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about

Brooklyn-based dance-rock trio Black Sugar Transmission's 2009 release Use It features not only the contributions of bandmembers Matt Farley (drums, vocals), Devlin Goldberg (vocals, percussion, glockenspiel) and Andee Blacksugar (vocals, guitars, programming), but also those of an eclectic array of five-star guest musos: Dug Pinnick of the universally revered King's X, New York's poetic pop princess Patti Rothberg, trash rocker Acey Slade (Murderdolls, Dope) and the unstoppable and iconoclastic Vernon Reid, guitarist and leader of Living Colour.

Those names may look strange together on paper, but in fact the wide stylistic variety represented by the aforementioned artists speaks to the eclecticism of the band itself. Inspired by fearless genre-devouring artists like Prince, The Cure, Led Zeppelin and Faith No More, BST songwriter Andee filters the daredevil performance aspect of heavy rock, the songcraft and vocal harmonies of power pop and the dancefloor rush of electro through his own, heavily stylized sensibility.


When Vernon Reid burns through a characteristically unpredictable avant/metal solo over the minimalist Prince ode "Use It", it makes exactly as much sense as Patti Rothberg's winsome duet with Andee (which plays like Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham in an alternate dancefloor universe) in "Miserylou".

And while Acey Slade sounds perfectly at home spitting out verse three of the venomous hard electro manifesto "I Dare You" (which would make Xtrmntr-era Primal Scream proud!), only Dug Pinnick could step up to the mic in a song based almost entirely of scratchy orchestral samples (the epic "Runnin' Like a Dog") and turn it into hair-raisingly heartfelt moment of pure blues honesty.

The opening salvo "Sing Me a Sign" is Black Sugar Transmission's clarion call; in a shimmering wash of laser light and disco smoke, it lays all of the band's calling cards on the table: lush harmonies, hard-hitting instrumentation (with a nuclear-strength guitar solo) and glittering soundesign. "Viva", meanwhile, features co-lead vocals by Devlin and Andee and, riding an impossibly funky groove, paints the bewitching character sketch of an apocryphal downtown lolita.

Entirely self-produced, Use It represents the forward motion of a New York band bent on style, self-reliance and celebration.

credits

released June 15, 2009

all songs by Andee Blacksugar (copyright 2009 Andee's Vault Music).

Recorded at Blacksugar Studio, Brooklyn NY, except live drums, which were tracked at Grampa Studio, NYC.

Andee: instruments, voices;
Matt Farley: drums, bkg vocals;
Devlin Goldberg: vocals, percussion, glockenspiel

guest vocals by Alisa B, Acey Slade, D.A. Karkos, dUg Pinnick, Patti Rothberg; guest guitar by Vernon Reid.

mastered by Julian Silva at On Air Mastering.

cover concept by Andee, design by L.C. Ferrari, cre8tive.concepts.

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Track Name: Sing Me a Sign
sing me a sign, tell me the tune
sing me a sign, play me the news
sing me a sign, major key or blues
throw me a line, sing me the truth

shall we power down the glass
make our peace with the past?
i hear the future at last

SING ME A SIGN, TELL IT TO ME STRAIGHT
SING ME A SIGN, WHISPER MY FATE

make me a melody, spare me the tricks
sing it strong and true
love is perfect pitch
sing me a sign, major key or blues
sing me a sign, play me the news

shall we power down the glass
make our peace with the past?
i hear the future at last

SING ME A SIGN, TELL IT TO ME STRAIGHT
SING ME A SIGN, WHISPER MY FATE

drag those bones out of bed
let's go paint the town dead
it's only life in the way
(don't forget a copy...for the DJ)
Track Name: Viva
Viva of South 2nd St
Got 2 make the ends meet
she wicked and she sweet
and nothin' is for free
she takin' out the knees
of every man she see
from Metro to Flushing
she rock the fake ID

u want some trouble son?
just go and get it done
she put you in her phone
and you do what you're told
the nights are getting long
she got a nose for fun
u take the setting sun and
light her cigarette

VIVA, THE DIAMOND OF THE STREET-A
LA GHETTO FASHIONISTA
THE BUZZ IS GETTING SWEETER ALL THE TIME
SHE-A, THE FLAVOR OF THE BEAT-A
ON UNION AND MEEKER
THE DRUGS ARE GETTING CHEAPER ALL THE TIME

suck that hooch from paper bag and a straw
yr look is highly criminal
dead parties in yr head but
nothin's on yr mind
5 o'clock already it's dark
it's time 2 check the park
so lonely and so beautiful for the holidaze

