Just so you all know, even if you can’t afford to buy this download, you can still listen for free, at least once, and the set list / lyrics are below...

Alpha Cat Live at Vox Pop, July 21, 2005

This Alpha Cat gig is from July 21, 2005 at Brooklyn’s Vox Pop, and features Angela Babin, the original Alpha Cat band’s lead guitarist, as well as an original member of the Ordinaires, on electric and bass guitar, and Chris Butler (the Waitresses of “I Know What Boys Like” and “Christmas Wrapping” fame,) playing bass on my reimagining of Warren Zevon’s song “Reconsider Me.” It was mastered by my genius collaborator Brett (Cosmo) Thorngren.

I am now putting it up for sale in honor of my therapist of 10 years, Robin Goldberg, whose care I had come under following my first hospitalization for depression, when the doctors decided it was necessary for me to move to the city, where I could receive a quality of care inaccessible at that time in Woodstock. She retired in September 2018, and passed away shortly afterward of cancer. I only found this out on Friday afternoon June 6, of this year (D-Day & Eclipse day!) So during the following 48 hours, upon reflecting back on my time with her, I experienced profound grief, with lots of tears. At our last meeting, I had asked her that if I were to experience any fundamental positive change, if she would like me to contact her, and she said "Of course!" I began to suspect she might have died when my life actually DID change for the better, and I received no response to any of my many attempts to reach out to her. 

But I need to backtrack a bit...

Months ago I came upon some old mini-disc recordings of Alpha Cat gigs, which took me a long time to screw up the courage to listen to. I discovered a really nice one, which was my first gig in the almost two years since moving to the country following my father's death. 

Since the issue of mental health has seemingly become one of my lanes (certainly, at first, not by choice! I don't know if when I chose to come into this lifetime I knew what I was getting into...) It became very clear to me at the beginning of the pandemic that this would become a major THING, and I decided that I wanted to put this show up for sale for the benefit of two charities that I had discovered by watching Trevor Noah and Seth Meyers. First, The Boris J. Henson Foundation, founded in 2018 by Taraji P. Henson and named in honor of her father, Boris Lawrence Henson, who suffered with mental health challenges as a result of his time in the Vietnam War. It’s vision is to eradicate the stigma around mental health issues in the African-American community. And the second, Bring Change to Mind, was founded by actress & activist Glenn Close in 2010 after her sister was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and her nephew with schizoaffective disorder. and is also dedicated to ending the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness for all. A stigma that I as well had had to overcome.


So even though I had decided a while back that therapy hadn’t helped ME, since when I left I was still depressed; upon learning of Robin's death it became very clear how much she did help me... her job, which she took extremely seriously, was to protect and defend me from the harm caused me by my often destructive family; essentially reparenting me. And I realized, upon reflection, that what she had essentially done was keep me alive for those 10 years. She never pushed me to do music because she knew how painful it was for me. She supported my holding onto my house upstate because she believed in my feeling that there was some reason to. If there was an email I was afraid to read I would forward it to her and she would read it for me,  just as whenever I received a lease renewal I was too afraid to look at, I would take it to her and she would read it, break it down for me, and help me to figure out how to deal with it. 


When I look back at what she did for me in the 10 years I spent with her when I was barely functional, she was the one who helped me to simply navigate day to day life, and to live independently, which I would not otherwise have been capable of at the time. I had believed that her job was to help me overcome my depression, but I was far too gone for that. What she did was keep me alive, when there was nothing else that could be done for me, and for which I will be eternally grateful. If only people like Juice Wrld, Chris Cornell, or Kurt Cobain had found someone like her, they might still be alive today. So now as I put up this download on my website, it has an entirely different meaning for me than it did before I became aware of Robin's death. Because the upshot is, in the midst of all this loss, tragedy, and upheaval, I would like to be able to help facilitate this kind of support for as many others who are struggling as possible. 
So this gig is for sale as one download for $2 (or more if you wish) with all proceeds split evenly between these two charities. 

I also want to acknowledge and dedicate this to three of my closest friends who didn’t make it. All died by suicide. 

Bill, who was a brilliant, compassionate man, one with whom I spent countless hours discussing music, science, movies, the Simpsons, philosophy, spirituality, and of course, our mutual depression. 

