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Liner Notes

Ariel Strasser Ariel Strasser

CROOKED LINE

1. Crooked Line 2:43
2. I Remember Everything 2:52
3. These Are The Things I've Learned 2:11
4. Kisses Like Yours 3:23
5. Bittersweet 4:17
6. Teresa 3:48
7. Who Needs A Lover? 3:36
8. Baby, It's Cold Outside 2:59
9. Dust 2:42
10. The Lost Waltz 4:53

Produced and Mixed at The Vault Recording Studio in Hoboken, New Jersey
by Dan McLoughlin © 2013
Mastered by Ed Littman
Photos by Nathan Scott Hancock
Graphic Design by Chris Becker

Personnel:
Ariel Strasser - Piano, Vocals, Melodica
Max Judelson - Upright Bass
Nate Tucker - Drums, Percussion
Adrianne Pope - Violin
Dan McLoughlin - Guitar, Organ
Chris Trapper - Vocals

The Story

It’s been a long time coming. After a year of writing piles of songs – I came up with this collection. The secret is that you often have to write piles of mediocre songs to get to the better ones. I spent my senior year in college working with a small group of songwriters at The Boston Conservatory. A group five of us within the theater department created a class with the help of our teacher Kevin Siegfried. Week after week, we were challenged to write a new song with a new perspective, idea, etc. It was an intense process amidst our crazy theater schedules to come up with something new each week, but worth it for its rewards. Once several weeks went by, we found that we were actually starting to produce some material that we were proud of. Pretty far into the school year, some of those songs started to take shape. I started to see them as a family of and imagine them having a life outside of our classroom.
And then I got lucky. Our songwriting class culminated in a performance where three friends of mine from the music department got involved. We knew each other well, and had collaborated on various projects, but had never really worked on any of my original material. Max Judelson (Bass), Nate Tucker (Drums), and Adrianne Pope (Violin) were instrumental (excuse the pun) in helping these songs come to life. The performance night was pretty magical and was even more evidence that it wasn’t such a bad idea to start thinking about the life these songs might have even outside of the Conservatory. And more than that, I had three incredible musicians that knew my songs and making a recording didn’t seem so far away.
Not long after graduation, the recording process began. The recording, mixing, and mastering ended up being pretty spread out – as we were back and forth from Boston and Hoboken. So the anticipation was high. Lots of thumb twiddling and the Jeopardy theme song and just plain impatience. But we got here.
So here is “Crooked Line” - A collection of songs about life and love and trials and errors and loss and silliness and much else. It is altogether crooked. What else would you expect from my senior year at a school with so many artists? But I hope that you’ll enjoy them and maybe find a bit of yourself in them.


Thank You

Thank you to the incredible group of musicians for lending their talents and wonderful selves to this album.  Max, Nate, and Adrianne – you are much more than fellow musicians to me - You are irreplaceable friends. Thank you Dan McLoughlin for your unique creativity in the studio, Chris Trapper for lending your voice to the album, and for your endless support, Nathan Scott Hancock for your beautiful photos and friendship, Chris Becker for your fabulous designs, Cindy da Silva for helping get this off the ground, Kevin Siegfried for being the most inspiring, motivating, supportive, and generous mentor that a student could ask for, my immediate and extended family for your unwavering love and encouragement - I can honestly say that I could not have done this without you.  Finally, thank you to the endless of amount of people, places, feelings, and moments that inspired these songs.  I couldn’t list them all if I tried.  To you, I am forever grateful. 

Lyrics


CROOKED LINE

© 2013 Music and Lyrics Ariel Strasser (ASCAP)


There’s trouble in the water.
It’s troubling me tonight.
I think it’s time to lay down.
It’s mixed up. It’s wrong.
I feel like a fool.
I’m alone in this town.

We all live in a crooked line. (x4)

I’m right, then I’m wrong.
I was in love.
I was so mad at you for leading me on.
I mess up, it’s my fault, and I’m sorry, I’m sorry for so long.

We all live in a crooked line. (x4)

You are not an island, you are attached to something.
You must be grounded to find your way.
And on the ground you can be sure of one thing:
Your breath is changing with the day.

We all live in a crooked line. (x4)

I REMEMBER EVERYTHING

© 2013 Music and Lyrics Ariel Strasser (ASCAP)


I remember everything.
Do you remember me?

