Alterations

by Mark Northfield

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    CD version of Alterations album in gatefold recycled card case. Includes full lyric booklet.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Alterations via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
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...
2.
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...
3.
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...
4.
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
5.
Headlonging 04:50
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
6.
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
7.
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
8.
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...
9.
Aurora 07:47
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
10.
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

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 July 2, 2012

All songs written and arranged by Mark Brown (aka Mark Northfield).

Engineered by Andrew Holdsworth for Method & Madness

Cover design by Gary Collins for Absence/Presence

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about

Mark Northfield Bracknell, UK

Pianist and singer/songwriter from Berkshire, England. Also founder member of piano trio Cherry Mint Koala. Mark makes eclectic, melodic and slightly melancholic pop/rock, with prominent classical and theatrical influences. Often collaborates with other vocalists drawn from a variety of genres. Somewhat unpigeonholeable. ... more

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