Sometimes you have to make a living. Even if it means feigning disease for money.
Until recently, Shwa Losben had been funding his music career by acting out illnesses - such as the ever amusing narcolepsy - for medical students to diagnose as part of their medical training. And although this hard-working musician had to fake it with the med students, his musical chops are anything but fabricated.
After releasing his debut album "Just a Thought," Shwa has been touring constantly, making a name for himself in the thriving NYC, DC, Philadelphia, and London music scenes. No longer paying the bills by portraying a sick patient, Shwa now receives rave reviews for his music skills.
"Just a Thought" spawned the infectious "Come On," which The Washington Post named one of the ten best songs of the year and said it packed "plenty of rhythmic vitality and melodic appeal." On Tap magazine described the album as "hook- heavy, radio ready songs that reflect elements of Travis and Coldplay but stand on their own merits."
By the end of 2004, Tribe.net named Shwa the winner of a recording package at the prestigious Indre Studios in Philadelphia, where top artists such as Weezer and Ben Folds Five have cut tracks. The darker "Click Track," a six song EP, was recorded there during the summer of 2005, and released the following year. Building on the hooks and haunting melodies of "Just a Thought," "Click Track" combines quarter-life crisis anthems and shimmering guitars.
Now armed with "Chop Chop," his first full length release since 2004, Shwa layers guitars, bass, keyboard, cello, drums and claps, atop precise vocal harmonies to create a melodic and sweetly nostalgic work that displays his depth as a songwriter. Recorded over ten days in January, 2007 in Austin, TX, Chop Chop began as an EP. But after a rare ice storm paralyzed the city, Shwa and co-producer Taylor Davis holed themselves up in producer Johnny Goudie's studio and the EP quickly became a full length album.
Chop Chop is a collection of songs that were initially written in 2006 while Shwa lived in DC, London, Philadelphia, and New York. "I wanted to create something that summed up the environment and time of my life spent in all of these cities."
With tracks like "Myriah," a wistful song about a love that never was and "You Got Wise," a conversation no one wants to have, Shwa proves his versatility and creativity as a songwriter. "Lyrically it's a big step," he said. "Every song tells a story from a unique perspective. In a lot of ways, I feel like I"ve found my voice with this album."
Chop Chop's honest, organic sound is just the next step in Shwa's musical evolution-- No faking it necessary (narcolepsy or otherwise).
Lyrics:Brooklyn girls know all the latest fashions Brooklyn girls wear big sunglasses Brooklyn girls with the attitude always acting rude Gotta be out on the scene Brooklyn girls, why you gotta be so mean Chorus: Why you gotta be so mean Why you gotta be so mean Brooklyn girls, why you gotta be so mean? Brooklyn girls drink pabst blue ribbon Brooklyn girls are sophisticated women Brooklyn girls with the icy stares and the styled hair Gotta be out on the scene Brooklyn girls, why you gotta be so mean? Chorus I been to Alaska where the frigid girls make their home I been to Nebraska where the vicious farmers' daughters roam But it's easy to see, yea take it from me If you want a girl that's really mean, look no further than the Brooklyn scene Brooklyn girls are angry lookin' Brooklyn girls are not from Brooklyn Brooklyn girls with the attitude always acting rude Gotta be out on the scene Brooklyn girls, why you gotta be so mean Chorus
Lyrics:There were times when it felt like nothing ever would go my way, Reliving my mistakes, and their bitter taste I was lost I was lost I was an echo you couldn't hear A child that disappeared without a trace But then everything fell into place Like it belonged Like it was meant all along Everything fell into place There were times when it felt like I was left on a battlefield, wounded without a shield, slipping away I saw you, I saw you then our eyes met on a winter day The ice all melted away, when I saw your face And then everything fell into place Like it belonged Like it was meant all along Everything fell into place There were times when it felt like I was traveling on my own So helpless and so alone Now I know I was wrong And now I am where I belong
Lyrics:Oh Henry, what'd you do You took a spill You've got an arm that could kill a man or two Oh Henry, could this be You're playing in the major leagues You're throwing heat and putting them away And use that funky cheese to make a play Oh Henry, for goodness sake A broken arm's your lucky break You're a closer now No mistakes come on Oh Henry, watch your back Your mom's boyfriend's a lying sack He's a shallow man And he's got no tact at all Oh Henry, just remember who you are Your fastball might just win the game But don't forget from where you came And now that you're the household name you are Oh Henry, You're gonna be a star Oh Henry, what went wrong You're picking fights now with your mom You're taking flights with Daniel Stern, come on Oh Henry, don't forget your friends They're good and books But you're busy then Posing for photoshoots and all Oh Henry, could this be Your mom's out with Gary Busey K-I-S-S-I-N-G The rocket's gonna make an honest gal of her Your fastball might just win the game But don't forget from where you came And now that you're the household name you are Oh Henry, You're gonna be a star No now its gone You've lost you power You gotta use a trick to get this one Throw the ball up in the air Make him run by double dare He took the bait Now they're two to go What can you make the play The hidden ball trick Saves the day And only one more out to win the game Don't be scared But here it comes The Cubs kill her number one But all you gotta do is have some fun Pitch one, change of pace Pitch two, in his face You do it now Goodness grace, you are Oh, ba-di-da-da Now come on Henry, you're a star
