Free Throws

by John Gannon

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about

Portland songwriter John Gannon’s sophomore effort, Free Throws, is a fresh collection of wonderfully off-kilter pop tunes, featuring a cauldron of musical styles (New Orleans jazz, pop, blues, R&B, and country), all designed to help you sail through a traffic jam or survive another day in the cubicle.

credits

released April 17, 2015

Produced by Jordan Leff and recorded at The Secret Society in Portland, Oregon, the album features John Burk (bass); Dominic Castillo (guitar); Maria Cahill and Heather Keller (background vocals on “Smoked Salvation”); Cory Gray (trumpet and euphonium on “Butter”, “Lovesick”, and “Keep Your Head Down”); Jordan Leff (nylon acoustic on “The Highway”); Jessica Steinhebel (flute on “Hippie Girl”); and John Gannon (vocals, piano, keyboards, clarinet, saxophone, and drums).

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about

John Gannon Portland, Oregon

Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, and classically trained on the clarinet, Gannon picked up other instruments along the way, moving to Portland a decade ago. On Free Throws, he once again deploys his renowned lyric-writing skills — both sardonic and bittersweet — and also sings and plays piano, keyboards, drums, and the saxophone and clarinet. ... more

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Track Name: Butter
BUTTER

My heartbeat flutters
I turn to butter
When I’m thinking of you
You make think I’m a nutter
‘Cause I turn all to butter
When I’m drinking with you

It’s more than the perfect reduction
It’s gathering a mighty function
I turn to goo at the sight of you
I’m like butter

My pulse starts to quicken
And my arteries thicken
When we’re hanging out and making a meal
My nose starts to tingle
I could hit a clutch single
When we’re walkin’, it’s a pretty sweet deal

I’ll make a perfect roux with you
There’s nothing else that I wanna do
You make me wanna fly south
You melt in my mouth, like butter

Let’s go fishing, we’re gonna catch a big one
Let’s go wishing, we’re gonna have some big fun
But my heart can’t take it anymore
It’s so big, I can’t squeeze through the door
I need some butter!

My knees start knockin’
My heart thinks of stopping
When I’m asking you for a dance
I’m getting rich by the hour
I could use a cold shower
What a luxury to have a second chance

It’s more than a simple deduction
It’s gathering a mighty function
I turn to goo at the sight of you
I’m like butter

Let’s go fishing, we’re gonna catch a big one.
Let’s go wishing, we’re gonna have some big fun
But my heart can’t argue anymore
It’s getting so big I can’t fit through the door
Let’s get living, we’re running out of time now
Let’s start giving, we’ve got a lot of dimes now
Gonna trade my house for a shack
It don’t matter ‘cause you got my back
You’re butter
This is no other
You are my rudder
Oh, butter
Yeah, bacon grease is kind of groovy
But I need my butter when I'm at the movies
Oh, butter!
Track Name: Lovesick
LOVESICK

I shiver in the summertime
Sweating in the winter
Eat until I’m hungry
Dream until I’m tired
I’m reading ‘til my eyes hurt
And seeing what the books say
I’m doing what I’m told
But I can’t think because I’m wired

I’m not lovesick
I’m telling you I’m over it
I’m strong and I’m going long
So throw me the ball
I’m standing so tall
Though my cape is at the cleaners
It’s not dimming my demeanor
I’m not lovesick...

I sleep when I’m awake
I’m awake when I’m asleep
I’m close to a discovery
Closer to the way
I’m seeing all the experts
And making lots of progress
I’m doing what I’m told
And getting nearer to the day

Not lovesick
Telling you I’m over it
I’m strong and I’m going long
So throw me the ball
I’m standing so tall
My hamstring’s getting tight
But I’m still limber for the fight

Let’s talk about the weather
Let’s talk like we’re together, yeah, yeah
Let’s shout about it
Let’s cry about it
Let’s laugh until we’re better

I’m not lovesick
Telling you I’m over it
I’m strong and I’m going long
So throw me the ball
I’m standing so tall
Though my heart is getting heavy
It’s not stopping this old Chevy…

...Though my eyes are getting watery
I feel I’ve won the lottery
Track Name: Smoked Salvation
SMOKED SALVATION

I’m in trouble again
I lost another job
Can’t stop drinking
Can’t stop thinking
I lost my father just months ago
But I found my brother and we’re taking it slow
It’s just a beer
I can handle it
Never fear
I won’t gamble it
It’s all gonna be just fine

