Flirting With Azrael

by John T. Baker

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John T. Baker- Flirting With Azrael

Act 1 in which our hero decides to exact revenge for all the wrongs done to her.

Is satisfaction to be had? Can she even the score? What will it take? Is it even worth it? What monsters are born from the effort? Can they be controlled?

Dream analysts suggest that everyone in your dreams is some aspect of you. Could that apply here? Can you kill off a part of yourself in order to regenerate a stronger you?

Flirting With Azrael concerns itself with these ideas. Born of a spontaneous song creation described in Act 1, I have learned that when an idea starts to emerge, the best thing you can do is get out of its way and let it out. Once out of the box, that idea assumed vectors in a multitude of directions. I made no attempt to corral these things, just following each to its (il)logical conclusion. Some morphed into cartoonish macabre pieces (Put The Body On Ice and Black Magic). Some were more genuine & heartfelt, at least on the surface (Time Is Of The Essence, I'm Falling Apart). Some took on an angrier, more sinister character (Bullshit, I Can't Get No Satisfaction).

One thing's for sure: this is a departure from albums I've made before. I struggled with it at length. I've been working on it for three years. Without the participation and encouragement from many friends and fellow artists, it would never have been finished.

May we all retain the ability to reinvent ourselves when necessary.


released January 27, 2015

Recorded at Baker Acres, Knoxville TN by John T. Baker
except "Wake Up Call" which was recorded at Top Hat Recording, Austin TX by John Harvey and Mary Podio and "I Need Controlling" which was recorded at DBLF Studio, Knoxville TN by Doug Campbell. Mastered by John Harvey at Top Hat East, Knoxville TN. Artwork and design by George Middlebrooks at Aside Project

JTB all instruments and vocals except:
Jason Thompson- Saxophone on 2
Emily Parkeer- Bassoon on 3 & 7
Tim Lee- Guitar on 7
Jeff Caudill- Backing Vox on 7
Doug Campbell- vocals on 4 & 6, Banjtar on 11
George Middlebrooks- drums and bass on 5, electric guitar on 8 & 9
Gray Comer- Trap Set on 9 & 12
Jason White - Vocals on 6
Bill Ardison-vocals on 6
Bo Ratliff- vocals on 6, bass guitar on 10
John Harvery- Electric bass guitar on 9
Mary Podio- vocals on 8, tongue drum on 9

Thank you to Leslie, all the musicians involved and anyone who has listened to me go on and on about this project for the past 3 years and anybody who encouraged me to finish this when I was about to give up on it. This is a work of fiction. Me and my wife are just fine, thanks.



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John T. Baker Knoxville, Tennessee

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Track Name: The Cage
He came home drunk one time too many
and she could not control what she did
then she was done and it was over
the only way to stop the skid
Oh she knew she loved him
or the man he used to be
she loved so much she had to kill him
she unlocked the cage and set him free
she felt his drunken heart stop beating
still was wasn't satisfied
Track Name: The Plan
In my quest for satisfaction
this is only the first act
it's a step in the right direction
but it doesn't change the facts
you held me down for so long
I've got a ways to make it right
But heaven knows it's all wrong
this wicked plan that's come tonight

Again and again
I think I'm starting to feel whole
Over and over again
It's all about regaining my control

I have tasted victory
even if it's a sin
With open eyes it's clear to me
I've gotta cool you down again
I've got so much left to give
You deserve more than you got
And if you think it's all relative
I can assure you that it's not


I once thought you were my friend
but when that went away
there's no way to pretend
there's nothing you can say

Track Name: Time Is Of The Essence
What have I got to do
to bring you back
So much to know and where to go
to bring you back

(chorus)and time is of the essence
every minute of every day
you get further away

I can still feel your presence
but not your touch
to have you in my hands again
is it too much?


There's got to be a way
to make you come alive again
but you don't have the years it takes
to learn the proper science

Track Name: Put the Body On Ice
I was trapped in a cage then I had the plan
the only way out was to kill the man
It felt so good if I had my way
He's gonna live to die another day
Don't want no stinking or leaking
from this body that I've been sneaking
So keep cool for this before rigamortis
I gotta put that body on ice

Nobody knows you just killed the man
no one's gonna notice for a couple of days
you know you got a little bit of time
Nobody give nothing away
and we can put that body on ice

No time to sweat, or live with regret
I made my bed and I slept in it
and now it's time to get ready and set
to ice that body down

Well sometimes you gotta do a little work
Gotta get through to the other side
We'll look back on this and be alright
What we got to do tonight
is put that body on ice

I gotta head to the supermarket
then buy a cooler from Target
If it's not big enough well then enlarge it
then set that body up and fill it up to the brim
to the brim! to the brim!
Come on baby drop the M bomb!

