June in Siberia

by Mark Berube

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about

Recorded by Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Basia Bulat, Silver Mt Zion) live off the floor at Montreal’s Hotel 2 Tango, June In Siberia is the full length follow up to 2008’s What The Boat Gave The River. June In Siberia sees a departure for Mark Berube and The Patriotic Few (Kristina Koropecki on cello, Patrick Dugas on drums, and Amélie Mandeville on bass) from their previous experimentation with large-scale arrangements of strings and horns, choosing instead to hone in on the impressive vocal and instrumental strengths of each member. Joining the band are four special guests. Dan Mangan appears on Side of the Road, Emily Loizeau sings a verse in the redemptive eulogy Above the Ground; CR Avery lends a poem in Let Me Go; and Hattie Webb of the Webb Sisters bestows her voice to the blues-piano riff Fela Kuti-inspired ballad My Me Lady. The overall result is a striking and unique blend of indie chamber-folk.

credits

released March 1, 2011

The Patriotic Few:
Kristina Koropecki - cello / voice
Patrick Dugas - drums / percussion / voice
Amélie Mandeville - bass / voice
Mark Berube - piano / accordion / organ / voice

Special Guests:
Jesson Moen and Dina Cindric - Hello / Siberia
Dan Mangan - Side of the Road
Emily Loizeau (appearing courtesy of Polydor France) - Above the Ground
C.R. Avery - Let Me Go
Hattie Webb - My Me Lady

Produced by Howard Bilerman
Engineered by Graham Lessard

Recorded and Mixed in April / May, 2010 at Hotel 2 Tango, Montreal, QC.
Mastered by Harris Newman, Grey Market Mastering, Montreal, QC
Audio samples by Frederic Meyer (In song order: wind from ferry to Madgalen Islands; Beaubien Metro; Radio Canada in the kitchen; park ousdie church in Little Italy, Montreal)

Album design and layout by March Hutchinson and Robbie Roberts.

Aquarius Records.

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about

Mark Berube Montréal, Québec

Montreal based singer/songwriter. Band includes Kristina Koropecki (Cello/Autoharp/Voice)

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Track Name: Hello
Take me to the older town and
take me where they smoke below

Hello Hello Hello...
Track Name: Tailored to Fit
I open up my kitchen door
walk out to my small back yard
sit down in my small lawn chair
let the morning blanket my eyes
and it all starts to feel
Tailored to Fit

The clouds are having pillow fights
and there's wrinkles in the skin of the trees
as my mind is juggling jack knives
as it tries to settle on punch lines
that will all make this feel
Tailored to Fit

I hear some dreams are in the hospital ward
and the doctors found a cure for them all
they say their shoes are just a bit too large
but the patients say they're just too small

Now I'm sitting in my small back yard
and the sun has won the pillow fight
and it's throwing all the shadows around
and I'm smiling at the holes in my jeans
and it all starts to fell
Tailored to Fit
Track Name: Side of the Road
Waking up at 4 am
it's kind of like a holiday
you feel you should be paid to take
now you're standing on the side of the road

You're holding what a waitress saves
in a bar where the cleavage pays
holding all the dreams
you couldn't leave behind

I saw your face in the crowd last night
you looked like you did on our wedding day
you stood below and exit sign
in the bar the communist's daughter

Last night distracted by it all
up there on the TV screen
I saw a man become a dream
how many roads he had to walk

But half of them were not his own
a relay race for rolling stones
I saw the waitress didn't wipe the tears from her eyes

I saw your face in the crowd last night
you looked like you did on our wedding day
you stood below an exit sign
looking like a communist's daughter

Standing on the side of the road
it's been a while since I've been here
and all the clocks have disappeared
wondering what is gonna happen next
Track Name: Above the Ground
Spent the afternoon counting stars
at least the ones I hoped to see
the ones that shine beyond the reach
of their own burned out reality

Oh please oh please...

When we die bury all our good good things
above the ground

So we rode our bikes to the place
where the headstones and memory play
perched up on the elephant cliffs
breathing in the mouth of yesterday

Oh please oh please...

The sun it starts to cut its head off
and bleed its beauty on the lake
we can build up our lives with fireworks
and still just fade away
so when we die bury all our good good things
above the ground

So we looked up to the sky once more
felt tears floating down our skin
the kind that scrub your closets clean
and highlight your love instead

Oh please oh please...

And the wind breaks the glass of the lake
and the evening pulls the shadows from the shade
and the stars start to flower like its spring
showered in the mist of milky rain

Oh please oh please...