Abigail, an extremely well educated and proactive person (when she wasn’t depressed or manic) as funny a person as you could ever hope to meet. We would sit in the basement of my house smoking cigarettes in the winter (I didn’t smoke in the house) reading and discussing the trash magazines we both loved. She introduced me to the Kardashians! She tried to help me plant flowers in my desolate garden upstate, all of which of course, died! 

And Felix, a woman from a deeply dysfunctional family, who fought alcoholism and schizophrenia all her life, but was an extremely fun and engaging companion when we decided to road trip around the country in our early 20’s (with her terrible dog.) She came from a wealthy family of very well known painters, as her own were wonderful and contemporary, several of which I am proud to own. She could usually be found in the East Village in the 90’s creating magical, elaborate chalk paintings on the sidewalks of the city. Gorgeous and temporary, as was she, in the end. 

But I also want to mention that there were another two very close friends in whose attempts at suicide I found myself directly intervening. Both are now happy, and still very funny and creative people with much to live for. 
So at the risk of being an asshole and quoting one of my own songs: just one day left means that it’s not too late.
xoxo, E.

p.s. It is not lost on me that the first song of the set, Armor, can be seen as a direct commentary on the state of what is going on right now in the U.S. We have always been over defended, reliant on guns and weapons, and choke holds, and the recent events, for example the police showing up in riot gear and tear gassing innocent, peaceful people who simply gathered, many playing the violin, to celebrate the life of Elijah McClain. And the tear gassing of peaceful protesters so that the "president" could shoot an awkward photo op! For god's sake, we are the only country who have nuked ENTIRE CITIES of innocents during WWII, not once, but twice! We have been the menace to the world, the bully, and it is now becoming obvious to many that indeed, now our armor gives us no protection... OR ANYONE ELSE, FOR THAT MATTER.

Alpha Cat Live at Vox Pop, July 21, 2005

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This Alpha Cat gig is from July 21, 2005 at Brooklyn’s Vox Pop, and features Angela Babin, the original Alpha Cat band’s lead guitarist, as well as a member of the Ordinaires, on electric and bass guitar, and Chris Butler (the Waitresses of “I Know What Boys Like” and “Christmas Wrapping” fame, playing bass on my reimagining of Warren Zevon’s song “Reconsider Me.” Please, if you pay by Paypal, choose the "friends" or "send to someone you trust" option. Otherwise Paypal takes a cut which I either have to make up for myself, or it cuts into the actual donation!

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LYRICS / SET LIST

 

1. Armor (unreleased)  

I guess I see no reason - for you to trust me  
and to be honest...  
I wouldn’t trust me either  

But I think now might be the time to start - I guess now’s a good a time as any -  now our armor gives us no protection - can’t you see now  

might be the right time  

You say that something’s missing - and you give no good reason  
you think you know what love is... but that’s a misconception  

Don’t you see now it wasn’t what you thought? think it’s time you changed your definition  
now our armor gives us no protection  
can’t you see now  

we’ve got a good thing  

Always on your guard for any imperfection - you push so hard  
for me to keep my distance  

I’ve got a few good questions - for which you have no answers - is that an indication  
it’s time you changed your position?  

Don’t you see now it wasn’t what you thought - think it’s time you changed your definition - now our armor gives us no protection  
can’t you see now  

might be the right time  

might be the right time - might be the right time - might be the right time? might be the right time...  

Song by Elizabeth McCullough © The Bear in the Elephant Suit Publishing 2020 (SESAC)  

2. Ground Rush  

Look out that window there  
stick out your neck - the speed will burn your eyes - I’m finding it hard to believe that you care  
so we just watch as the clouds roll by  
and jump out - thinking that we can fly  
get a little closer if you dare  

Don’t look now, you are falling - down, down, down, down down, down - don’t look down, we are falling  
ground, ground rush - ground, ground rush  

We’ve done this all before  
you fell too fast, you left me far behind  
it’s easy to see how this thing could go wrong but you still have the key to my heart  
I don’t see how we can stay apart  
just hold me to you as we fall  

Don’t look now, you are falling  
down, down, down, down down, down - don’t look down, we are falling  
ground, ground rush - ground, ground rush  

Look out that window there  
pick up your feet, the door is open wide - I’m finding it easy to see what’s outside - and I just watch as you close your mind - you don’t think that we should get this high - but you’ll get closer if you try  

Don’t look now, you are falling  
down, down, down, down down, down don’t look down, we are falling  
ground, ground rush - ground, ground rush, ground, ground rush - ground, ground rush  

Song by Elizabeth McCullough © The Bear in the Elephant Suit Publishing 1999 (SESAC)  

3. Venus Smile (unreleased)  

These days it doesn't seem it ever mattered if your sea was green or eyes were blue - last time I looked my eyes were clear  
and you were wiser than you knew  

you hide behind your irony and words that mock your depth - and when at last your heart is broken  
know there's more to you than this  

Everyone asks the same question - when will Venus smile on me?  

