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Bullfighter

by Eric Slick

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    Album artwork by Cal Schenkel (Trout Mask Replica, many Zappa records)

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about

Bullfighter is a song cycle about the first Jewish American matador, Sidney Franklin. It’s also the story of coming to terms with my family’s Jewish identity. It was important to juxtapose Sidney’s struggles with my own. The name of the piece serves as a double meaning. It comes from my fascination with astrology - I’m a Taurus, and the bull is a stubborn opponent.

Bullfighter is comprised of vocals, string quartet, piano, synthesizer, and drums. The string quartet portion was written in a week and recorded in about 2 hours. My good friend Michael Johnson fleshed out the rest over the course of a year. He transformed a two dimensional picture into a beautiful panorama.

This piece of music is important to me. It’s not light-hearted. After releasing my first record, I realized that I had to tap into my own vulnerabilities more. I re-wrote the lyrics to Bullfighter over and over again in the hopes that I could get closer to my version of the truth. Writing it brought me closer with members of my family that I hadn’t spoken with in years.

I hope that it will be transformative for the listener. It’s a document of working through my own personal trauma. I wanted it to feel circuitous. In the end, I realized that death and life are all the same, and that suffering is fleeting.

credits

released January 18, 2019

Songs by Eric Slick
Produced by Eric Slick & Michael Johnson
Mastered by James Plotkin
Artwork by Cal Schenkel

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Eric Slick Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Track Name: Bullfighter
t holds a place in my memory of you
the night we made honest enemies of truth
is it your fear that brings a promise of other ways to be ourselves

A stagnant way of living
But that’s the way it is and
Evacuate the prison
All the culpable forgiven

Weighted lovers living in despair
Weighted lovers living in despair
and I will be left out

The sacred sight of the animal
Let loose
The emblem tore my abdomen
In two

is it your fear that brings a promise of other ways to be myself

A stagnant way of living
But that’s the way it isn’t
Evacuated prison
All that’s criminal forgiven

Weighted lovers living in despair
Weighted lovers living in despair
Track Name: Honesty
my mother
my father
all told me to wait
no longer a sinner
deplete her estate
no whipping
the heel never breaks
the weight of the world
just to awful to take

i loved her like cigarettes
burned at the stake
the rigid incisions
cut cross-legged veins
the honor of knowing
the life that you made
held nothing but problems
and minimum wage

what of your honesty?
all i conceivably know
like the beckoning ransom
take what you want from me
why not take everything?
love’s not a game when you’re lonely
i won’t play.

the coward envisioned a life of his own
replacing the meaning
to do what you’re told
i’m not saying the reason is hard to explain
for seasons will change but the men stay the same

i wonder if living
persists in the heat
your savage existence
no life can compete
your neighbor, he listened
and drowned in your sleep
a wolf in white clothing
who preys on the weak

what of your honesty?
all i conceivably know
like the beckoning ransom
take what you want from me
why not take everything?
love’s not a game when you’re lonely
i won’t play.

did you notice that i can’t
feel the back of my hands anymore?
sit around, hesitate
throw the funeral pyre at my door
Track Name: Nothing Is Real
remain alive with the dawn at your side
ways to decide how we all will die
into the light, with your arms behind your back
oh no

if i just do it when no one’s around
will i seem happier to them?
into the light, with your arms behind your back
oh no

remember how they used to say that we would never grow old?
nothing is real, you know
Track Name: Fleeting Feeling
if you want it
you can have it
no more running
from the cabinet
in the same way
i was fading
always taking
in the daybreak
in the snow
the blood run colder
the police came
to explain it all

"it is only a fleeting feeling”

i know that you won’t be without one true love
where did it go?
what did they say?

“its only love and nothing else”

if you want it
you can have it
if you made it into habit
when they found you in the lobby
paranoid and catatonic
in the snow
the blood ran cold and
when they called me
i broke down and said,

“it is only a fleeting feeling”

i know that you won’t be without one true love
where did it go?
what did they say?

“its only love and nothing else”

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