral are simply better organized and more visible? I'm putting it down to politeness, so thanks ever so much.

Posted by: Dr. Frank at November 6, 2003 03:47 PM

Matt - you're forgetting "road to ruin" - that says MTX on the cover! ;)

Posted by: Mark at November 6, 2003 11:28 PM

Dr. Frank-

I'm not sure how much content the *idea* of "punk rock Pet Sounds" has for me. I'm sure this won't make sense, but I think my feeling is that it is too easy an association to actually describe anything, and so I wondered (scoffing) "hmm, I wonder what that means..." ?

And no disrespect to the astute Matt Welch, but I'm not completely confident I haven't heard some Green Day record or other described just the same way on VH1 or somewhere. Anyway, I'll skip the geeky harangue this time. And the song is great.

Posted by: spacetoast at November 7, 2003 03:31 AM

Good call, Mark. I flubbed that one and am ashamed. Way to stay on your toes!

Dr. Frank, I'm a huge fan of the band's long-form name, however "MTX" has always made me smile and sits just fine with me (it works well on the album cover, too). But really, I’ve always figured a man's spine is his own business, so do with it what you like.

Hmm. Just had a thought: if the spine reads “MTX” some stores and online sellers might commit a mis-alphabetization, or rather a technically-correct alphabetization, subsequently separating Yesterday Rules from its “older siblings”. That could be traumatic for the little guy.

One more thought. You could just completely confuse everyone in an attempt to sort of bring back what’s just about become a lost art: write a really random phrase on the spine like what used to be hand-scratched on the vinyl of seven-inches just outside the label. I miss the routine of discovering those little messages: you’d notice something so you’d squint and angle the record towards the light until you could just barely make it out. You’d read it aloud and chuckle to yourself, not because you “got it” (you never “got it”), but because it was there and you saw it. You never looked for any meaning in it; you probably never even looked at it again. You didn’t need to.

Yeah so, treat your spine how you wish.

As for the punk rock Pet Sounds talk, I’d give anything to hear an acoustic Dr. Frank version of that album.

Posted by: Matt Riggle at November 7, 2003 05:45 AM

Okay, I'll correct my own mistake this time...

I just realized that I can't think of a single band name that comes between "Mr. T Experience" and "MTX" alphabetically. This means that the alphabetizing fiasco described above wouldn't occur. Instead, the whole bunch will be nessled together, safely and soundly.

Let's just hope some dimwit doesn't accidently stick a "Mr. Big" CD in the middle of it all. That'd be devastating. But I guess that's always been a risk...

Posted by: Matt Riggle at November 7, 2003 06:23 AM

And the cover is great too...

re: Matt's worry, there's apparently this update of the Florence Foster Jenkins phenomenon...

Posted by: spacetoast at November 7, 2003 08:33 AM

MTX works for me. Incidentally, a copy of 'Road to Ruin' went for $39 on e-Bay yesterday. Who would have ever guessed?

Spacetoast - thanks for reminding me about Mrs. Miller. Years ago I worked with a guy who played her greatest hits album over and over and over and over. Not that I necessarily need it, but I noticed several copies listed on e-Bay - for about $37 less than 'Road to Ruin'. I think I'm gonna make a bid. I can file it away with all of those Junior Samples albums I just had to have.

As for the Pet Sounds comparison...For what it's worth, I'll take the genius of Dr. Frank/Kevin Army over the genius of Brian Wilson/Mark Linett any day!

Posted by: J. Francis at November 7, 2003 05:00 PM

I actually have a serious question. Now that I hear the whole Interactive CD rom thing is going down, how much of it is gonna be new and fresh stuff to those of us who have been reading the blog? By the way, Awesome cover.

Posted by: chach at November 9, 2003 07:36 AM

Excellent song-- me like!

Me also like speak in inproper english!

But for reals, yo, that rocks. I was already stoked for the new CD, but now I'm even more so.

Posted by: Andrew at November 10, 2003 05:44 AM

I've always wondered if MTX should be filed under "Mi" (MIster) or "Mr".

I suppose one could always make a cause for "Th" as in "THe".

Posted by: Wes at November 13, 2003 02:54 AM
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