Get Down To Business

by Branden Mann

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about

The first full-length album by Michigan-based Folk-Rock group, Branden Mann and The Reprimand. Recorded live at Louie's Trophy House Grill, Kalamazoo, MI : June 26 2009.

When the crisis comes, when the world falls down, when your heart sinks and you feel like you've got nowhere else to go, Branden Mann reminds you that you're not alone. One of the most respected songwriters in Kalamazoo Michigan, Mann writes music as a form of therapy for himself. He believes that everyone has similar experiences, and that those who hear his music can find parallels to their own lives in the words that he sings. His unresolved interpersonal conflicts, questions about life and existence, and romantic and relational desires are laid bare in his songs. This honesty and openness is inspired by his study of religion, philosophy, communication, and relationships, and creates an instant camaraderie with those who hear his music.

Stylistically Mann has been influenced by artists ranging from Dolly Parton to Incubus, from the Beach Boys to A Tribe Called Quest, resulting in a sound that is simultaneously familiar and unique to a diverse audience. Mann often performs as a solo artist with his worn acoustic guitar that has become a sort of trademark for himself, and he also performs with his band Branden Mann and The Reprimand.

The core members of BM&TR are Branden Mann (Vocals, Guitar) Tommy Ufkes (Drums, Guitar), and Jeff Weller (Bass). Formed in 2007 with a slightly different lineup, the band can be anything from a 2-piece (Mann/Ufkes) to a 6-piece powerhouse complete with lead guitar, keyboards, saxophone, and any other instruments Mann's musical friends decide to use to make their contribution. As a band, BM&TR have been compared to Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals, The Black Keys, Wilco, Traffic, Dave Matthews Band and CCR, but the majority of listeners say that the diversity of the band's sound makes them a one-of-a-kind act.

One review of the band states that Branden Mann and The Reprimand "sound like an old blue-collar jukebox in an argument with an old-time tent revival preacher." Mann's musical influences, combined with his religious upbringing and subsequent questioning of the concepts he learned as a youngster bring this comparison to life. In 2009, BM&TR released their first full-length album entitled "Get Down To Business" - a live album recorded at a performance at Louie's Trophy House Grill in Kalamazoo, MI. The songs on this album address philosophical debates (The Lord Is Not On Your Side, Trying To Do The Right Thing), communication issues (You've Got A Lot To Learn, I Threw In Some Words, The Benefit Of The Doubt), religion (Secrets, Brother! Sneakin' Lies!, Better Ways To Waste My Time), personal development (Don't Hold Me Up, Staring Down A Barrel Of Monkeys), and relationships and desires (Get Down To Business, Trouble). Included on this album is a song originally written by singer/songwriter Michael Knott that brings up the struggles that occur when it seems like nothing is going right (Double). Branden Mann writes songs for himself, but he also writes them for everyone else. Musically and lyrically, the songs of Branden Mann and The Reprimand are created to let the listener know that they are not alone, while giving them some good ol' foot-stompin, hand clappin' music as a backdrop.

credits

released November 20, 2009

Branden Mann : Vocals and Guitar
Tommy Ufkes : Drums and Vocals
Bill Clements : Bass Guitar

Recorded by Mike Schuur of Sun Spot Recording, Kalamazoo, MI at Louie's Trophy House Grill, Kalamazoo, MI)

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all rights reserved
Track Name: Trying To Do The Right Thing
What can I say in response? Anything that I argue will be shot down with ignorance. What you read, and what you see... that makes how you feel. So your beliefs on how to be, don't push 'em on me.

'cause I'm just trying to do the right thing when all you're doing is lying to yourself

These contradictions, they don't compute. The facts that you're claiming are up for dispute, but you take them by faith and you rely too much on grace, and that faith just serves to make a different kind of fake.

and I'm just trying to do the the right thing when all you're doing is lying to yourself.

If you can't find an explanation, don't threaten me with condemnation. If you don't like this information, don't try to sell me your salvation. If you won't listen to logic and reason, I've got no reason to start believin'. If you don't like this information, don't threaten me with your salvation

'cause I'm just trying to do the right thing, when all you're doing is lying to yourself.
Track Name: Secrets, Brother! Sneakin' Lies!
How can you say you love when you twist the words I say? How can you claim to care when you won't listen anyway?

I wanna know how you can live with yourself. Preach it, brother! Preach the lies! I swear to God they'll eat you alive.

How can you show the way when you shame the name you claim? Can you condemn the truth when you're the one to blame?

I wanna know how you can live with yourself. Secrets, brother! Sneakin' Lies! I swear to God they'll eat you alive.

How can I claim I care and how the hell can I believe when all you do is pick a fight and use him to deceive?