I saw the sun it cut its head off
and bled its beauty on the lake
we can build up our lives with fireworks
and still just fade away
so when we die bury all our good good things
above the ground
Track Name: Let Me Go
I get off the subway, the sliding door's closing
the walls they are all grey, and I'm walking
I walk by an old man, who plays his accordeon
and old Chinese folk song, and I'm walking
I go up the stairs, there's a young girl that stares
at an old bald man's hair, and I'm walking
and I end up outside, and this city's my bride
but our mothers don't cry, and I'm walking

I can call you home
you can call me foreign
now I get the feeling
you won't ever ever
let me go

I get on the bus, and there's young men that cuss
like a wind throwing dust, and I'm walking
I sit by a man, who now looks like a man
who now once was a man, and he's talking
he says "what do you do when your history is glue
and your future's a shoe, and you're walking?"
I get off the bus, and I start to cuss,
with my teeth full of dust, and I'm walking

I can call you home
you can call me foreign
now I get the feeling
you won't ever ever
let me go

Go let me... ..

Je monte le boulevard, je vais m'en aller

(Her black bra is on the dresser
my grey hand-me-down jacket on my back
St Laurence prays for a confessor
St Catherines begs to differ
and leads the attack
the army of migrant workers is ready
no devil in Montreal
the snow was fast and steady
as each motel watched it fall
I found shelter in the computer house
that they keep in the basement of this high-end store
edge of Chinatown, quiet as a church mouse
I pray for St Catherines, St Laurence
and the migrants of the war
the black bra on the dresser)

I can call you home
you can call me foreign
now I get the feeling
you won't ever ever
let me
Track Name: When We Are Old
Take a look at our hands
the skin of oysters
take a look at our faces
drawn by the wind

I'll play the fool
you'll start the game
we'll lose our minds
but not our age

It all feels good right now

Oh when we are old
and we drink our moonshine
and let it make us feel
like moonshine should

We could get our histories framed
then watch all of the dust at play
but museums make a lousy grave

So will we ever be ready to go?

Oh when we are old
and your dress hits the floor
it's 3:45 and the museum
closes at 4

The lights move to their evening glow
the security guards won't ever know
we will just slip out of the back door

So will we ever be ready to go?
Track Name: My Me Lady
Me lady she won't stop the thunder from clapping
if it should clap that way
Me lady she won't stop the fire from burning
if it should burn that way
Me lady she won't stop the voices from shoulting
if they should shout that way

My Me Lady

Me lady she'll build up all of your houses
if it should be that way
Me lady she'll build up many defenses
if it should be that way
Me lady she'll build up things to believe in
if it should be that way

Me lady she won't give what you're expecting
if it should be that way
Me lady she won't ever dress up her words
if it should be that way
Me lady she'll give back all that was taken
if it should be that way

My Me Lady
Track Name: Last Call
Among the trees on the boulevard
its leaves waved by the buses and bikes
one tree has a carving that's carved by a knife
one night in June

I read the etching on a hot summer night
the letters spelt out a phrase
the bark worked as a frame

I heard a story about a phone call
a houng girl made from Tiananmen Square
she left a message for her mother
a beep and then I love you

Chicken scratched into the tree's skin
I love you is what was written
my knife blade broke
when I finished the u
Track Name: Hurricane / Little Quiet Scream
Pour my coffee nice and slow
with my newspaper and the radio
it's playing a song I think I've lived before
the headlines say the storm has passed
and count the losses in the aftermath
but what's the point of really keeping score

Woke up that day in a hurricane
woke up and the roof was gone
woke up kind of satisfied
to have to start again

I take off my hat and bow to the mess I'm standing in
let's turn off the lights and use the daylight instead
then we go...

I felt the face of the hurricane
felt like fists in the form of rain
left me blue like the holes in my genes
put up my arms and waved goodbye
to the words seduced by alibis
and threw my arms around what should have been
cause boredom's such a lazy word
you can curse the curve that made you turn
your life into a little quiet scream

But then you

Wake up in a hurricane
wake up and the roof is gone
wake up kind of satisfied
to have to start again

We were there
on the ground
and saw it all
all come down
skin and bones
left us all naked
Track Name: Siberia
Feel the squeeze
of the morning
on lungs that wake up
breathe breathe breathe

Over the roof top
the sun sets its sights
and fills the kitchen
with good intentions

Like a steam train
smoking through Siberia
bringing good news home

All that you feel
breathe it out on to me

Come by the window
slide it open
february
feels good right now

Il y a des cigarettes
qui ne peuvent pas nous tuer

I see the smoke rising
you see the smoke rising
breathe
Track Name: Gone Clear
The skyline fills my camera
as I try to figure out what it is
that lets us build up great cities
then one day watch them disappear
my phone has been ringing
each call a part of the countdown
as your lungs fill with water
and that goodbye sun
slows between the trees
have you gone clear?

I hear my camera lense click
it captures then suffocates
what breathed a second ago
will now be living on in a frame
and I'll put it on the shelf
between the flowers and the dust
and let it fill the room
like footsteps
on wooden floors
have you gone clear?

I look down at the city
from the top of Mont-Royal
it's all postcards and dump trucks
both keep us feeling clean
and the banks hold up the river
my heart holds up my skin
and the snow that's coming soon
will leave us once again
now you've gone clear