How to Dance

by Jonathan Burks

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  • These songs were recorded at Howl Street in the fall of 2008, on my thirty-third birthday. I booked a couple of hours to feel out some songs that hadn't yet found homes; a hodge-podge of old stuff, really old stuff, and new songs that stood up, but just barely. Shane set me up with a couple of mics and I played through the set in no particular order, taking a break about halfway through, tracking 19 songs in total.

    At the time, I didn't feel it went well. I set the session up for fun, something cool to do on my birthday, a no-pressure-type-thing; still I hoped, in my obsessive heart of hearts, that I would lay down these amazing takes and you know, sing real real good. And be super awesome at guitar. A bit chagrined these talents didn't manifest themselves to an extent of my liking, I forwarded the hopeful songs to the band, workshoped the ones that needed work, shelved the rest and moved on.

    After the recording Shane started sending me the occasional text or phone call asking me if it was alright if he played the songs we did for a band or friend that was in the studio, who he thought would be interested. I hadn't listened to the tracks since then, and couldn't understand why anyone else would want to, but who am I to judge? Eventually these interactions started to ebb away at my anti-release-stance (which wasn't so much of a stance, just something I hadn't considered, or considered considering) and I gave it another listen. I respect Shane and his opinion so I took what he said seriously; even if I didn't get it, I could tell his interest was genuine, no smoke. His unwavering, albeit low-key and subtle enthusiasm put me onto a different perspective and I started to dig it. A couple of years and a dozen or so random pep-talkish conversations later, I'm ready to listen to him. Beast or butterfly, warts and all...

    Thanks Shane. And thanks all of YOU. Your interest helps me know I'm on the right track, busted as it may be...

    It takes two to tango. Hope this finds you in a dancing mood.

    Jonathan Evan Burks
    ... more

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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 8 Jonathan Burks releases available on Bandcamp and save 50%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Getting Low, How I Roll, God Talk, How to Dance, Red Pulpy Mess, Brown Paper Bag, Bones of the Tree, and Loudmouth Soup. , and , .

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released February 1, 2011

all songs written and performed by Jonathan Burks

recorded at Howl Street by Shane Hotchstetler

mastered at Mystery Room by Justin Perkins

Photo by Patrick Weishampel
Image by Seth Duckens

c and p Jonathan Burks, Brew City Music 2011




Jonathan Burks Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Track Name: God Talk
I don't want no god talk at my funeral
Jesus is alright but he aint my main man
it's all of ya'll whom I love so dearly
it's you alone who made me what I am

god is good but god made me faulty
it's you alone who made me so good
send me off in flames hot and rowdy
don’t burry me in no box of wood

I don't want no sad songs at my funeral
I sing em now but I wont need em then
sing about them pastures of plenty
sing about how that circle never ends

I don't want no crying at my funeral
but if you must, fill a cup up with wine
take a drink for every drop that falls
and know that you are a friend of mine

I don't want no god talk at my funeral
if you must read something, quote some Tortilla Flat
let all my fucked up friends know
I'm so thankful
it's you alone who made me
what good I am
Track Name: Holes
feeling wet and washed up
on the shores of ho-hum
bound for glory bound and gaged
my tongues a butter knife it seems these days
it aint cutting nothing but wonder bread
wondering how I can muster some bread to get me the means
to spread myself where I choose and please
sew my oats like a wool-knit sweater
to keep me warm in this cold cold weather
'spose by now I should know better
things tend to unravel in windy weather
the bag I’m in cold and damp
is wearing thin exposing glass
fist shaped muscle forged from sand
filling up the empty hand
reaching out to grab
the stubborn edges of the looking glass
flowers bloom with every shard
plucked from fingers and guitars
the healing scent of feelings wrenched
from a vague sense of lonliness
gaps and flaws in character and script
paint the terrain of who we is

the holes are where the light gets in
light is framed by night and sin
lord won't you forgive me please
for living this life you gave to me

sailing on a ragged wind
fueled by breath of three A.M.
we squirm and pray and play and fight
heaving on the shores of life
gnawing on the serpents tail
pennies get laid upon the rail
wishes spread thin with hot heat of motion
leaving nothing but a blurry notion
in the flush face of drunken dance
we kiss the lips of circumstance
rosy cheeks ripe with the night
receive the fruit dark and divine
stars cut open the sky
letting in the finish line
gaps and flaws in character and script
turn the pages of where we been

the holes are where the light gets in
light is framed by night and sin
lord won't you forgive me please
for living this life you gave to me
Track Name: Katie Come Over
katie come over - come over today
let's sing some folk songs and ride our bikes in the rain
and when we dry off we'll fill up our plates
with spaghetti and veg sauce that together we made

katie come over
let's go on a date
we can rent a paddle boat
and go out on the lake
let's go fly kites
get totally lame
make like a tandem bicycle
and cornball away

I know I don't know you that well
and you don't know me
but there's only one way to tell
only one way to see

katie come over
come over today
let's write a folk song
and ride our bikes in the rain
I just wanna see ya
just wanna hang
katie come over
katie today
Track Name: Vitruvian Man
my hand is a stafish
my fist a conch shell
I hold it to my ear
and hear the ocean swell
bliss would get boring after awhile
still send me to heaven I’ll give it a try

reincarnate me
whip me again
strap me in chains
cage me in flesh
I’ll be a good boy
walk the straight line
drink gin with Jesus till
we both bleed wine

life it gets lonely
trees loose their leaves
skeletons get naked
and dance in the breeze
pain it aint nothing
when it's moving along
it's just when it's stuck
you cant move at all