Sideshow Unattraction

by the james clark institute

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about

'Sideshow Unattraction' is a theatrical, esoteric journey into a world of carnival illusion, heartbreak, melancholy wit and bitter double entendre.

credits

released May 23, 2008

Produced by James Clark and Garry Flint.
Recorded and Mixed by Garry Flint, Toronto Canada.
Mastered by The Ring Masterer in Trailer Number 4, Toronto Canada.

James Clark: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Drums, Percussion.
Vince Yue: Electric Guitars.
Mike Zammit: Bass Guitars.
Greg Condie: Keyboards.
Garry Flint: Organ on 'Lake Monona Last Night.'
Jennifer Foster: Accordian on 'Nonetheless Happy.'
David Ponter: Harmony on 'Monstrous' and Whistlin' on 'Nonetheless Happy.'

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about

the james clark institute Toronto, Ontario

With a wink and a nod to the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto (now CAMH), The James Clark Institute is the musical guise for singer and songwriter James Clark. Confronting the ghosts of his past, James spins his personal demons into witty, well-crafted pop-folk/rock tunes.

His writing is inspired by the works of Ray Davies, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan and Michael Nesmith to name a few.
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Track Name: Big Shoes To Fill
Step right up! Watch me forget about you.
There’s a special place for me in Baraboo.
I hope you’ll come up and see me fall down.
I know you have another, maybe two.
Juggling’s never been so difficult for you.
If I know you, and I do, you’re not wearing a frown.

But I am leaving these big shoes to fill, big shoes to fill.
I know you want to so I know you will fill these big shoes to fill.

There’s a broken seltzer bottle on the 3rd ring floor.
A broken heart in trailer number four,
Because I am sure he fills you up with passion and with mirth.
I understand this show, it can’t go on,
We’ve been pretending for eight years on.
Now I know you’ve gone and this heart’s taken the greatest blow on earth.

But it’s leaving you with big shoes to fill, big shoes to fill.
I know you want to so I know you will fill those big shoes to fill.

I’m not a strong man but I’m very tall.
But you can make me feel oh so very small.
Like the dwarf in the 2 o’clock show,
I’m a wonder of the world and I wonder where’ll you go…now!...

The sword swallower and the acrobat,
Both agree your words were sharp as tacks.
Now there’s no turning back and no net down below.
The tattooed lady is looking blue.
The elephants are grey just like me too.
Unlike them you’ll forget me by tomorrow.

But please remember these big shoes to fill, big shoes to fill.
I know you’re searching for new sights and thrills,
Big shoes to fill, big shoes to fill.
I know you want to but you never will fill these big shoes to fill.

Step right up! Watch me forget about you!
Track Name: The World I Used To Live In
The law professor’s not returning my calls,
He’s busy making up brand new laws,
In case he ever catches me with his daughter again.
I’m finding out that I can no longer visit the world I used to live in.

The curator’s not willing to admit,
She used to like me like she liked your exhibits.
Now I’m on the outside wondering to myself should I peek in?
Get a final glimpse of the world that I used to live in.

Oh I’m the outsider, nail biter, town crier.
Crying to the extreme.
She’s the sidewinder, squeezing tighter,
Killing off the fighter in me.

The entrepreneur has offered me a position.
Shaming my soul only under one condition,
That I leave his big sister alone and let her win.
Be the champion of the world that I used to live in.

Oh I’m the outsider, nail biter, town crier,
Crying to the extreme.
She’s the sidewinder, squeezing tighter,
Choking off the lover in me.

The ceramic urns are waiting to be busted.
By the jealous freak that she once stupidly trusted.
Now he’s pathetically, esthetically all alone.
Pressed against the window of the world he thought he used to own.

Now I’m on the outside wondering to myself should I peek in.
Get myself a final glimpse of the world that I used to live in.
I can no longer visit the world I used to live in.
I’m no longer welcome in the world I used to live in.
Track Name: Sleeping In My Favourite Shirt
I can’t remember the last time the drapes were pulled,
Open to reveal the outside world,
And let the sun warm these shattered nerves.

I can’t remember the last time the sheets were washed.
I can’t remember the last time the teeth were flossed.
I can’t forget when and what I lost.

Now I’m sleeping in my favourite shirt.
I keep having dreams where I don’t hurt.
Sleeping in the bed I made,
And I’ll be sleeping for a thousand days,
Sleeping for a thousand days in my favourite shirt.

It’s been a long time since my face last showed up,
Reflected in your best plates and cups.
These days they’re down in the sink with my luck.

Because I’m sleeping and nothing is better.
When I’m sleeping there’s no better place.
If I’m slumbering the reasons are out numbering the creases on my face!

