Alterations

by Mark Northfield

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about

Alterations consists of five 'almost-pop' songs transformed into five 'almost-classical' ones via the cunning redeployment of musical riffs and themes. There are also a few lyrical links to be found.

An ambitious and varied work, it runs the gamut from naggingly catchy philosophical disco (The Death Of Copyright) to anthemic pop rock (Nothing Impossible), messed-up apocalyptic cabaret (The Up Shit Creek Blues), gypsy/flamenco fuelled wonderment (Aurora) and soaring string-laden theatrical climaxes (The Forecaster).

Although it works well enough in the given order, it could also be thought of as a set of five double A side singles - in ye olde vinyl terms - and listened to accordingly. The connections might make themselves a little more obvious that way.

An in-depth guide to the album and its counterpart tracks can be found on Mark's official website at www.marknorthfield.com. Look for 'alterations revealed' in the main menu.


Critical acclaim for Alterations:

'Northfield is an excellent composer with a firm grasp on what he wants to accomplish' ALTSOUNDS

'poignant and cryptic' GREEN MAN MUSIC

'bursts with finely orchestrated beauty' SKOPEMAG

'Alterations is an intriguing, eclectic musical puzzle' AAA MUSIC

'excellent' RINGMASTER REVIEWS

'like the great experimental pop songwriters of the past' MUDKISS FANZINE

'Northfield is a maverick genius' RHYTHM & BOOZE

'a sort of national treasure' BLUESBUNNY

credits

released 02 July 2012

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Track Name: The Death Of Copyright
THE DEATH OF COPYRIGHT

I heard a pop song today
It was grimly efficient
It brought me to my knees
In three terrible minutes
I saw my life go by
I saw the crashing of empire
It stole my DNA
Then claimed I had no father

I heard a rock song today
It was VERY IMPORTANT
It took me for a ride
Before I'd even given consent
I saw the whites of my eyes
I saw the heads of the surfers
It made me feel a man
Then inserted inverted commas

And now I'm all alone
And now I'm all alone
And now at last I'm all alone

There's nothing on the radio
The static slips into my heart
I lost what I never had
'Twas all about the taking part
The air fairly hums with dreams
But I don't sing their melodies
I sing what I cannot hear
'Twas all about the part you played
It's all about the way the chorus fades

Aujourd'hui j'ai entendu une tube
Elle était sinistrement efficace
Elle ma fait tomber aux genoux
Pendant trois minutes terribles
J'ai vu ma vie passer devant moi
J'ai vu la chute de l'empire
Elle m'a vole le ADN
Puis elle a pretendu
Que je n'aie pas de pere

Et maintenant je suis toute seule
Et maintenant je suis toute seule
Et enfin je suis toute seule

Qué idioma es
Qué idioma es
Qué idioma es

Heute hörte ich ein Rock Song
Es war SEHR WICHTIG
Es brachte mich in Fahrt
Bevor ich Zustimmung gegeben hatte
Ich sah das Weiß meiner Augen
Ich sah die Köpfe der Surfers
Ich fuhlte mich wie ein Mann
Dann setzte es Anführungszeichen ein

Und jetzt bin ich ganz allein
Und jetzt bin ich ganz allein
Und nun shießlich bin ich ganz allein

There's nothing on the radio...
Track Name: Some Songs...
SOME SONGS...

Some songs don't want to be written
Some songs have no intention of staying hidden
Some only make sense to a child in the back of a car
Some simply exist to rhyme fnarr with oompaloompa
Some come to life in hostile terrain
Some really shoulda been left on holiday, yeah
Some are measures of crude corporate thought control
Some know freedom's a quite unobtainable goal
But then some songs know it all

Some need blue sky, the glint of frost
Some the inky night and a senseless loss
Some seem to have lust tatooed on their behinds
Some songs are just too old, too young, or darling too tired
Some burn bridges, let others construct
Some cite revolution but would not let the bucks stop
Some will have you giving thanks for being alive
Some will leave you convinced that you may as well die
But then some songs tell such lies

Owooo...

Some songs tell such lies

Owooo...

Some songs tell such lies

Owooo...
Track Name: You Don't Need Me To Tell You That
YOU DON'T NEED ME TO TELL YOU THAT

Isn't bad, isn't everything
Might have guessed this would be the denouement
Might have but I'm thick right?

Isn't bad, isn't everything
The difference between us
You see half empty
I only care what it tastes like

There's no turning back the tide
This did I decide to save despair

Life don't give no guarantees
No fait accomplis
'Tis harsh but fair

Does the tongue form the word before the brain instructs it
Does the skin speak desire faster than we can dream it
Do the eyes not reveal what the heart has not the courage to
Oh you don't need, you don't need
You don't need me to tell you that

Isn't bad, isn't anything
Fine line, unhappy medium
Her lost cat posters getting dog ears

Isn't bad, isn't anything
Chasing youths adrenaline
To find the fear of God still victorious

Life don't give no guarantees
We sow so we shall reap
Is just a guide

How should one turn back the tide
How should one bloody know
So far, so so

Does the tongue form the word...