I think I’d lie to you if you ever asked me how I felt.
I think I’d find the words to say something else.
But you’re not in front of me at all.
If you’re not listening, I am not afraid to fall.

You are something. You are unforgettable,
And nobody knows me the way you do.
I could be mistaken, but I’m standing here, I want to know –
Could we do better than me and you – you and me – and me and you.

You came over.
It was enough to keep me waiting.
Ah – mmm.
You sat next to me on the couch,
But all we could talk about were patterns on the linens.
I was watching your eyes.
I was watching your eyes.

I think I’d lie to you if you ever asked me how I felt.
I think I’d find the words to say something else.
But you’re not in front of me at all.
If you’re not listening, I am not afraid to fall.

You are something. You are unforgettable,
And nobody knows me the way you do.
I could be mistaken, but I’m standing here, I want to know –
Could we do better than me and you – you and me – and me and you.

I remember everything.
Do you remember me?

THESE ARE THE THINGS I'VE LEARNED

© 2013 Music and Lyrics Ariel Strasser (ASCAP)


I know it’s hard.
You have to hold on.
I know it’s tough.
You can’t let go.

‘Cause Loving isn’t always the way it seems from outside the window.
I don’t know it all, but these are the things I’ve learned. (x2)

Sometimes it’s easy,
And that seems better.
But if she runs,
You go and get her.

‘Cause loving isn’t always a sunset, or a spring rain in April.
I don’t know it all, but these are the things I’ve learned. (x2)

I’d chase you down –
If I knew that I could catch you by the time
I chased you down.
I know that you’d be worth the line.

‘Cause loving isn’t always the way it seems, but it’s worth the chase.
I don’t know it all, but these are the things I’ve learned. (x2)

Doo doo doo, etc.

KISSES LIKE YOURS

© 2013 Music and Lyrics Ariel Strasser (ASCAP)


It’s only the second time we’ve met.
I don’t even know your middle name.
We’re still strangers in the dark.
It feels like I know you just the same.

So we sit down, look around,
We find there’s nothing left to do.
And small talk makes its way to the inside
‘Til finally all I see is you.

Kisses like yours don’t come around just for fun.
When kisses like yours come around it’s better not to run.
‘Cause kisses like yours don’t hang around – not for long.
Kisses like yours are kisses like gold.

Sometimes I’m afraid I’ll stare too long.
But it’s too hard to look away from your eyes.
I can’t remember the last time someone looked at me that way.
And looking at you, I realize –

Kisses like yours don’t come around just for fun.
When kisses like yours come around it’s better not to run.
‘Cause kisses like yours don’t hang around – not for long.
Kisses like yours are kisses like – kisses like – kisses like -

Kisses like yours don’t come around just for fun.
When kisses like yours come around it’s better not to run.
‘Cause kisses like yours don’t hang around – not for long.
Kisses like yours are kisses like gold.
Kisses like yours are kisses like gold.
Kisses like yours are kisses like gold.

BITTERSWEET

© 2013 Music and Lyrics Ariel Strasser (ASCAP)


To look around in the morning light,
To see your face in the morning and know it’s right,
Isn’t that the way? Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?

But this is different than the love that you gave me –
I remember you saved me from the rain that day.
What’s the difference if it’s love - If you’re giving me what you’ve got?
It was always meant that way.
Tell me – what’s the way? Tell me – what’s the way it’s supposed to be?

If I could change lanes without seeing your face in the rear view mirror –
You were never mean, you were never cross, I could never leave you –
But it’s always bittersweet.

Intoxicated Love - Suffocation of the heart.
There’s nothing wrong with you. My heart is a fickle part.
That’s not the way. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be.

If I could change lanes without seeing your face in the rear view mirror –
You were never mean, you were never cross, I could never leave you –
But it’s always bittersweet.

If I could change lanes without seeing your face in the rear view mirror –
You were never mean, you were never cross, I could never leave you –
But it’s always bittersweet.

TERESA

© 2013 Music and Lyrics Ariel Strasser (ASCAP)


Teresa, my mother, she saw me in a bathrobe.
She said, “honey, why you cryin’?”
I’m afraid to get that old.
But it’s a legendary science; it’s inevitable the way it goes.