Lyrics:So here's the next chapter We've been here before Its one in the morning He's been here before The neighbor's can hear him But choose to ignore They're probably on crack anyway Its down to the basement Where he'll have his way The window is covered it blocks out the day Now its the night And you're right where he wants you to be And I'm not comparing Your levels of caring But enough with all the fake grinning and caring Windows are broken The rifle is smoking And everyone knows it but you My dear, he just likes you 'cause you're new You wonder what sent you apart from the last Realize the question's not worth being asked Why bother with digging up graves up from the past When he buys you some pizza and beer He says you're the best But wait till your dressed You won't reach for more when you can settle for less We know you're above him We know it won't last Everyone knows it but you My dear, he just likes you cause you're new When the dustman comes to take you away Don't have a stock answer Know what to say He's a broken record But you still push play Better hide all emotions Yeah, lock them away You're a train wreck just waiting to happen Everyone knows it but you My dear, he only like you cause you're new Like swims in the oceans And other love scenes Its all or its nothing There are no in betweens And handholding sunsets Are nothing but dreams There's passion inside him It remains to be seen He's shallow, he's cold He's got what he needs Everyone knows it but you My dear, he just likes you cause you're knew
Lyrics:Chop chop run along We all work while we sing a song We work to keep our bodies strong we do Chop chop, hurry on We all work cause not working's wrong We work until the daylight's gone we do And even when it's bloody hell We work until the dinner bell We work until our bones are black and blue We mix the sweet in with the sour Accumulate our working hours Punch our cards and take a shower too Chop chop run along We all work while we sing a song We work to keep our bodies strong we do Chop chop hurry on We all work cause not working's wrong We work until the daylight's gone we do And even when it's bloody hell We keep opinions to ourselves We keep our feelings on the shelf we do We go and kiss our lady friends And drown ourselves in medicines And wake again to start the work we do Chop chop raise a cup And another if one's not enough To forget the childish stuff that we all do
Lyrics:Fireflies are buzzing Should I say fluttering Should I say a single thing at all She's feeling good but having doubts Breathing in, she's breathing out Breathing for sake of going on She drapes herself in the color pink Reaches for another drink Reaches out to turn on the TV And winter winds are in the air She's looking for what isn't there She looking for a sign to show she cares I can't say but In her eyes the swallow sighs The sever dies and butterflies At night she cries for love she tries and fails For all the sorry men who leave her when she needs them most Think quickly then the dark descends And leaves a paper trail In a meeting with the heads of state The neocons congregate Pacifists hesitate to fight And protest songs fill the air Through the screams Behind the glare The anger and the blazing scares ignite I can't say but In her eyes the swallow sighs The sever dies and butterflies At night she cries for love she tries and fails For all the sorry men who leave her when she needs them most Think quickly then the dark descends And leaves a paper trail Back to life She kissed him twice It felt so good, It fel so nice It felt just like paradise to him She kissed him once, she kissed him twice It wasn't good, It wasn't nice His lips were blocks of ice to her It was good on paper, bad in form A chilled response to lips so warm And disappoinment is the norm it seems What's good in paper can never be And all in all it seems to me The ones you want are never free at all I can't say but In her eyes the swallow sighs The sever dies and butterflies At night she cries for love she tries and fails For all the sorry men who leave her when she needs them most Think quickly then the dark descends And leaves a paper trail Yeah, the darks decends and leaves a paper trail
Lyrics:Hanging by a thread Lady color folds her linens on her lonely bed Hanging by a thread While she pictures where her husband used to lay his head Hanging by a thread And she's try to find a way to get the baby fed She couldn't get this thought of her head And casually it seems to me That we don't have the luxury Of pushing where we'd rather be instead Certainly priorities are shift As they ought to be WHen you're handing by a thread Doctor Whilelm tests his theory how the virus spread Hanging by a thread While he's chewing on the rations of the bakers bread Hanging by a thread And their home is just a place he goes To rest his head He turned and this is what he said And casually it seems to me That we don't have the luxury Of pushing where we'd rather be instead Certainly priorities are shift As they ought to be WHen you're handing by a thread He said no matter becomes of me I can say honestly That person that I used to be is dead And all because of I what I was Why, because, because nothings left for me to do instead I'm hanging by a thread All the ministers admit that we all misled Hanging by a thread But tragically apologies don't raise the dead And in the speech nothing much was said And casually it seems to me That we don't have the luxury Of pushing where we'd rather be instead Certainly priorities are shift As they ought to be When you're handing by a thread I said that No matter what becomes of me I can tell you honestly That person that I used to be is dead All because of what I was Why? Becase, because, because Nothing's left for me to do instead I'm hanging by a thread