Too bad it took so long to find your voice  
it still hides now and then  
but if you keep on showing up  
then you have found that you can trust those words to something baby, that ain't you - you told me in another world - you needed something more  

then you asked for me to wait for you and you didn't even come  

Gotta believe that you called me for a reason - you bust into my world  
swing that carrot on a string  
if everyone believes in fate  

then what is taking it so long - to finish what it started then and bring you home to me  

So I ask myself why do you shadow me? I didn't ask for this... 
long time since I've had to love  
well, anyone but me  

then the cards say it is matter - secret forces leading those whose lives belong together - but it's so hard to believe  

Everyone asks the same question - when will Venus smile on me? Everybody wants to know the answer - when will Venus smile on me?  

You told me in another world  

you needed something more  
then you asked for me to love you  
and you didn't even come  
you hide behind your irony and words that mock your depth and when at last your heart is broken know  
there's more to you than this  

Song by Elizabeth McCullough © The Bear in the Elephant Suit Publishing 2020 (SESAC)  

4. Reconsider Me  

If you’re all alone  
and you need someone  
call me up  
and I’ll come running - reconsider me, reconsider me  

If it’s still the past  
that makes you doubt  
well darlin’ that was then  
and this is now  
reconsider me, reconsider me  

And I’ll never make you sad again  
‘cause I swear that I’ve changed since then - and I promise that I’ll never make you cry  

let’s let bygones be forgotten - reconsider me  
please consider me  

You can go and be  
who you want to be  
and it’ll be alright if we disagree - I’m the one who cares  
and I hope you’ll see  
that I”m the one who loves you - reconsider me  

Let’s let bygones be forgotten - reconsider me  
please consider me  

And I’ll never make you sad again ‘cause I swear  
that I’ve changed since then  

and I promise that I’ll never make you cry  

And I’ll never make you sad again ‘cause I swear  
that I’ve changed since then  
and I’ll never make you sorry  

If you try...  

Song by Warren Zevon, rearranged by Elizabeth McCullough © Warren Zevon 1987 BMG Platinum Songs OBO Rosetta V  

5. Every Day You Break My Heart  

You don’t see anything I do  
and absence doesn’t make you fonder  
and one more moment is too long for me to stay - mama you break my heart every day  
mama you break my heart every day  

slow down, back up  
no one believes a single word you say - shoot up that poison  
it couldn’t hurt  
if you believe that it won’t  

Don’t listen to a word we say  
a shame your children don’t know better  
can’t change a thing about the time you threw away - mama you break our hearts every day  

What do you see when you look in the mirror? 
a pretty young girl with a beautiful mind  
do you really believe all the things that you tell us - do you think just to wish hard enough  
makes it so?  

let go, wake up  
you’ll never get back what you let get away - suck down that suicide  
you’ll never see past all that smoke in the way  

let go, don’t look back  
so sad you don’t know you deserve what you need - give up that death wish  
just one day left means that it’s not too late  

You said we could be anything  

but your eyes taught me something different - I look at you and see the future  
mama you break my heart every day  
mama you break my heart every day 

mama you break my heart 

Song by Elizabeth McCullough © The Bear in the Elephant Suit Publishing 2019 (SESAC)  

6. One Day the Sun Came Up (9/11/2001)  

One day the sun came up  
we were high over the canyon - and headed for home  

racing the sunrise  
don't look back  
you know California's a dream to you now...  