And speaking of M, it was me or him
and there's only so long that you can take that shit
and you gotta do something about it
put the body where nobody and find it
and put the body on ice

Flatfoot dicks are on my trail
I don't care I swear
nothing's gonna stop me from putting the body on ice
Put him in a dark cold drawer somewhere
lock him up and swallow the key
then go talk to the flatfoot dicks
until they're gonna leave me be
I can pull him out later
and kill him over and over again
over and over...
Track Name: The Procedure Is Painless
Word is I need an operation
I'm told but I don't know
To make a minor variation
to the way my feelings flow
but I'm scared
the lights are on but no one's home

the procedure is painless
just a memory or two
that demands too much attention
just a slight change of view
nothing out of the ordinary
i can assure you
Just relax
the procedure is painless
of course not that you would notice anyway
you'll live to fight another day
I'm giving you the full array
Nothing will harm you while you float away
So just relax

The procedure is painless
On your feet inside a week
Now go home and get some sleep
You're on a different frequency
than me
Do me the decency
to just relax
Track Name: Black Magic
Conjure up a spell
you might just as well
neck deep in this necromance
involved as you are in this evil dance
Some will call this magic black
And point to signs of the zodiac
I only want to bring you back again
and even if I have to sin
I'll complete this unholy transaction
I'll achieve your resurrection
Past practitioners of the ancient art
come tease a beat from this silent heart
I call upon the shamans from the pit of Hades
No matter what it says in Deuteronomy
I killed you once and it wasn't enough
And I 'm not afraid of all this evil stuff
Light the candles for this dark ceremony
And I will give my awful testimony
to justify this abomination
Let God make his determination
Lock me up with the lunatics
But not before this black magic
Assemble all the chemicals and machinery we need
Build a laboratory where we won't be seen
And then when all the elements are right
We'll commence this wicked work away from the daylight

Eye of toad
Tongue of newt
One dead body in a leisure suit
Candles lined up in a pentagram- check
Ear-marked Necronomica- mm hmm
I'll be raising the dead tonight
Then torturing him till the morning light
then I'll cut his head off with a razor knife
Then we'll do it all over again tomorrow night

That magic's black...
Track Name: Hand
Hand doesn't get to have a say
What it wants to do
It acts in service
You think and your muscles move
The heart beats on
All the fibers contract
Hand never gets to tell
anyone how to act

Hand doesn't say a thing
while the day goes on
It can only manipulate
and wait for your intention
Legs and feet for transport
Mute stupid power
Waiting for the master
during normal working hours

I am only corporeal
with nothing of the spirit
I can make the music real
but I could never hear it
and as your third arm
I am your extra limb
Making no plans of my own
I only have your whim

The wheel never learns
where it is to go
its only duty is to turn
it only knows its role/roll
The lever that can move the world
cares not that it's needed
Without comment it does the work
no celebration on its succeeding

Track Name: I Need Controlling
I need controlling
Someone from without
doing the controlling
I need restraining
Keeping me alive in my skin
takes some explaining
Doing it again and again and again

(chorus) X2
Not pouring but it's raining
nothing but the sound of the drill
doing the trepanning
being too empty to refill

I need controlling
interest in my life
gotta keep it rolling
a baby in need of a midwife
I need retraining
you want me to get it done
I've been refraining
doing what needs undone
Track Name: Wake Up Call
Baby, your killing me
was the wake up call I needed
Baby, my eyes are wide open
and I can see that I did you so wrong

I'm alive and I've never been more grateful
Looking back I can't believe I was so hateful

Baby, I don't blame you
for hating the way I used to be
But Baby, I'm telling you
that I have changed in a way I can't explain


I hope I can find a way
To make you forgive me
forgive me

Baby, I think if you give me a chance
I can make you glad you brought back again

Track Name: Bullshit
You were talking about how bad
you were to me before this started
Funny how your words have changed
since I took control of things

And even though you say you've changed
No matter how you dress it up to say it
my opinion of you is circling the drain

You said you'd never been more grateful
You looked so pretty when you said it
Likely as that is to disable my defense
I remember that

Even though you say you've changed
No matter how you dress it up to say it
You can't undo what you became
and I can see right through your bullshit
It's all bullshit
I can see, I can see
right through your bullshit

And even though you say you've changed
No matter how you dress it up to say it
my opinion of you is circling the drain

Last time I saw you
You were begging me for mercy
Never killed anyone
Didn't have it coming

Even though you say you've changed
No matter how you dress it up to say it
You can't undo what you became
and I can see right through your bullshit
It's all bullshit
I can see, I can see
right through your bullshit
Track Name: I'm Falling Apart
Even though you did your best
Well it wasn't good enough
Every day it's something else
and I try to be tough
But this body is failing me
and I don't have much time
The love that's prevailing
has become a pantomime

I'm falling apart
Every day comes complete with brand new pain

Each passing sunrise
I'm a little less together
Because when you brought this body back
it wasn't supposed to be forever

I'm falling apart
Every day comes complete with brand new pain
My head to my feet
My heart and my brain
I'm falling apart

I know you're not qualified
It's a miracle that I'm here at all
And I know that I should be satisfied
But it's like banging my head on a wall

I'm falling apart
Every day comes complete with brand new pain
My head to my feet
My heart and my brain
I'm falling apart

I can't control the rate of descent
Paying the toll won't make a dent
I've paid for my soul but it's already spent
We've taken on roles that are hopelessly bent

I'm falling apart
Every day comes complete with brand new pain
My head to my feet
My heart and my brain
I'm falling apart
Track Name: I Can't Get No Satisfaction
I put you down
picked you back up
so I could put you in your place again
But now you're back
You come around
Turned out not to be the same as you were before

Now I can't get no satisfaction

I swear you got what you deserve
But you don't act like you need to learn to behave again
I saved it up to dish it out
and I expected you to be begging for another round

Now I can't get no satisfaction