Venus Smile

Alpha Cat

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This new record, Venus Smile, began recording in Reseda, California in 2007 at Bright Orange Studios, and the final touches were added from March to May of this year with everyone working remotely from home. Dedicated to my late, dearest friend and genius collaborater Brett Thorngren, without whom it simply would never have existed at all. I miss

This new record, Venus Smile, began recording in Reseda, California in 2007 at Bright Orange Studios, and the final touches were added from March to May of this year with everyone working remotely from home. Dedicated to my late, dearest friend and genius collaborater Brett Thorngren, without whom it simply would never have existed at all. I miss you so much!

This record was written and produced by McCullough, with Jason Harrison Smith on drums, Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, John Mayer) on every guitar but acoustic (exception: “Wichita”) Reggie McBride on bass (Stevie Wonder, Parliament Funkadelic, and Elton John, for a start) and Jane Scarpantoni on cello (REM.) All but this year's mixing and mastering was done by the late Brett (Cosmo) Thorngren. The sound of the songs vary, ranging from pop to rock to Americana, with shades between.

McCullough says of Venus Smile, “My take on the overall theme of this record is one of redemption and exhaustion: exhaustion with the all the anger and the fighting, exhaustion from the division that has so greatly impacted our world. A planet on which every single one of us has more in common than not. So while not every song is about this specifically, each one of them is in some way about separation. Some address my sense of reticent optimism that they can and will be healed, others aren’t quite there.

But I have myself survived a total separation from myself; with a well documented depressive episode that took me out for over a decade. And I have not only recovered to continue this lifetime of healing, but thrived. I believe we are all meant for and capable of the same. But now I have made the choice to move beyond being defined by past trauma. So yes, this does give me hope in a time when hope, and healing, are in such short supply. Of course I myself am not fully “redeemed” but I have certainly moved further on the path than I would have ever dreamt. It is my belief that this is possible for all who live on this world, whether I personally agree with their beliefs or not. Our promise, whatever that may be, and for as long as we are alive, need not be wasted.” This record is lovingly dedicated to the late great Brett Thorngren.

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Orbit

Alpha Cat

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ORBIT - Alpha Cat - Single available for pre-sale half price!!

“Opposition is actually the natural prerequisite for union. As a result of opposition, a need to bridge it arises.” ~ Confucious (The I Ching or Book of Changes: Richard Wilhelm translation)

“What is it you want to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver

Aren’t the

ORBIT - Alpha Cat - Single available for pre-sale half price!!

“Opposition is actually the natural prerequisite for union. As a result of opposition, a need to bridge it arises.” ~ Confucious (The I Ching or Book of Changes: Richard Wilhelm translation)

“What is it you want to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver

Aren’t the events happening around us simply metaphors for what is going on inside us? And are we not now a global community connected by technology? I believe that all of this separation can be seen as but an illusion, meant to be dispelled and healed.

I wrote the first part this song at the end of a long, isolated winter, the year after my father died of early Alzheimers. I hadn’t written in a while, and I just woke up one day and wrote the first two verses, chorus, and the beat.

When I first heard Brett Thorngren’s mix of Orbit, it hit me hard. Of course it was about a romantic interest from whom I had been separated!

So after a year or more of the pandemic, vaxxed and ready to tackle my bucket list: one of the most important: to go to Pearl Harbor, from which I had written a song, and an album, and had always wanted to see, but didn’t feel was possible. I made it happen. But after that, which can best be described as a “pilgrimage,” another level of meaning to this song hit me. Because I realized that this song was recorded at a time when I was literally in the middle of a breakdown, that when I was finishing writing and recording it, I was actually separating from - myself. What followed that time was a long period of extreme depression and inactivity. But I did reconnect, finally, in 2019, and began putting out music again. And I still have no memory of writing the rest of the song, and certainly not of recording it…

Yet one more trip / quest,: to Key West, most importantly, to the Ernest Hemingway house, (his writing being possibly one of the most significant influence on my own; the ruthless editing, a reduction of the narrative to its most salient points) I understood the song on yet another, and I believe the most important level, that it was ultimately a song about healing the separations on this planet. And though I am the guinea pig - the model for this narrative, make no mistake, as I had realized long ago, the more personal the piece, the more universal it becomes.

