Television City

by Liz Pappademas and The Level

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01:34
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about

"Pappademas' forceful piano accents frame the action stylishly on such sly, melodically rich pop gems as Your Favorite Game Show and Grand Prize Winners, while the album-closing Parting Guest is a trippy sound collage of mesmerizing echoes." - LA Weekly

credits

released December 3, 2010

Liz Pappademas – piano, organs, vocals
Dave Relic – bass
Mike Corwin - guitar
Justin Polimeni – drums

Brian Walsh - bass clarinet
Charles DeCastro – trumpet
Joe Tepperman – bass trombone
Mike Ibarra - baritone saxophone

Jim Pappademas – the voice of ArboReal


Written and produced by Liz Pappademas

Recorded live May 27-June 1 and June 7th, 2009, at The Carriage House, Los Angeles, CA.

Recorded by Sheldon Gomberg
Assisted by Jeff Halbert

Mixed by Sheldon Gomberg, Liz Pappademas and Dave Relic at The Carriage House, Los Angeles, CA

Mastering by Gavin Lurssen at Lurssen Mastering, Los Angeles, CA

Design by Mariana Blanco with help from Carolyn Sams

Management by CCM, San Francisco, CA: Chris Campbell

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about

Liz Pappademas Los Angeles, California

Born in a Checker cab in New York City and raised in San Francisco, Liz Pappademas makes her home in Los Angeles where LA Weekly called her "one of this town's finest lyricists." Her songs have been featured on NPR and Radio Free Silverlake, and Liz has toured the U.S. solo as well as part of various bands. Her most recent EP is “A Particular Kind of Heaven” (2016). ... more

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Track Name: Grand Prize Winners
All expenses paid
Beach front luxury
Wouldn’t that be great?
Just once
Just you and me

Grand prize winners

Factory direct
Matching, solid oak
I’d guard and protect
these things
we’d own as

Grand prize winners

Did you see it in the air?
Like smoke is to a smoker.
All these people’s dreams and prayers.
Just the chance.
Like… close, then that much closer

To a little house in town
Walking distance to a movie theater
A kid running around
Never asks us
If we are

Grand prize winners

You still love to watch
And I still love to watch you
Getting caught
Up in the thrill
Proving

I’m a grand prize winner
Track Name: 33:3 Part 2
Down Beverly,
To Television City,
In the back seat
Of black-windowed limousine.

Pass driveways -
The mouths of caves.
You left. You left.
Behold. A transfiguration.

In make up
New paper collar
You’ll make it up to them somehow
New booth, new church: a prime time game show.

Change lives!
Cash prizes!
Answer this and win it all!
You are the light, their guide, their Idol

And shaking, they will lean on you.
What do you do? What do you do?

The chorus was a shadow, a lie.
You tried, so hard.
Call unto me, and I will answer thee?
Jeremiah 33:3

Shaking, they still lean on you.
What do you do? What do you do?

The chorus was a shadow, a lie.
You tried, so hard.
Call unto me, and I will answer thee?
Jeremiah 33:3
Track Name: Star Struck
Deer in the headlights
Headlights a camera
Black mouth opening
Silently

She made these t-shirts
T-shirts for Hollywood
California
TV

Star struck
Star struck
Our baby left us
Star struck
Star struck

Stopped calling home.
Home was the Jigsaw
While U Wait
Cutting keys

And bragging to all her friends
Her friends at the True Value
About her big plans.
Call, honey. Please.

Star struck …

Volleyball sunsets
Sun sets on the corn fields
Bend down
Palm trees

Accents and accidents
Accident brake lights
Lane closed
Sawdust, grease

Star struck …
Track Name: (You Don't Think That's) Funny
I don’t want to go this year.
It’ll be just like last year.
Casseroles and mistletoe.
Drunks with their arms out.
Drunks with their arms out.

I can’t believe you don’t think it’s funny
when they ask me what I do.
I can’t help but turn to you.
What?! Do?! You?! Do?! all day
And then I get it at the party.
You don’t think that’s funny?

I don’t want to go this year.
It’ll be just like last year.
Same Sinatra Christmas carols.
I’m a Dean Martin man.
I’m a Dean Martin man.

And they’ll find me drinking in the den
with the door closed “Nice to meet you!”
“I thought this was the bathroom.”
What?! Do?! You?! Do?! all day
Then I get it at the party
You don’t think that’s funny?
Track Name: Your Favorite Game Show
Won the tickets for your birthday.
At least I told them it was your birthday.
Your favorite game show.
I give you the living tableau:

The studio audience,
Is wailing and waving their arms around.
S.O.S. Save Our Souls!
We're gonna drown!