I wanna know how you can live with yourself. Preach it, brother! Preach the lies! I swear to God they'll eat you alive. I wanna know how you can live with yourself. Secrets, brother! Sneakin' Lies! I swear to God they'll eat you alive.
Track Name: You Can't Bite
I'm beginning to think that a let down's what you should get. I'm starting to think you could use some disappointment. I held out my hand to feed you and you sunk in your teeth. I put it on the line to help you out and you threw it back at me.

In time, I hope you'll find that you can't bite the hand that feeds you. In time I hope you'll find that you can't bite.

It's only a matter of time until you strike again. You're losing the war but you talk like you're winning. Don't even try to come to me next time you need some help, cause if you're gonna bite my hand you can feed your own damn self.

In time, I hope you'll find that you can't bite the hand that feeds you. In time I hope you'll find that you can't bite.
Track Name: Double
and you're sittin' there wondering why is it like this
and the whole world's crazy and the earth is sick
and someone's yelling from the bathroom door
the toilet's overflowing on the floor
and the one by the phone says i cannot hear
while the one by the jukebox spills his beer
and the man on the pinball hits sixteen mil
someone ducks behind the counter to pop a pill
and you reach in your pocket to see if there's more
and the biggest bill falls so you're left with four
and you're too gone to look but you still try
then you see it in the hand of a great big guy
who looks just like he'd kill you fast
and you think for a minute
you let it pass

and the stool falls over when you sit back down
it bumps a mean pool shooter from across the town
he misses his shot - it's all on you
and with your last four bucks you know what you'll do
sorry man can i buy you a drink
and he shakes his head and says make it a double

and the next thing you know you wake up at home
and the little one there won't leave you alone
she's awake and hungry
she needs some potty help
and you remember what happened last time she tried it by herself
and your wife says hurry, we're late for church
and you can barely see
and your head still hurts
and the preacher starts preaching
and you feel remorse
he's got five little kids and a big divorce
and your wife looks down and says she don't know how
he's been her guiding light for ten years now
and his marriage is over, it's barely alive
and how in the hell will ours ever survive?

and the stool falls over when you sit back down
it bumps a mean pool shooter from across the town
he misses his shot - it's all on you
and with your last four bucks you know what you'll do
sorry man can i buy you a drink
and he shakes his head and says make it a double
Track Name: Get Down To Business
I could tell you all the things that we could do if you'd come home with me. But I'm afraid you'd laugh it off like it was some kind of joke. I could shout "I'm serious!" but I don't think you'd understand, but I've been fantasizin' 'bout you. I can't stop, oh no I cant.

I wanna get down to business.
I wanna get down 'til we can't get up.
I wanna let it all go when you come home...
Come on home with me... Come on home.

You don't have to worry 'bout it, you ain't gonna do no wrong. I just wanna make you see the fantasy to me that you are. I could tell you everything but I would rather make you feel... and you know I won't be stingy, you'll always come before me.

I wanna get down to business.
I wanna get down 'til we can't get up.
I wanna let it all go when you come home...
Come on home with me... Come on home.

I could tell you all the things that we could do if you'd come home with me, but something tells me that you've got a few tricks up your own sleeve...

I wanna get down to business.
I wanna get down 'til we can't get up.
I wanna let it all go when you come home...
Come on home with me... Come on home.
Track Name: Trouble
I got trouble on my mind.
I got trouble all of the time.
I got trouble waitin' for me on the other side.

Oh trouble ain't too hard to find
And trouble, can't get it off my mind
Oh and trouble thinks she's a friend of mine
I got trouble waitin' for me on the other side

I let you into my life, told you you couldn't be mine. I just wanted to provide a good time.
You wanted more than I could give, and I just wanted you to live, but you can't get me off your mind. I gotta draw the line.

Because trouble ain't too hard to find
And trouble, can't get it off my mind
Oh and trouble thinks she's a friend of mine
I got trouble waitin' for me on the other side

I tried to be so kind, and show you what it could be like, and help you try to find a love like mine.
But you got your heart on the line. You've got to ask yourself why you've got your heart all on fire with these desires.

Oh 'cause trouble ain't too hard to find
And trouble, can't get it off my mind
Oh and trouble thinks she's a friend of mine
I got trouble waitin' for me on the other side
Track Name: A Lot To Learn
You've got a lot to learn about yourself.
You've got a lot to learn about yourself.
Don't go making promises you can't keep.
You've got a lot to learn about me.

I never meant to do any harm.
I never meant to let you down,
Always second guessing everything you say.
I've got a lot to learn about me.

