Battle of Flowers

by Buttercup

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about

Their newest (2017) recording Battle of Flowers was mixed by Larry Crane (Elliott Smith, Death Cab for Cutie, Sleater-Kinney) in Portland Oregon. The cover art, inspired by the Beatles’ Revolver, is a 6ft x 6ft line drawing on cloth by international artist Chris Sauter (www.chrissauter.com).

“STING STOLE OUR RHYTHM SECTION”

This is not hyperbole. Buttercup’s lead vocalist, Erik Sanden, was simply stating a fact. Brothers Emilio and Diego Navaira played drums and guitar on Battle of Flowers, but just as the record was finished, the Navairas’ other music project, The Last Bandoleros, was chosen not only to perform on Sting’s latest recording, but they were also asked to provide direct support for Sting’s spring 2017 US/European tour. The sons of Tejano music legend Emilio Navaira Sr., the brothers added some South Texas muscle and musicality to the Buttercup sound. Sting just wanted a little bit of that too, and the band is okay with it.

THEN THERE WERE THREE

Erik Sanden, bassist odie, and Grammy award winning guitarist/producer Joe Reyes have spent over 15 years as members of Buttercup, at once a full-on rock machine and a performance art collective. Over the course of 6 albums, a documentary DVD, and countless genre-bending live shows, they’ve remained current and vital despite shifts in music tastes and technology. Battle of Flowers is their first recording to consist totally of live takes recorded in the band’s rehearsal studio. Guitarist Joe Reyes says “with the extra guitar, keys and vocals, expertly played and sung by Diego and Emilio, this was the first time we could actually perform and record all of the parts of a song live. And then, like The Beatles, I’d turn one of the monitor speakers towards us and we’d sing all our parts together on one mic. We worked fast and had fun and you can hear that on the record. Larry Crane did a great job mixing what is essentially a live record.”

Bassist odie adds “It’s how recording should be done. Just push record and go. For us it’s the most organic thing.” Sanden agrees wholeheartedly, “Headphones are like a barrier: it feels so much better when you take them off. A band that is free from care is the best possible band it can be.”

Already, folks are saying this is Buttercup’s best album to date.

credits

released April 14, 2017

buttercup is:
joe reyes
odie.
erik sanden

featuring:
diego navaira – guitars, keys, percussion, and voice
emilio navaira iv - drums, guitars, keys, percussion, and voice
the navaira brothers appear courtesy warner bros. records

produced by buttercup
recorded in the summer and fall of 2015 and spring of 2016 at gud'eenin studios, san antonio, texas 
mixed by larry crane at jackpot! in portland, oregon
mastered by garrett haines at treelady, pittsburgh, pa

all songs written by erik sanden, kindfrankenstein music (ASCAP) 2016
except “how to think more about sex” by sanden/reyes
and “don’t go it alone” written by joe reyes, bullock befriending music (ASCAP) 2016
and “swallow fly” written by odie.

art and layout by chris sauter 

bedlamb records/palo santo records copyright 2017

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burnished super melodists from Texas

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Track Name: Let It Drop
Plenty of drunks, damaged souls
have cried into their beers
over a song
sappy and way too long,
but it still works,
so pop a top
and position your tear duct
over the neck hole
and let it drop
Track Name: Acting Thru Music
let me sing like turning a wooden ring
we spent nights toiling by twilight
by the river’s edge i pounded my drums’ heads
until they changed the locks

on and on this acting through music
on and on this dying inside
on and on and on

i won’t speak i won’t sing
i won’t write i won’t fight
i won’t act i won’t lie
i won’t pretend that we won’t die

on and on this acting through music
on and on this suicide
on and on and on

on and on this acting through music
on and on this gang of five
on and on and on
Track Name: Gud Gurls
hot flash it’s time to get some air
mid flight through recycled stares
take it don’t fake it can you carry one more?
doubtless you’ve been through this all once before i know

good good good good girls
good good good gud gurls
of the summers past it’s perfect

news flash
are you looking back?
rehashed fights did your mommy cut you slack?
all your divorces put you in daddy’s shirt
but feeling fine you look good as you were in college

good good good good girls
good good good gud gurls
of the summers past
they’re coming back it’s perfect

gud gurls
uh huh oh yeah
it’s perfect
Track Name: How to Think More About Sex
will you pay me close attention?
of course you’ll see how much i like you
i like you very much

i need to be loved
right here right now
i need your soft touch
don’t say you don’t
don’t say you won’t

i know that someday oh i’ll be quite quiet
my mouth shut still
but for now i am happy oh i am so happy
on that hill
on the pasture’s hillock
you gave me a kiss

i see your scar under the makeup
is it so bizarre to feel this shaken up?
we are wasting time

i need to be loved
right then, right now
i need your soft touch
don’t say you don’t
don’t say you won’t

over the pasture my cattle were grazing
but i fell ill
my scars were small talk oh i was so giddy
the sky grew chilled
i know that someday oh i’ll be quite quiet
my mouth shut still
but your arms around me
your lips were upon me on that hill
though it was temporary
you said yes
yes oh yes