La la la la, la la la la la. La la la la, la la la la la.
Lullabies and good riddance.

‘Cause I’m sleeping in my favourite shirt.
I keep having dreams where I don’t hurt.
Sleeping in a bed I made,
And I’ll be sleeping for a thousand days.
Sleeping for a thousand days in my favourite shirt.

The neighbour’s dog howls outside my window.
Amongst the grass that remains unmowed.
And I’m oblivious to the world I used to know.

‘Cause I’m sleeping in my favourite shirt.
I keep having dreams where I don’t hurt.
Sleeping in a bed I made,
And I’ll be sleeping for a thousand days, sleeping for a thousand days.
Sleeping for a million days, sleeping for a billion days,
Sleeping for a zillion days,
Sleeping in my favourite shirt.
Track Name: Monstrous
The bees are bad this year. They buzz around my beer.
Making it hard to appear sincere but I am.
The stewardess was there. She let down her hair.
She was putting on airs though she was firmly on land.

Cindy Sherman’s ears must be burning.
This fairy tale’s turning monstrous.

In a cab on Williamson, it all came back with a grin.
As I reached in for $15.50.
‘Neil Young’s Greatest Hits’ and R.E.M. on cassette.
The soundtrack I won’t soon forget to our movie.

Cindy Sherman’s ears must be burning,
This fairy tale’s turning monstrous

You share the same qualities as the damsel in distress.
I wear the same monogrammed handkerchief as Jesus, yeah.

Yesterday I sat in a Vaughn Road Laundromat,
Accepting that that is that and washing you away.

Cindy Sherman’s ears must be burning.
This fairy tale’s turning monstrous.
Cindy Sherman’s ears must be burning.
This fairy tale’s turning monstrous.

Monstrous….Monstrous.
Track Name: Lake Monona Last Night
Something crashed in Lake Monona last night.
A twin engine Beach Craft in Lake Monona last night.
December waters are cold, Lord have mercy on the king of soul’s soul.
Something crashed in Lake Monona last night.

My heart sank in Lake Monona last night.
She made me walk the plank on Lake Monona last night.
She said to quote the song; she’d been loving me too long.
Something crashed in Lake Monona last night.

Down down down like a song in the charts.
You know his crown was found by some record sharks.

My heart drowned in Lake Monona last night.
Not to be found in Lake Monona last night.
Submerged, it succumbed, like the silencing of Mr. Jackson’s drums.

Down down down like a song in the charts.
You know his crown was found by some record sharks.

Something crashed in Lake Monona last night.
Something crashed in Lake Monona last night.
December waters are cold, Lord have mercy on the king of soul’s soul.

Something crashed, something crashed.
Something crashed, something crashed.
Something crashed, something crashed.
Something crashed, something crashed.
Track Name: Kangaroo
With the seasons changing in reverse,
You found your reasons for leaving me immersed.
And because it’s winter in July,
Your heart wins the ice sculpture prize.

With your totem pinned to the wall,
You left me holding on and pinned to the fall.
The distance between us paralleled,
The damage done to my ventricles.

Kangaroo….Kangaroo…It’s all thanks to you.

Up and away like you’re some kind of super girl.
And I’m your Kryptonite waiting on the other side of the world.
You’ve been checking into ways to leave.
I’m checking out just like George Reeves.

Kangaroo….Kangaroo…It’s all thanks to you.


With the seasons changing in reverse.
Track Name: Chalk Outline
She said she was an artist but she failed to remind
Me before she departed, she was the escape kind.

“Confrontation’s not my strongest point”.
A quotation from a phrase she coined.
It leaves my loving arms out of joint.

They said she was an artist, incomparably so.
Creating beauty from darkness, this is the darkest I’ve ever known.

Technology breaks my heart.
Gives the ability for a cruel depart.
She signed her name, it must be art.

I want her to sign my chalk outline.
I need her to sign my chalk outline.

She said I was an artist who never met his potential.
So I’ve been discarded like a worn down shading pencil.

Technology, it shakes the heart.
Gives the ability for a cruel depart.
She signed her name, it must be art.

I want her to sign my chalk outline.
I need her to sign my chalk outline.
I hope she signs my chalk outline.
I need her to sign my chalk outline.
My chalk outline. My chalk outline.
Track Name: Popularity Contest
She’s so curt with her words she cuts me down to size.
Despite her laconic ways her popularity rises higher, higher.

She’s so dark with her heart, it puts mine to shame.
Though she tears me apart, I keep falling just like rain.
Falling from higher, higher.

I only wish that I could be a little more popular
Like her train driving monkey, like her train driving monkey.

She’s so approachable though I can never get near.
To what she’s all about now that I’m no longer needed here by her, by her.