If we can't see eye to eye,
Come on over here and sit down beside me.
Don't let it take you down the road to hell
We've got a lot to learn about ourselves
Track Name: Better Ways To Waste My Time
He said if I spare a dime and put it on his plate, that I'd succeed for eternity and walk through Heaven's gate.
And if I spare a dollar against my common sense, that God might let me be a millionaire.

I'm on my way (I'm on my way)
I'm on my way (I'm on my way)
I'm on my way to the other side of town.
'Cause I can't take you serious.
I've got to get away.
I've got better ways to waste my time.

Now I'm not causin' problems, I'll stay the heck out of a fight. But I always thought that Jesus knew his wrong from right.
He knew when to make a scene, he knew when to talk, and he knew when to leave a man alone!

I'm on my way (I'm on my way)
I'm on my way (I'm on my way)
I'm on my way to the other side of town.
'Cause I can't take you serious.
I've got to get away.
I've got better ways to waste my time.

Now if you take offense to me, and fault you're tryin' to find, pick up that ol' Bible and read it line for line.
Jesus would have loved me, and Jesus would have cared, and I think Jesus would've called you a dirty whore

I'm on my way (I'm on my way)
I'm on my way (I'm on my way)
I'm on my way to the other side of town.
'Cause I can't take you serious.
I've got to get away.
I've got better ways to waste my time.
Track Name: The Lord Is Not On Your Side
If the Lord is your protection you're gonna be surprised to find the Lord is not on your side.

You've got it right! Don't get me wrong,
But I'm just as right as you've been and you're just as right as I've been all along.
What to bless? (Hallelujiah!) and what to curse? (Oh, God damn!)
What is left and what is right? What is black and what is white? Oh my God!

If the Lord is your protection you're gonna be surprised to find the Lord is not on your side.

With the Lord as your protection,
Don't be surprised. Lord, He's gonna let you down.
But you'll say "Oh no, He's got a promise!"
Oh but admit it. Admit it, you're harboring some deep deep doubts.

If the Lord is your protection you're gonna be surprised to find the Lord is not on your side.

Well, He's gonna choose who he answers, He's gonna choose who he saves.
He's gonna choose who starves, and who's around to live another day.
Everybody's got a different "Lord". Everybody's got their own way.
But everybody thinks that they know just what Ol' Lord, he's got to say.

If the Lord is your protection you're gonna be surprised to find the Lord is not on your side.
Track Name: Don't Hold Me Up
I know I said a lot of things thinkin' I'd never change.
I know I said a lot of things thinkin' we would always stay the same.

I said them loud, I said them proud.
Oh my God! Did I just say that out loud?

Don't hold me up to what I said.
Don't hold me up to what I said I'd never say.
We're gonna change, don't expect me to stay the same.
Cause if you stay the same, it's a shame that you're never gonna change.

I know I said a lot of things that I regret.
I know I said a lot of things that I wish I could take back.

I said them loud, I said them proud.
Oh my God! Did I just say that out loud?

Don't hold me up to what I said.
Don't hold me up to what I said I'd never say.
We're gonna change, don't expect me to stay the same.
Cause if you stay the same, it's a shame that you're never gonna change.

I know I said a lot of things in innocence.
I know I said a lot of things that I didn't know what they meant.

I said them loud, I said them proud.
Oh my God! Did I just say that out loud?

Don't hold me up to what I said.
Don't hold me up to what I said I'd never say.
We're gonna change, don't expect me to stay the same.
Cause if you stay the same, it's a shame that you're never gonna change
Track Name: I Threw In Some Words
I threw in some words hopin' I would make some sense.
I threw in some verbs hoping you would catch my tension,
But I threw it to hard. I threw it over the fence.
So I threw in some more words so I could seem defenseless,

But now I need you to tell me how that makes you feel.
Now I need you to tell me what you can see.
Now I need you to tell me how I make you feel.
Now I need you to tell me what you see in me.

I threw in some numbers hoping I could solve the problem,
But through misunderstanding understanding blossomed.
So I threw out those words, and I began to think of nuance,
And through all those curves I began to see solutions

But now I need you to tell me how that makes you feel.
Now I need you to tell me what you can see.
Now I need you to tell me how I make you feel.
Now I need you to tell me what you see in me.

I'm through with the words that prod you to the answers.
I can't do it alone. I can't read your crystal ball,
But if it's true that you know that I don't want to hurt you,
Then throw out some words. I want to hear them all.

Now I need you to tell me how that makes you feel.
Now I need you to tell me what you can see.
Now I need you to tell me how I make you feel.
Now I need you to tell me what you see in me.
Track Name: The Benefit Of The Doubt + Follow Me
It's not what I mean, it's what I have to say.
It's not what I mean! It's what I have to say!
So it appears my words were lies?
Give me the benefit of the doubt.
So it appears my words were lies?!?!
Give me the benefit...
Give me the benefit...
Give me...
Give me...
Give me the benefit of the doubt.