VIVA, THE DIAMOND OF THE STREET-A
LA GHETTO FASHIONISTA
THE BUZZ IS GETTING SWEETER ALL THE TIME
SHE-A, THE FLAVOR OF THE BEAT-A
ON UNION AND MEEKER
THE DRUGS ARE GETTING CHEAPER ALL THE TIME

VIVA, MY BODY GETTIN' WEAKER
THE STOCKINGS AND THE SNEAKERS
STEPPIN' ON MY SAD OL' SELF-CONTROL
SHE-A, LOLITA SO UNIQUA
SO DEADLY, SO PETITA
SHE GOT THE OLDEST STORY EVER TOLD

so now yer on the floor and
the speakers jammin' hardcore
the 2 and 3 and 4 and
someone knockin' at the door and
yr phone is blowin' up now
it's 9 and 1 and 1 and
somethin' is very fucked up
you run right outta luck

(CHORUS)

Viva of S. 2nd St
got to make the ends meet
she wicked and she sweet
and nothin' is for free
Track Name: Use It (feat. Vernon Reid)
yr mouth is sly so use it
yr head is high so use it
you got the spread so use it
hear what i said? just use it

got pocketbook? so spend it
don't like the rule? go bend it
tired of the scene? just end it
if you hate the truth, pretend it

THIS ONE, HIS TIME HAS COME
THAT ONE, HER DAY IS DONE
YOU, SON? LOOK WHAT U BECOME
SOMEONE KICKIN' OUT YR CHAIR

(indulge yrself)

all the oil in Texas
all the pies in the sky
all the tea in China

couldn't make me follow you

THIS ONE, HIS TIME HAS COME
THAT ONE, HER DAY IS DONE
YOU, SON? LOOK WHAT U BECOME
SOMEONE KICKIN' OUT YR CHAIR
THIS ONE, HIS TIME HAS COME
THAT ONE, HER DAY IS DONE
BITCHES, LOOK WHAT U BECOME
jimmy crack corn and i don't care
Track Name: Miserylou (feat. Patti Rothberg)
hey lookie you
someone's been workin' on herself
bolt from the blue
comin' up from behind
did u forget?
do u remember what u was?
or has all the hair-dye
fried yr brain?

MISERYLOU
SHE OF THE BACKSIDE SUICIDE
IS IT TOO LATE NOW, TO COME HOME?
THE TROUBLE WITH YOU
SUCKER GETS A HOOK RIGHT UP YR NOSE
AND YER GOOD AS USED, MISSY MISERYLOU

hey lookie you
someone's been workin' on herself
bolt from the blue...
Track Name: I Dare You (feat. Acey Slade)
kicked in the eye
kicked in the eye by
kicked in the eye by the guy with the shiny shoe
u-huh
pushed to the line
pushed to the fine line,
i see a target on yr back and i'm crawlin' up yr avenue

sick to the teeth
sick to the teeth
hey my name is so-and-so
and i got a score to settle
wicked and weak, safe in yr seat,
yeah YOU
but a hard rain's comin'
and cleanin' out yr gutters

AND NOW I DARE YOU
TO SPEAK OUT LOUD THIS TIME
AND DON'T U DROP THOSE EYES
AND NOW I DARE YOU
TO MAKE YR MOUTH SING TRUTH
OR WOULD YOUR TONGUE FALL OUT
TO SAY IT WITHOUT LIES?

kicked in the fly
kicked in the fly by
kicked in the fly by the sucker with the house in the sky
did ya have a good time?
do you love a surprise?
this time, you
chickenshit mothers
be hangin' by yr ties
Track Name: Runnin' Like a Dog (feat. dUg Pinnick)
(they) got u runnin' like a dog
and i don't blame ya
though it ain't particular-ly courageous
as you stagger into what now awaits ya
will they see the naked fear just behind yr faces

so you gone legitimate but can ya fake it?
will u cradle the remains of a long-lost dream?
now the guilt knocks on yr door, can u take it?
behind the choir of the liars, a steady rising scream

(they) got u runnin' like a dog
and i don't blame ya
though it ain't particular-ly courageous
as you stagger into what now awaits ya
will they see the naked fear just behind yr faces
--
do ya think the history books are gonna name ya?
when you pass yr final hour, ya think they'll look back, proud?
now the cage is open wide but will u leave it?
now the cage is open wide but you don't believe it

there's an eagle in the sky, flying higher
past the steeples and the spires
up away she goes
so you drink yr bitter wine but u can't taste it
for all the days that passed u by
that u damn well wasted

preacher at the podium
promises for everyone
broken legs will never run
see it clearly
windows on the setting sun
all the voices overcome
sing "the end is just begun, la la la...."

(they) got u runnin' like a dog
and i don't blame ya
though it ain't particular-ly courageous
as you stagger into what now awaits ya
will they see the naked fear just behind yr faces