And somehow I don't sleep - no comfort  
no matter how high  
are my head or my feet  

I can't look at me now - all is falling  
is it the years  
or the loss  

on my face?  

one day the sun rose behind us  
to light the way - somehow, I think  

it got lost in the clouds  

Thinking about you - it passes...  
thank god  
I can't live that again  

Smoke, fire, and dust  
as we all drift away up high  
floating goodbye  
you know those who are left behind feel it the most  

and still I don't sleep - no comfort  
no matter how high  
are my head or my feet  

One day the sun came back - smoke, fire, and dust  
we will settle back down - dusting the ground  

float away on the river  
Song by Elizabeth McCullough © The Bear in the Elephant Suit Publishing 2019 (SESAC)  

7. Wichita  

Somewhere past Wichita - that girl caught up with you - invisible wire  
with no strings to bind  

floating past mountaintops - I fell in love with them - hearing them in your voice - reflected in mine  

A cellular connection - electricity finds you - that girl from Wichita - using up your time  

Two days from Wichita  
your past caught up with you - you heard your own cry  
sing in the wire  

A cellular connection - electricity finds you - that girl from Wichita - using up your time  

and the horoscope spoke of a new kind of lover - seeing the world through another one's eyes - back then I'd hoped there was still a chance you would see  

the mirror she broke but she never did lie  

as April snow drifts down  
you spoke two thousand miles - weeds tumble back again  
you just roll by  

weeds tumble back again   
you just roll by  

Song by Elizabeth McCullough © 2005 The Bear in the Elephant Suit Publishing (SESAC)  

8. Something of Value  

The morning breaks so cruelly - taste of you still in my mouth - And all my hope  
has fallen to it’s knees  

You tease me with affection - blind me with compassion - and blame it on the flesh  

To hear you speak - of leaving - and your fondness for my kiss - that moment when you opened - which somehow I have missed  

What kind of chance was this? came when I was sleeping - and vanished in the mist  

What flows between us  
light of love, expressed and then denied - Was I always yours?  
Were you ever mine?  

So I know that talk is free  
but still worth more  
than all your gin-induced confessions - and you think girls like me  
we’re a dime a dozen  

But now we’ve worked too hard - to make something of value - and let it go so cheap  

What flows between us?  
light of love, expressed and then denied - Was I always yours?  

Were you ever mine?  
what flows between us  
love of life, expressed and then denied  

Was I always yours? Were you ever mine? Was I always yours? Were you ever mine?  

Song by Elizabeth McCullough © The Bear in the Elephant Suit Publishing 2001 (SESAC)  

9. Straw Hat  

He missed the boat  
so he took a taxi  
they sat in the rain while she smoked a cigarette - she brought her straw hat  
and he put it on his head  
through his long lashes she could see forever - she had a drink  
and he had another  
and he said maybe we should feed you lover  

As they sat together at the kitchen table she was so full up she couldn’t eat a bite  

He held her hand  
as they walked the pier  
said so much  
but there was so much more  

As they stood together at the end of the boardwalk - in the Wall street shimmer they could see each other  

He wanted to look  
but she wished to be  
in the bedside light they found a moment in between - she didn’t know  
he could be so true...  
to a vow so far away  
he couldn’t reach it  

As they sat together at the edge of the bed  
he found it wasn’t so easy not to break that promise  

He wore her straw hat  
as he was looking in the mirror - at a face that he had never seen  

he walked through her closet door - then he took it off  
tucked it beneath his arm  
and then he walked away  

Song by Elizabeth McCullough © 2001 Bear in the Elephant Suit Publishing (SESAC) 

10. Black Hole  

I've fallen into a black hole  
looked like your heart  
felt like my soul  
now I’ve got nowhere to go  
from this side - out looks like the end of the world  

Why'd you have to roll over me that way? you mowed me like a wheat field  
on a patent black tractor  
with your back-ho jeering me  

from back at the farm house  
you got your baby cake and still eaten me whole  

Paste my face in the middle of a dart board  
break that toy truck before it's out of the store  
all this driving with the brakes on gets to be a drag - and all this play-acting’s getting to be a bore  

Where on earth did you learn about relationships? Reading Charles Atlas getting sand in your face? you used to be a loser  
so you punish all the girls  

c’mon - getting your feet wet can't be all that bad  

I'm a falling tree  
and you're a wood with no ears  
screaming platitudes inside of a vacuum  
a hundred hands clapping  
and you feel no better  
can't get any damper than the middle of a tide pool  

You know there's nothing to these school girl fantasies  
but you take this licking cause the clock keeps on ticking  
that flying angel savior's a no show  
but you gotta go deeper  
it's the only way out  
only way out  

Song by Elizabeth McCullough © 2001 Bear in the Elephant Suit Publishing (SESAC)