I'm not as cruel as you make me out to be.
But twist my words and I'm a liar.
I'm not as cruel as you make me out to be!
But twist my words! I'm a liar!
So it appears my words were lies?
Give me the benefit of the doubt.
So it appears my words were lies?!?!
Give me the benefit...
Give me the benefit...
Give me...
Give me...
Give me the benefit of the doubt.

She tramples the daisies and eats all the ham.
Pure and clean ham, not the ham in a can.
It get's chewed up, spit out, and twisted around.
Injected, infected, driven into the ground.
You're standing on the ceiling while you're looking in your spoon.
The British are coming twelve hours past noon.
Get a live picture of the happy insane, and let the sun in their eyes infiltrate your brain.
And you're speaking Japanese, but I don't understand why the kamikaze pilots got their heads stuck in the sand.
But I take it like a candy (and I take it in fast).
Clean out my brain, and burn up the past.

So follow me... I'm on my way.

Blood stained sickness (the mark on your sleeve).
The insects are brainwashing you to believe.
Brain turned to oatmeal with sugar and fruit.
Whiplash man just bought a three piece suit.
The chalkboard quiz baits the breath of the scenery.
Emotions go dull painted blue on the greenery.
Dinner smells bad so I throw it on the ground.
Tattle-tale rattletrap's repressin' a frown.
The reverse doesn't work, transmission's stuck in drive.
The slavery inside has come to open my eyes.

So follow me... I'm on my way

Give me some of that! Give me some of that trash!
Take me to the pawn shop and hand out the cash!
Buddy, how can it be you're gettin' more than you paid for?
"That's the way it works when you walk out the same door."
Who's your daddy?
Who's your mom?
Who's in prison?
Who's the bomb?
What's my sign?
What's my number?
See the tree inside the lumber?
Track Name: Staring Down A Barrel Of Monkeys + Bang! Bang!
I'm staring down a barrel of monkeys.
I'm gonna drive my car right into a garage.
I've got this bottle of pills called Vitamin C.
I'm gonna take this needle, and sew a patch on my jeans.

I wanna live my life, wanna live my life, wanna live my life like I'm alive.
'Cause one of these days I know, one of these days I know that I'm gonna die.
In the meantime life ain't gonna pass me... I ain't gonna let life pass me by
I wanna live my life, wanna live my life, wanna live my life like I'm alive.

I'm standing on this bridge to try and get a good view.
I'm gonna take this knife, and I'm gonna cut my food.
Things ain't never gonna change so what's the use in whining?
I'm writing my last words that I'll write for the night.

I wanna live my life, wanna live my life, wanna live my life like I'm alive.
'Cause one of these days I know, one of these days I know that I'm gonna die.
In the meantime life ain't gonna pass me... I ain't gonna let life pass me by
I wanna live my life, wanna live my life, wanna live my life like I'm alive.

I'm gonna get me a pistol tattooed on my skin.
I'm gonna take this razor and I'm gonna cut my beard.
I've got this rope in my hand, and I'm gonna hang my clothes.
I'm walkin' out into traffic to try to catch a cab home.

I wanna live my life, wanna live my life, wanna live my life like I'm alive.
'Cause one of these days I know, one of these days I know that I'm gonna die.
In the meantime life ain't gonna pass me... I ain't gonna let life pass me by
I wanna live my life, wanna live my life, wanna live my life like I'm alive.

Bang! Bang! Kill the bad man, and everything will be alright.
(from the other side) Bang! Bang! Kill the bad man!

Who's right? Who's right? But' we're gonna be fightin', taking back sides, getting killed in the night-time.
Terror! Terror! Who brings the terror? Are we bringin' down the house on the bad news bearer?
Let's shoot 'em up and get killed with our own guns... Shoot 'em up and kill some civilians.
Let's hate and murder in the name of freedom!

I give up!
I surrender!
I give in to this never-ender!
I submit!
I conform!
I give in to all the norms!

Most of the time I've got a lot on my mind, and the slavery goin' on has got me falling behind.
Too kind to be generous, so I've got to move it - to prove to the victims of compensatory hubris that:
Peer-pressure's schmeer pressure. Think for yourself.
Take a lesson from your mind and drink to your health.
Smell all the flowers.
Spike all the punch.
Take it all in no matter what form it comes.

I give up!
I surrender!
I give in to this never-ender!
I submit!
I conform!
I give in to all the norms!

Bang! Bang! Kill the bad man, and everything will be alright.
(from the other side) Bang! Bang! Kill the bad man!