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Venus Smile

Alpha Cat

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An upbeat pop song about how the broken heart which is, as Leonard Cohen wrote in “Anthem” - “How the light comes in.“ “Venus Smile” is about how it is a broken heart that shows you what you’re made of. “And when at last your heart is broken know there’s more to you than this…”

This track includes the brilliant drummer Jason Harrison Smith,

An upbeat pop song about how the broken heart which is, as Leonard Cohen wrote in “Anthem” - “How the light comes in.“ “Venus Smile” is about how it is a broken heart that shows you what you’re made of. “And when at last your heart is broken know there’s more to you than this…”

This track includes the brilliant drummer Jason Harrison Smith, guitarist Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, John Mayer) and bassist Reggie McBride (From Stevie Wonder to Parliament Funkadelic, to Elton John.)

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pearl harbor 2020

Alpha Cat

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The underlying premise behind the writing of the lyrics for the song Pearl Harbor was fairly straightforward: If Pearl Harbor was named so before it was bombed, wasn’t it because there were actual pearls in the harbor? And assuming that to be true, what would it take to get back to a place where Pearl Harbor became once again a place about

The underlying premise behind the writing of the lyrics for the song Pearl Harbor was fairly straightforward: If Pearl Harbor was named so before it was bombed, wasn’t it because there were actual pearls in the harbor? And assuming that to be true, what would it take to get back to a place where Pearl Harbor became once again a place about treasure, rather than destruction?

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Thatched Roof Glass House

Alpha Cat

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Thatched Roof Glass House

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All songs by Elizabeth McCullough, except Reconsider Me: Warren Zevon, rearranged by Elizabeth McCullough ~ Lead vocals: Elizabeth McCullough ~ Backing vocals: Elizabeth McCullough w/additional vox on Black Hole: Derek Dragotis & Mockingbird: Ryan Mercy ~ Electric & Slide Guitar: Doug Pettibone except Black Hole: Angela Babin ~ Acoustic

All songs by Elizabeth McCullough, except Reconsider Me: Warren Zevon, rearranged by Elizabeth McCullough ~ Lead vocals: Elizabeth McCullough ~ Backing vocals: Elizabeth McCullough w/additional vox on Black Hole: Derek Dragotis & Mockingbird: Ryan Mercy ~ Electric & Slide Guitar: Doug Pettibone except Black Hole: Angela Babin ~ Acoustic Guitar: Elizabeth McCullough ~ Bass Guitar: Reggie McBride except Black Hole: Lori Bingel ~ Drums: Jason Harrison Smith ~ Keyboard: Elizabeth McCullough ~ Engineered by Jon Mattox, except Black Hole: Fred Smith & Jon Mattox ~ Recorded at Bright Orange Studios, Reseda, CA ~ Producer: Elizabeth McCullough ~ Co-producers: Jason Harrison Smith & Jon Mattox, except Black Hole: Fred Smith ~ Mixed & Mastered by Brett Thorngren ~

AQUAMARINE RECORDS © The Bear in the Elephant Suit Publishing 2019 (SESAC)

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    Mockingbird

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    Mona Lisa in a Comic Book

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    Thatched Roof Glass House

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

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    Every Day You Break My Heart

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    Reconsider Me

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All songs by Elizabeth McCullough except "Reconsider Me" by Warren Zevon 
Vocals & Acoustic Guitar: Elizabeth McCullough 
Background Vocals: Elizabeth McCullough 
   w/ additional Backing vocals:Derek Dragotis / Black Hole & Reconsider Me and Ryan Mercy / Mockingbird 
Electric and Slide Guitars: Doug Pettibone
Bass Guitar: Reggie McBride
Drums: Jason Harrison Smith and Jon Mattox
Engineered by Jon Mattox
Recorded at Bright Orange Studios, Reseda, CA
Produced by Elizabeth McCullough 
Co-Producers: Jason Harrison Smith and Jon Mattox

Real Boy

Alpha Cat

"...funny, intense and surprisingly beautiful "how the fuck do you steer this thing called life? songs. GET RHYTHM (UK) - By Chris Butler

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Pearl Harbor

Alpha Cat

The underlying premise behind the writing of the lyrics for the song Pearl Harbor was fairly straightforward: If Pearl Harbor was named so before it was bombed, wasn’t it because there were actual pearls in the harbor? And assuming that to be true, what would it take to get back to a place where Pearl Harbor became once again a place about

The underlying premise behind the writing of the lyrics for the song Pearl Harbor was fairly straightforward: If Pearl Harbor was named so before it was bombed, wasn’t it because there were actual pearls in the harbor? And assuming that to be true, what would it take to get back to a place where Pearl Harbor became once again a place about treasure, rather than destruction?

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