Lyrics:It was the summer of '05 I had twenty years alive Myriah moved in the apartment One eye brown and one eye green I would cook and she would clean And we would drink a little wine for excitement Every now and then I'd play some music for her when She was going out with other men She'd say she liked the melody ""would you write a song for me"" I didn't tell her I had ten As the days dragged and the nights grew long I told myself the time was wrong My own little world running round with other girls When Myriah words would never come When the summer sun was strong In the heat with nothing on Myriah would lye before me I'd pretend to read a book While I'd take in my looks But Myriah would still ignore me IN the evenings we would talk On occasion we would walk Through the morgon of Columbia road She'd look me on the eye Put her hand on my thigh Laugh at every joke I told As the days dragged on And the nights grew long I told myself the time was wrong In my own little world Running around with other girls When the right words would never come Yeah the stars rearranged As the weather changed I was busy playing stupid songs What a foolish thing to fear But I couldn't bear to hear She didn't feel the same As the days dragged on And the nights grew long I told myself the time was wrong In my own little world Running round with other girls When the right words would never come When the autumn came around Myriah left the town She was ready to go back home Her father came along grabbed her clothes And she was gone And it was back to my nights alone Now shes up and rotter springs Getting her masters in something She called me up the other day And I'm still sitting in the den Writing songs and thinking of the time I let her get away
Lyrics:Grow your hair Change your style Sing a song Shine a smile Drink your beer when its time to play Dress in green when you're feeling grey Show some skin, bat your eyes Its never too soon to compromise Write a song, throw it away Take another time to play Have a cry, Have a laugh Make sure that something in you dies Its never too soon to compromise And kiss your self respect goodbye La-di-da Take a deep breath, take a couple of pills Write a pop chorus just to pay the bills And maybe, maybe, its all you'll need Sit still stare sign yourself away Kiss your girl bye, then forget her name And maybe, maybe, its all you'll need Let your head grow faint, bitch about the press Did someone clean your mess Bring a new girl back to your bed Fuck anyone just to get ahead Hide yourslef, we'll never find you You're no-one now, nothing inside you You're nothing now, You're nothing now And no-one's left to guide you Forget your friends, get some more Pretend you weren't you before Hide your pain when you're growing soft Get a piercing, show it off When you're down just fetal-ize Its never too soon to compromise And kiss you're self respect goodbye 1-2-3 La-di-da (x4)
Lyrics:So you pack up your trappings left lying around Your eye on the prize but fixed on the ground You know, its almost time to go And you're twisting your words for the people you meet And finding new ways to spin your defeat But you know it doesn't change at all So you stumbe around, yeah, you fall to the floor If there was doubt now you know it for sure This is not a warm place anymore So you're binding your time, you're placing your bets If they offered you poison, you'd blindly accept Just to know there is something bigger than this And you hide in yourself only to learn From the firey deapth there is no return If there is a fire, all of us burn At least we're not alone Yeah, your body is bruised and its cold to the core But you're taking the punches and asking for more This is not a warm place anymore And you're holding your words And you're holding your breath And you look to your right and you look to your left Till you're basing your worth on another success Until its all you can see and it swallows you up until its all you got And you don't know where you are But you know where you're not And if you awoke than you must have forgot When all you want is to be Yeah your spirit is crushed and concience is sore Your hopes engaged in a wore Your body is bruised and its cold to the core But you're taking the punches And you're asking for more You wrestle the ground Yeah you fall to the floor If there was doubt, then there's not anymore This is not a warm place (x3) Anymore (x2)
Lyrics:It takes time to let it go Like going by a rainbow We're build out these images And find that there's nothing there And out of the ashes We bare one and the same thing And out of ashes We bare the same thing Sometimes and most times once we analyze We lift up and carry them and drop just to show we can And out of ashes We bare the same thing And out of ashes We bare the same thing (x2)
Lyrics:You got wise, then I said 'I really should be going', I wasn't what I meant, It's just so hard, sometimes, you know, *but if you want to fight, and if you want to fight, come on, but I'm not, I'm not myself tonight, and if you want to fight (x2), we both know that you're right*, You got tears streaming down, clinging onto makeup, spreading it around, Your body's losing now (x2), like all you know is wrong, (chorus*)
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