Oh you don't need, you don't need
You don't need me to tell you that

Is is and isn't isn't
This potency undiluted
By time, tears, or any such solution

It isn't my sentiment
It is entirely Lowe-Tennant
I merely raise a glass
You raise a glacier
As if you could turn back the tide
Well who am I to tell you where to build

Life don't give no guarantees
From double negatives
RELEASE ME!

From the tongue, from the word, from the brain's instruction
From the skin, from desire, from the speed that we're dreaming
From the eyes that reveal, from the heart without the courage to
Oh you don't need, you don't need
You don't need me
Oh you don't need, you don't need
You don't need me

La la la la la la
La la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la

Oh you don't need, you don't need
You don't need me
Oh you don't need, you don't need
You don't need me

Does the tongue...
Track Name: Nothing Impossible
NOTHING IMPOSSIBLE
(for Ian Carey)

A simple tale I have to tell
Of a friend I loved too well
Always headin so very fast
To nowhere in particular
We should talk but I'm afraid
It is more than a bit too late
His animal eyes
Caught in the headlights
Now they're frozen in time
You gotta face up
You gotta face up
Don't cry

Keeping up appearances
Might've guessed it'd end in tears
Yeah the wife the kids the neighbours
Little hills grew mountainous
Where were you inside your head
Curled up safe from your bastard dad
Looking for love
Looking for peace
The quick release
You gotta wake up
You gotta wake up
Oh please

I really wish I could have helped you
(I didn't know how, I didn't know how)
Really wish I could have held you
(Not stood tongue-tied)
Everything is how you left it
Except those who had to learn to move on
Nothing impossible
Nothing impossible in this life

You were once in a house on fire
You were once such a proud father
Even now after all these years
Of being sad and furious
The clinical term doesn't relate
You were my best mate
Oh what a waste
Oh what a perfect waste

I really wish I could have helped you...

I really wish I could have helped you
(I didn't know how, I didn't know how)
Really wish I could have held you
(Not stood tongue-tied)
Everything is how you left it
For those who had to learn the hard way
Nothing impossible
Nothing impossible, nothing at all
Track Name: Headlonging
HEADLONGING

Big head small head medium sized head
Rush head spin head over to you there
Them they're us they're equally likely to
Fight do might do what I been meanin to
See to be two double the fun but not
Just not quite not double the time to kill
Road kill joy kill anything else that comes
Fast comes fierce comes free of association
Amen a leading inexorably
A freeze a nothing can ever be
Safe be sure be more than the sum of your
Past your art you're sellin yourself a bit
Short bit deep bit drawin the poison out
Side out stake out sneakin around I get
Bored get lost get carbon sequestering
Home ring drug ring snuggling in skin
Head skin tight skin showin your name and age
Less hey jester generous to a fault
Foot fault tip fold fingers and hunker down
South down powerdown out for the count and his
Teeth his meat his crossin the border appeal
A screamer what has got into you
Win you grin you what have you done to me
Sink me drink me under the table with
Fear with fur with lager lager been
There been done been over the moon with that
Cow that tale that exaggeration but
Where but why but how on earth do we
Fall we turn we spin out of gun control
Pet troll wild troll muzzled and puzzled I'm
You I'm through I'm living without the one
That one long gone always a step ahead / removed

I want something to hold on to

You moved through moved living without the one
That one long gone always a step removed / ahead

I want something to hold on to
Track Name: The Up Shit Creek Blues
THE UP SHIT CREEK BLUES

Such a party
Such a great party
Remembered in hushed tones
With overdue diligence
Snakes and ladders
Collateral damage
Interesting times

What a party
What an exclusive party
Probable reserves
Our just desserts
Energy is currency
The skin of modernity
Now comes the hard graft

But the crowd sings

Something will turn up
Oh, it usually does
The great white techno fix
Waist high asterisks
Hindsight's a wonderful thing
Sing suckers!

Something will turn up
Well, it usually does
Mirrors and artifice
Belated wish lists
For told-you-so demons to sing
Sing
Sing
Sing

Such a party
Such a great party
One grand narrative arc
Invite the world and its dog
Growth is sacred
The emperor is naked
Are you awake yet?

What a party
What a swell party this is
Sheeple and uber-doomers
Cheap thrills, crazy numbers
Deniers' fantasies
Robust policies
Systemic unspeak

So the crowd sings

Something will turn up
Oh, it usually does
So many lights, so many cars
So many unforced errors
Hindsight's a terrible thing
Sing suckers!