Teresa, how much time do you spend alone?
Are you still afraid of the dark and do you miss your home?
I’ve been trying to find a way out.
I’ve been trying to get out of the years, but I don’t know

Can you feel the wisdom inside, or does age creep on?
Can you feel yourself in puddles of the rain scattered on your lawn?
Are you everywhere at once in the memories you’ve left along?
Are you anywhere once you’ve been everywhere?
Are you everywhere, or anywhere at all?

Tears fall as she watches me there.
She’s waiting for the moment that I understand
And then she opens her arms and we both fall to the ground -
Into one another and the sound of her voice stays with me.

She says, “honey, the years are long, but they’re worth the road.”
She says, “honey the road is long, but you’re not alone.”

WHO NEEDS A LOVER?

© 2013 Music and Lyrics Ariel Strasser (ASCAP)


Found myself in your skin
All I wanted was someone with something to settle in
Blind as far as the eye can see –
I lost myself in love the way you wanted me

Who needs a lover, anyway? (x2)

One who finds your heart and takes your love.
It doesn’t come for free, it’s not enough.
One who holds too tight won’t set you free.
I lost myself in love the way you wanted me

Who needs a lover, anyway? (x2)

Pouring my heart our ‘til there’s nothing left of me
You unaware that you’re taking the best of me
I fell so hard and you let me
You let me in (x2).

Who needs a lover, anyway? (x2)

Found myself in your skin
All I wanted was someone with something to settle in

BABY, IT'S COLD OUTSIDE

© 2013 Music and Lyrics Ariel Strasser (ASCAP)


The trouble with the world is the weather outside and the way that you feel when it rains.
How many cups of coffee … But why complain?
You may think it’s crazy, but I don’t mind the way that I feel in the fall.
It’s cold and it’s wet, we could forget it all ...

Baby, it’s cold outside.
I need heat to be satisfied.
Under the covers – let’s run and hide.
Baby, it’s cold outside.

We’re in a snow-covered car, no one knows where we are.
It’s not safe to drive if you want to stay alive.
We could be doing nothing, but we find that doing something’s more fun – more fun.
So we’ll stay entertained ‘til the blizzard and the flurries are done.

Baby, it’s cold outside.
I need heat to be satisfied.
Under the covers – let’s run and hide.
Baby, it’s cold outside.

[instrumental]

Baby, it’s cold outside.
I need heat to be satisfied.
Under the covers – let’s run and hide.
Baby, it’s cold outside.

DUST

© 2013 Music and Lyrics Ariel Strasser (ASCAP)


You are dust
I watched you slip through my fingers
I held you in my hands, for a moment in my heart
But you washed away down the side of the road.
You have a funny way of holding on.

I touched you once.
Did you feel me?
I wanted it so bad, so heavy.
You have a funny way of holding on.

Over so fast,
Living in the afterglow of your atmosphere
Gone like rain
Could you still be here?
You have a funny way of holding on.

You are dust
I watched you slip through my fingers
I held you in my hands, for a moment in my heart
But you washed away down the side of the road.
You have a funny way of holding on.

Have you made up your mind,
Are you ready to go?
You are entitled to a different choice, what do you know?
It’s not rocket science
Were you waiting for a reason for defiance?

You are dust
I watched you slip through my fingers
I held you in my hands, for a moment in my heart
But you washed away down the side of the road.

THE LOST WALTZ

© 2013 Music and Lyrics Ariel Strasser (ASCAP)


You could say that I’m lonely
You could say that I’m scared
You could say that I don’t know which way to go
And I’m lonely
And I’m scared
It’s all true – are you...
Alone?
Because if you are I could come over if you just told me how – I think I could get there.
I’m a little navigationally challenged.
But I think I could do it if you gave me some directions
So I don’t get lost.

Okay I’m coming up the block, which way should I turn?
Right or left? Right or left? Right or left?
Okay I went left.
Was that wrong?
Do I need to turn around?
Is it legal for me to make a U-turn here? I Hope it is, because I just did.
But if it is illegal, then it’s your fault. It’s your fault. It’s your fault.
It’s always your fault.
Do you mind if I blame you? Because you’re my little scapegoat, you’re really cute.
That’s why I like you.
That, and you give me directions
So I don’t get lost

It’s so easy to get lost in the snow
But I’ve got you to give me directions
So I don’t get lost

It’s so easy to get lost in the snow
But I’ve got you to give me directions
So I don’t get lost

Etc.

Ariel Strasser, Singer Songwriter

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