I only wish that I could be a little more popular
Like her train driving monkey, like her train driving monkey.
Like her drum banging monkey, like her drum banging monkey.

Mister postman please don’t bring me no more of these.
I don’t want to read about her popularity.
Mister postman please don’t bring me no more of these.
I don’t need to read about her popularity.

He wins, he’s the best in her popularity contest.
Track Name: Bettie Page Rides A Donkey
She’s off in Thailand now living in Changmai,
Banishing herself to the other side.
She’s eating corn and lychee, I have a new dilemma.
Do I follow her down or wait for September?
It feels like forever.

While Bettie Page rides a donkey, I’m a million miles away.
She says “act your age” but I’m feeling funky today.

I’m living vicariously through her cards and letters
Sometimes I even think I have it all together.
She’s heading down to Changrai then on to Noah’s village,
While I’m at home learning there’s no rest for the wicked.
Should I be more specific? I’m not feeling too terrific.

While Bettie Page rides her donkey, I’m a million miles away oh yeah.
She says “act your age”, but I’m feeling funky today.

While I’m contemplating she’s so tired of waiting.
She’s so tired of waiting for me.

While Bettie Page rides her donkey, she’s a million miles away oh yeah.
She says “act your age” but I’m feeling funky today.
Funky today, I’m funky today.
Track Name: Girl Heroine
While flipping through the pages of “The Films Of Charlie Chaplin”,
That he acquired in 1973.
He casts his mind way back but he’s not sure how it happened,
How he came to being me.
It’s a sad and sordid script, border lining on slap stick.
It was a real pie in the face to see it turn out like it did.

I need a girl heroine.
Someone to keep the plot moving.
Someone who’ll save me in the end,
A girl heroine. I need a girl heroine.

While sifting through the FBI files on Charlie Chaplin,
He uncovered some lies of his own.
All in the name of keeping them laughing,
He buried his heart like a stone.
But the key required most in comedy is pathos.
He did a real double take when life became quite a joke.

I need a girl heroine.
Someone to keep the plot moving.
Someone who’ll save me in the end.
A girl Heroine. I need a girl heroine.

This must be the dream sequence because she’s dressed like angel.
If I could speak in my defense before the mallet fatal
Comes crashing down cracking on my head
Like Mabel said…..

“….He needs a girl heroine.
Someone to keep the plot moving.
Someone who’ll save him in the end.
He needs a girl heroine. A girl heroine.”

I need a girl heroine.
Someone to keep the plot moving.
Someone who’ll save me in the end.
A girl heroine. I need a girl heroine.
Track Name: I Wonder Where You Are Tonight Jennie Lee
Casting long shadows I can’t smile but I can weep.
Under your spotlights with the secrets I can’t keep.
My horoscope said I am having a bad week,
And I wonder where you are tonight my Jennie Lee.

Elizabeth singing like a bird.
My apologies, I don’t understand a word.
The little prince rolls a smoke just for me,
As I wonder where you are tonight my Jennie Lee.

Romance, ambulance…one follows the other,
When you’re addicted, afflicted with the memory of another.

Venus De Milo, while sipping at her wine,
Waves to the people, claiming a good time.
While Martha wonders what it is that’s gotten into me,
But all I can wonder is where you are tonight my Jennie Lee.

Romance, ambulance…one follows the other.
When you’re addicted…afflicted with the memory of another.

Daisy and Violet rarely feel alone.
Joining each other on their saxophones.
On Wilkinson Boulevard they weigh in happily.
But there’s no way they can tell me where you are.
No they can’t say where you are.
So I’ll stay a humiliated star tonight my Jennie Lee.
My Jennie Lee.
My Jennie Lee.
Track Name: Nonetheless Happy
It’s the end of September; it’s the end of an error.
We put the game pieces away.
Attempts have all failed to get myself out of jail.
You took the money and away…

…you went tired and spent but nonetheless happy.

It seems you have a new opponent, one I have never met.
I’m not the competitive kind.
No strategy is the word; it’s why I’m always in third,
Almost every single time…

I play, a sore loser but hey you’re nonetheless happy.

While I’m nonetheless empty, nonetheless destitute.
Nonetheless bereft of anything remotely cute.
Nonetheless broken and I’m nonetheless blue,
And I’m nonetheless in love with you.

It’s August 12th, I’m back on the shelf.
Popamatic trouble indeed!
I’m off the board and your winning score
Has brought me more trouble than I need…

…today, but I guess I’ll find a way to be nonetheless happy.
Nonetheless happy.

Meanwhile I’m nonetheless empty, nonetheless destitute.
Nonetheless bereft of anything remotely cute.
Nonetheless disheveled and I’m nonetheless blue,
And I’m nonetheless in love with you.
Nonetheless in love with you.