After church on Sunday -
We go almost every Sunday.
Spread the bills out on the table.
Think of that prize money,
and how I'd spend on the credit cards and the cable.

And the kids next door,
Are wailing and waving their arms around.
I wish I could save more.
Dear God and Hal Harvey,
Why am I so poor?

And why'd I go on that game show?
Why do I sit in church every Sunday?
I don't know.
No one's gonna save me.
And it's not about being lucky.

It's about looking at you,
And wailing and waving my arms around.
A love so true,
I'd go on National TV and pray to God,
That we'll be happy and stay in love,
Despite the money or even the Lord.
Oh, baby, it isn't hard to love you.
I Door Number One you.
Thank God you are the one who
I come home to.
Track Name: Star Struck Reprise
(to be read while listening)

Adam drove down the curving ramps of the garage, trying and trying not to look at the faces of the members of the studio audience returning to their cars. Would they recognize him? He wanted them to, and knew that after the show aired, he might be stopped on the street, spoken to at work! But remembering his endgame failure, he put his hand up to shield his face.

Adam played well throughout the game, naming each of his opponents’ occupations with ease. His winnings were high for the program, and his prayers had been answered, but he froze on the ArboReal® Final Bonus “KNOCK! KNOCK!”, missing out on an additional fifty grand.

There would be no after party with Hal Harvey and Goodie Williams champagne toasting his win. He was just another contestant. His mother and father and sister, who had flown in to watch, had gone back to their hotel.

He followed the exit signs, and when he reached street level, the guard (who appeared as an angel) raised the gate (which was a flaming sword), and Adam drove off the lot into the bright sun, dazzled by the excess of light.
Track Name: She Never Turns Her Back
She never turns her back
On a washer dryer
Sails across her living room carpet
Wearing a Vaseline smile

She sits and thinks about angels
And their maple blonde hair
Trapped on earth just like she is
Every day on the air

The neighborhood on the set doesn’t look like hers.
She can hear them in the upstairs apartment,
Moving the furniture.
What a simple life they lead,
Turning their backs if they please,
Taking all the attention she wants,
By just watching TV.

Free will’s gathering like a storm
Behind the crowds as they clap
But she keeps riding in on platforms
And she never turns her back

She is there to protect them
Show them the way
Careful that her jealous thoughts
Don’t get her fired for betrayal

The neighborhood on the set doesn’t look like hers …

And if she ever left the spotlight
No. She’s seen what happens.
The ones who left lost their lives
Became demons.
No. She needs it.
She needs it.
Track Name: Winner Down
No one’s coming over.
No one comes to this part of town.
I’m gonna watch some TV.
No one gets this winner down.
Winner down!

Every night,
I beat all the contestants.
God in heaven oh, Father!
Are you watching these Americans?

Who’s Your Neighbor?
Who’s Your Neighbor- Private Drive.
My neighbors’ me, God,
Winning game shows without even trying.

No one’s coming over …

One by one,
I feel them drift away.
Year after year,
They just have less and less to say.

Plus I moved up,
To this hideout in the hills.
It’s better than any friend I’ve ever had
and probably ever will

So, no one’s coming over …

Reigning Champion,
The still small voice is my own.
Yelling at the television,
I remind myself I’m alone.

Oh, the answers,
The answers that I find.
Solve the problems
Or simply decline.
I decline
All the time.
Track Name: Ha Ha Ha
After the taping, we’re at a bar
It’s some girl’s birthday
Look! Her shirt’s coming off
Black bra
All her friends are clapping

Ha, ha, ha!

Now she’s on the table
Dancing in their drinks
I feel as unstable
As you
Just barely touch my leg

Ha, ha, ha!

She wants those pictures taken
Wants all of their attention
Keep them talking for days
You’re looking at me
You’re looking at me
You’re looking at me

Check, please! Waiter! Waiter!
It’s fine. I’m fine.
I can be more like her
So try
And I will try, I will try, I will try to(o)

Ha, ha, ha.
Track Name: 33: 3 Part 1
I loved you at the side of the bed.
I loved you from the pulpit.
Call unto me and I will answer thee?
You’re not answering my love.
You’re not answering, my love.

So I packed the Pontiac,
Took the love you won’t give back.
There’s a different way to do this.
Took the Grand Prix on the 10 West.
I left because you left.
I left because you left.
Track Name: Parting Guest
And for our parting guest,
Eternal peace and rest.