Lead me to the fence of salvation
Why don’t you lift me up and push me to the other side?
Lead me to the fence of salvation
If I fall behind I’ll catch another ride

My house is a mess
But I’m on top of it
I’ve got it covered
Let’s have another
‘Cause I lost my father just months ago
I found my brother and we’re taking it slow
It’s just a phase
I’ll work through this
Don’t you worry
I’m gonna do this
It’s all gonna be just fine

Lead me to the fence of salvation…

(The art of the sober
The dance of clean living
The music of motion
The path to forgiving)
Track Name: And Then The Lions Came
AND THEN THE LIONS CAME

Too many missed shots
From the free throw line
Too many no shows
In these bottles of wine
Take a closer look
In the review mirror
Read another book
To make it all come clearer

Sometimes we’re stuck inside of it
And rolling to the right of it
And fleeing from the fight of it
It got all too quiet
And then the lions came

Too many points of view
Not enough making up
Too many opportunities
To take my bishop
Take a different stance
Try another move
Read through all the evidence
To find the proof

Sometimes we end up in a maze
And lose our way in a velvet haze
And pass the blame and waste the days
It was all going badly
And then the lions came

The cat needs laser toys
And balls that roll around outside
The heater’s drying out the plants are
Browning slowly

It’s all too good for you
It’s not so bad for me
We could live in Venice
Sinking in the sea
And all we’re looking at
All that lies ahead
All the words around us
Hanging by a thread

Sometimes the path we walk gets bent
We cannot see what heaven sent
To quench a lifeless argument
There was nothing breathing
And then the lions came

Sometimes we're stuck inside of it...
Track Name: The Loser Boys
THE LOSER BOYS

We’re setting into the jungle
And it’s gonna get fungle
The animals are starting to holler
So stand up tall and be brave
Hold your ground and don’t cave
‘Cause it’s getting hot under the collar
We’re outside the mold
Not doing what we’re told
We’re the last to leave
We refuse to believe
We’re not gonna give it up

We are the loser boys, we won’t give up our toys
We’re gonna play until we say , not gonna drop until we stop
We are the loser boys, we’re making all the noise
We’re gonna groove until you move, we’re gonna shout until it’s out

We’re hangin’ on The Queen Mary
And it’s gettin’ kind of scary
‘Cause the ghosts are stirring down below
So raise a glass to the spirits
There’s the bar, grab a spirit!
‘Cause this party’s gettin’ ready to blow
We color outside the lines
And we’re doing fine
We take a different train
And the ride’s insane
We’re not gonna disembark

We are the loser boys...

Playing in the sandbox
It’s only been a minute
Now what you talkin’ about you saying that you want to get in it?
Get in line, take it easy, let your mind take the time to get breezy
‘Cause we’re only getting’ going and we’re not really slowin’ it
Down, don’t frown, don’t ask, don’t talk about the
Weather, don’t cry, don’t pout, don’t put it all
Together, we can make a difference
Or maybe not, maybe not, maybe not
Maybe this box is gonna rot

We are the loser boys...

Raise the flag of the loser boys
Raise your glass to the loser boys…….
Track Name: Hippie Girl
HIPPIE GIRL

I was dragged, kicking and screaming to the contact dance
Rolling around, sharing my space, spiritual vertigo
I didn’t need to know

There she was, kicking and screaming in a blessed trance
Whirling around, breathing the space, casting spells in her wake
I forgot to hesitate

And fell in love with a hippie girl
I fell in love with a hippie girl
I fell in love with a hippie girl
Despite my best intentions
And my noble inventions
I’m in love………
I’m in love……….

We stumbled into an African eatery, she knew all the dishes
Laughing out loud, sharing my space, soul-swishing vertigo
I didn’t need to know

A moonless night, a chill in the air, too many words in the sidewalk
Walking together, walking alone, walking around what we’re saying
I didn’t know who was playing

Still fell in love with that hippie girl...

Sitting at the bar and wishing that I’d brought my car
‘Cause I don’t want to walk in the….rain

I fell in love with a hippie girl...

I see her all the time
In every phrase and every rhyme
I’m collecting all her dimes
And inserting them in my…..heart
Track Name: Keep Your Head Down
KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN

Welcome to your new home
Every office is a shared space
Eat your lunches in the lunchroom
We want you to socialize
We want you to win the prize

Let us show you how it works
Press these buttons see our glee
There no need to leave your space now
Just talk through your computer screens
Everything is how it seems

We’re one big happy family

Suck it up, grin and bear it
Keep your head down close to your desk
Keep your head down

Every hour is a new day
Every day brings us victories
So take pride in your appearance
We need every labor hour
You need to dump those stinky flowers

You’ve got to reach your monthly benchmarks
You’ve got keep your eyes on the prize
Take pride in your performance
Be the first to believe
And be the last one to leave

We're one almighty family

Suck it up, grin and bear it
Keep your head down close to your desk
Never frown, never share it
Keep your head down just like the rest
Keep your head down...