Something will turn up
Well, it usually does
Never mind the methane
Give us our tittytainment
Who wants to be a millionaire
Yeah
Yeah
Yeah

Such a party
The most exclusive party
Remembered in hushed tones
Our unquiet bones
Dig for victory
Pick your obituary
Aren't the stars beautiful
Track Name: Reminders, Remind
REMINDERS, REMIND

Good morning
I said good morning
This is a good morning to do nothing
I should be somewhere else
I should be someone else
But look
The park is exploding with colour
And I am restrained with beauty
With the arbitrary
This bench is comfortable
Though not too comfortable
No one would ever leave, after all
And we can't have that, can we?
Feral to moral
Nature to nurture
Chaos to order
Such potent myths to swallow
Reminders
Reminders
Remind

Two mothers pass, sisters in arms
Their children exclamation marks
Look what I've done, Mum
Look what I've done
Oh, aren't you the clever one
Pigeons coo inane sympathy
Car horns bleat in another country
Devils, dust and asymetry
Beguiling transmissions
Of mundane discussions
Which may be recorded
For training purposes
Reminders
Remind

Tell me
Would your hands hide your face?
Would you scream obscenities?
Would you laugh at the timing before it was too late?
Well, would you?

Stage left, another bench
The everyday drama
To Paris on the Eurostar
How long for?
Just the weekend
Came back Sunday night
Oh, that's so sweet
How was it?
French
And?
Oh you know, all the romantic touristy stuff
Sounds like a dream
He proposed
You're kidding me?
Oh my god, oh my god
It's official then
Yes, but...
Reminders
Reminders
Remind

Did I mention I'm invisible
No one sees me but that child
Blowing bubbles by the dozen
And cats, obviously, if they could be bothered
See
She waved back

Her mother looks puzzled, naturally
I am out of reach
Out of line
Out of time
Reminders
Remind
Old men play chess with oversize pieces
At war with themselves
In the rapture of logic
How to calculate what a life is worth
You should count yourself lucky
Oh, how the street exploded with colour
So much colour everywhere
Life dissolving in a wail of sirens and garbled tongues
And now I am here observing your rituals
The stolen pleasures
The incidental triumphs
The painted elephants
As I said, I really should be somewhere else
But this is a good morning
A very good morning
To do nothing
Track Name: Paradise By Numbers
PARADISE BY NUMBERS

Oh, the easy life: the lure of paradise
Survival made to run to a logical outcome
The girl, the tree, the snake: the wiping of the slate
Exploit it while you can, young man

Who is the stranger here
Who is the stranger here

Oh for a life of ease: the blur of parodies
Where hope plays tag with love, where charity's enough
Us proles dare not reject our circuses and bread
We all will be a long time dead

Every face the same face
Every prayer the same prayer
Every page the same page
Every fear the same fear

Every kiss, every question
Every desire, every doubt

Countries, brands and teams enforcing loyalty
'Cross boundaries, walls and seas
The end becomes the means
The straw, the sticks, the bricks
Those cute wolf/pig hybrids
Fat fingers of finance on jazz hands

Who is the stranger here
Who is the stranger here

Every face the same face
Every prayer the same prayer
Every page the same page
Every fear the same fear

Every cry, every answer
Every singer, every song

Every face the same face...
Track Name: Aurora
AURORA

Silver the light on the water
Cyan the arc of the sky
Cerise the name that you called her
Clear are the tears I still cry

Silver the light on the water`
Cyan the arc of the sky
Amber the sand that I wander
Mile after torturous mile

Aurora, ahhh
Your wonder does deceive
Aurora, ahhh
You stole my love from me

Tu encanto deceptiona
Me robaste mi amor

Chrome the corona of your eye
Violet the veins in your arms
Green iridescence your outline
Scarlet the marks on your palms

Chrome the corona of your eye
Violet the veins in your arms
Cursed all who try to forget you
Lost in the reign of your charms

Aurora, ahhh
Your wonder does deceive
Tu encanto deceptiona
Aurora, ahhh
You stole my love from me
Me robaste mi amor

Aurora, ahhh...

Aurora
Aurora
Aurora
Aurora
Aurora
Aurora
Track Name: The Forecaster
THE FORECASTER

She sings the forecast
Languorous and gorgeous
Clouds moving southwards
Hazardous ambassadors

Mmmm...

Snow looms for curlews
Sleet round the south downs

Clear skies by morning
Black ice then forming
Expect disruption
Widespread til luncheon

She sings the forecast
Lowestoft to Fishguard
Well-versed assertions
The cadence of seasons

Mmmm...

All our futures
From Bracknell to Lancaster
Storms and warm fronts
And warnings of coastal fog
Falling pressure
From Thurso to Exeter
Drizzly days with no end
She wryly smiles
No extremes in these Isles

A flourish to finish
A temperature cadenza

So ends the broadcast
Fine science and hard art
All's dark
All's dark