q: why won’t you love me?
a: sex
q: why won’t you love me like you did before?
Track Name: Champagne from Spain
i was living half deaf and dumb
to beauty just speechless
what would i have said if the shore
was in fact beach-less?
no where to swim with arms made of lava
i was de facto dead until you came with a glass of cava
you fed me like a baby bird

champagne from spain

i was living half dead
where would i be be if you didn’t come to save me?
god only knows the truth
no i’m not religious
you broke through the ice
would i be dumb forever? no!
you gave me my tongue
you used it to kiss me
you fed me like a vampire

champagne from spain
Track Name: Swallow Fly
tragically slipped into what people call a flippin' rut
you can’t out of it
you can’t get out of it
you can’t you’re stuck

coin a phrase on a dime time to pay the man
clammer up shimmy down hide your soul
offerings on a plate rot when left alone
pick it up take a bite
swallow fly away home

sun is up again you get another chance and then
rev up a million r.p.m’s but need a tow and then some limbs
you’re fucked

dollar up market down build for quick release
nothing comes frictionless ask the greeks
you’re all this pound on that always ill at ease
stand erect buy up front
swallow fly away home
fly away home
find a way home
find a way home
Track Name: Open On/Shut Off
i can’t hang around for the truth you found
open up the door i see a pleasing light
but then i shut the door
is it dark inside?
these cloudy thoughts consume my worthless mind

open on/shut off

hey it’s time to go
it’s time for the next show
i know that you are not all shut off

open on/shut off
Track Name: Vicious Rewind
i know you can feel the weight
of all this world today
it’s ugly and unfair
but you will not now be stayin’ there

it’s like a vicious dream
in a high school where you’re trapped
and the students know how to stab
you when you turn your naked back

oooh, ahh

so go home to your tv
where the screen light blinks out clean
and the fear you felt back then
is morphed into the new hierarchy
of a co-worker with a gun
Track Name: I Love You (You Believed in Me)
darlin’ how could you
ever love a wreck like me?
the castle is burning now
the ship’s sail is all in tatters

but you believed in me
now every song that i sing is all the same tune called “i love you”

is this just a limp?
or am I really lame?
if I believe i’m hurt
am I as good as damaged?
will i shatter?

but you believed in me
now every song that i write is the same song titled “i love you”

wanna hear it? i wrote a song about it
it goes like this:

I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU
yeah I do

it was a dark, dark day when i thought that you’d been taken
there in your empty house your purse your keys your cel phone was there but you were not
but you we’re actually ok
but you were actually safe
but you believed in me
now every song i sing is the same tune called “i love you”
i’m going to sing it again like this:

I LOVE YOU

but you believed in me
and now i do too
Track Name: Don't Go It Alone
gonna be a long time coming
gonna be away from something you love
gonna be a lifetime coming
it’s gonna be a waste if you go it alone

don’t go it alone ooh
don’t go it alone ooh

let it be a lifetime coming
let it be the last thing to prey on your mind
let it be a lifetime coming
let it be a chance not to go it alone

don’t go it alone ooh
don’t go it alone ooh

the little the small
they’re everything now

gonna be a long time coming
gonna be away from something you love
gonna be a lifetime coming
it’s gonna be a waste if you go it alone

don’t go it alone ooh
don’t go it alone ooh
Track Name: Henry B. Gonzalez
a tiny boy got pushed
the bully gave him hell
the bully ripped his shirt
but this story’s got revenge
it’s got justice
it’s got something even sweeter

this tiny boy grew to take on bullies in washington
this tiny boy grew to be henry b. gonzalez

henry b. gonzalez

he stood on the congress floor
he’d fillibuster or
he’d try to block a racist bill
he would desegregate
he was so sick of it
he had had his fill

for twenty two hours he read the bible
for twenty two hours he read the san antonio phone book

henry b. gonzalez

when did liberal become a bad word?
when did liberal become a curse?
on henry b.’s tombstone it says liberal
it says fighter democrat soul
henry b. gonzalez
Track Name: 68 Playmate
i went shopping at the salvation army store
looking for some hip duds maybe I could make that retro grade
buy a pair of bellbottom pants and a polyester shirt
it was yellow tag day but nothing would fit
and i still look like i shop at the gap

just when i was walking out of the store
with nothing in my hand
a pretty, pretty picture did catch my eye
a glossy magazine was taking me back
i was going back
i was going way back to 1968
and for two dollars i had me a date

my 68 playmate

she had big blonde hair with beehive flair
red stockings in the bowling alley
she’s my succubus on a yellow love bus
in the flower generation
i wanna hold her i wanna feel her
false eyelashes against my face
but alas at the time i was only negative three
i would do anything i would do anything

i’d wear white pants white shoes
pinstripes turtlenecks
double-breasted polyester
british wool-twill all semester
i’d drink high class top shelf whiskey in a glass
like peter sellers at the party

my 68 playmate

so where oh where is my little twiggy?
where oh where where could she be?
is she a hula hooping down to a psychedelic beat?
if i get my math right
i add it up i count it down
one! two! three! and four! you’re back it seventy-two
you add a score and some more and she’s sixty four

my 68 my 68 playmate

i want retro i wanna erode
i wanna go i wanna go back