Don’t you like my modular design?
Everything is perfect
Stay, I’ll make it worth it

Keep your head down (we don’t pay you to complain).,…head down
Keep your head down (we don’t care if you’re in pain)…..head down
Keep your head down (don’t want to see you shake your head)……head down
Keep your head down (just drag yourself out of bed)……head down
Track Name: The Highway
THE HIGHWAY

You gave me the finger on the highway
I gave you the finger right back
At 8 o’clock in the morning
The day was already fading to black

You’re writing a check at the market
The line is getting longer
The cashier’s checking out
Our numbers grow stronger

Can you see the rage coming?
Can you stop it all from running out of you?

You’re always getting in the way
You’re oblivious
Do you need to ruin my day?
You can’t be serious, can you?

Take a hike, take a break, take an hour, please be late
You’re invisible to me
You can do what you’re gonna do
You’re divisible and free

Can’t you see the day is coming?
Why can’t you work it out? It’s coming now for you

Be kind
Everyone’s fighting a battle
Everyone’s fighting a battle
Everyone’s fighting….

I’m a jerk, I am a work in progress
I think it’s getting easier
I’ll show you all I’ve learned so far
Let’s not get nastier, can’t we try?

Can you see the rage coming?
Can you stop it all from running out of you?

Be kind...
Track Name: Loud Life
LOUD LIFE

All of the crickets and all the cicadas
Are making a racket like they’re gaming in Vegas
All I wanna do is climb in a ditch
I haven’t got a clue, ain’t this a….

Gonna take a minute, gotta climb right in it
I’ll hold my breath until ‘til my face turns blue
Gonna build a boat, gonna dig a moat
Whatever it takes, that’s what I’m gonna do

To live a loud life…
Gonna live a loud life…

All of the books, all of the articles
They shatter in step, they scatter like particles
All I want to do is play the perfect game
I’m talking to you, but it sounds all the same

Gonna take a minute, gotta climb right in it
I’ll hold my breath until ‘til my face turns blue
Gonna learn to fly, gonna touch the sky
Whatever it takes, that’s what I’m gonna do

To live a loud life…

Step up close, I got you figured out
Nose to nose, we don’t have to shout
Take my hand, leave the fight behind
Take a stand, it will change your mind

Gonna take a minute, gotta climb right in it
I’ll hold my breath until ‘til my face turns blue
Gonna build a boat, gonna dig a moat
Whatever it takes, that’s what I’m gonna do

To live a loud life…

Step up close, I got you figured out
Nose to nose, we don’t have to shout
Take my hand, leave the fight behind
Take a stand, it will change your mind
Track Name: Slipping Through It All
SLIPPING THROUGH IT ALL

The walls close in
The cycles spin
The noises ricochet
And have their way
And rule the day
The shaking begins

Slipping through it all…

The blood beats sound
The minutes stand down
The clutter rises high
It looks to fly
It looks to die
The echoes ring loud

Slipping through it all…
Track Name: Why Don't You Shoot Me?
WHY DON'T YOU SHOOT ME?

There was dense conversation
And a fine Italian meal
And though it was loud in there
We didn’t seem to care
We took our turns showing off
And we smiled
And though I was proud in there
You didn’t seem to care
I was adorable
And lovable
‘Til you said let’s be friends

So, why don’t you shoot me? I’d rather be dead
Why don’t you shoot me? Can’t get you out of my head
Please, please shoot me once, pretty girl?
‘Cause I’ll say I’m strong in a minute
And I’m gonna wanna get right back in it

There was a funny exchange
When you couldn’t find the bar
Then we had a drink
I didn’t have time to think
Globe-trekking scientist
And you surf in the Pacific Ocean
You were proud in there
And I really cared
You were adorable
And loveable
Can’t we pretend?

Why don’t you shoot me?...

I had a lovely time last night
I had a blast
Let’s run the experiment again
I’m built to last
Don’t think of the past

With beauty as blinding as the sun
And laughter on the run
Mission impossible
Unstoppable
Is this the end?

Why don't you shoot me?...

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