Mark Westin

Mark Westin
Muggwort (arr. M. Westin)


“The only rockn’roll song ever that contains the word ‘polytheistic’.  The last verse points out that even so-called ‘enlightened’ people can be egotistical about how spiritual they are.”


I’m looking pretty
I’m looking good
I’m getting stares in the neighborhood
I’m getting lucky
But I can’t find
The special someone I can love for all time

It seems so simple or at least it should be
I want someone narcissistic as me

So what’s the problem if I’m keeping in trim
I check my biceps every day in the gym
When I pump iron I got all the moves
I want a girl who digs my masculine groove

Just feast your eyes on my physicality
I want someone narcissistic as me

My clothes are tailored, don’t buy off the rack
Stand next to me your suit will look like a sack
When I go dancing I dress to the nines
I want a partner who can look just as fine

I’m fashion forward it’s easy to see
I want someone narcissistic as me

I’ve read the Bible
Kabbalah and Tao
I’m always living in the right here and now
I’ve studied shamans
and tricksters and mystics
I want my soul mate to be polytheistic

I need to dialogue on theology
I want someone narcissistic as me

I’m egoless up to the highest degree
I want someone narcissistic as me

I’ll hit on you with spirituality
I want someone narcissistic as me

Mark Westin: lead voice, electric rhythm and slide guitars
Jen Clapp: voice
Ken Fox: bass
Todd Giudice: electric guitar, guitar solo
Ben Senterfit: horns
Ken Veltz: drums

Mark Westin
Mark Westin/Steve Giordano


“My friend and musical cohort Steve Giordano and I were talking about how sometimes you see a song title that’s so cool you just have to hear the song.  So we decided to come up with a bunch of cool titles and then write the songs to fit them afterwards.  ‘The Naked Houseboy’ was one of those titles. It was very offhand at the time; the deeper symbolism didn’t reveal itself to me till much later.”


I am the naked houseboy
I keep an eye on stuff
I dust and do the shopping
I do it in the buff

I like to do the windows
So everyone can see
You have a naked houseboy
Domestic nude, that’s me

So many naked houseboys
Would never mow the lawn
But I will rake and prune the hedge
And turn the sprinklers on

I’ll take out all the garbage
And clean the chimney flue
‘Cause these are just the kinds of things
That naked houseboys do

Don’t ask why I’m a naked houseboy
You may find that a naked houseboy
Holds the secret to all that’s closed
Inside your clothes

You might think that it’s funny
You might think that it’s sad
You might think I’m exploited
It’s really not that bad

You might think it’s disgusting
But I’m not judging you
I’m just a naked houseboy
And I’ve got work to do

Mark Westin: lead voice, acoustic guitar, lap steel, bass
Cat Guthrie: voice
Stacy Labriola: voice
Michele Rubin: voice
Jeannie Veltz: voice
Andrew Veltz: electric guitars
Ken Veltz: drums

Mark Westin
Mark Westin


“This song uses the setting of an open mike night in a bar as an allegory for the American electoral process.  Each of the performers at the open mike in the song represents a specific public figure or politician who dominated the establishment at the time the song was written. If you listen really carefully you’ll be able to figure out who they are.  Also, the song’s about an open mike I went to in a bar one night and the people I saw there.”


An acoustic version of this song appears on the "dirty folk" album.

In every little city in a dingy bar
There’s an overweight Adonis with a blues guitar
There’s an overage Madonna who’s a half step flat
There’s the next insert a name here in a stupid hat

You can meet ‘em any Monday in a nervous dream
Like a cavalcade of losers on the winning team
Any one of them would live or die to feed the beast
It’s the weekly competition to see who sucks least

It’s open mike, open mike
Everybody’s great at open mike
All the clothes and the hair are so outta sight
And everyone’s a millionaire at open mike

There’s a Yankee in a cowboy shirt he’s so sincere
Singing songs in southern accents that assault the ear
There’s an artsy fartsy poet who can’t even play
But that doesn’t stop her getting up there anyway

It’s a masochistic ritual for the friends who come
After just a couple verses well you just feel numb
While the girlfriends in the corner like to sit and squeal
Over who looks more professional and who’s more real

At open mike, open mike
Everybody falls for you at open mike
You were the best one you were so psyched
And everyone’s a visionary open mike

This one’s a little too whiny
And that one’s a little too slick
And everybody’s always so shiny
And nobody ever says dick

At open mike, open mike
We’re one big happy family at open mike
I’ll forget you tomorrow but I love you tonight
Cause everyone’s a superstar at open mike

Open mike, open mike
Everybody’s great at open mike
The rockin’ rollin’ future on display all right
And everyone’s a poster child at open mike

Mark Westin: lead and backing voices, electric guitars (riff and wah)
Ken Fox: bass
Todd Giudice: electric guitar (tremolo), voice
Ken Veltz: drums
Raquel Vidal: voice

Mark Westin
Mark Westin


“At the time I wrote this, it seemed like all anybody was talking about was who was dating who in Hollywood, and who was on again and off again.  I started writing with the idea that it was gonna be a satire of the media that feeds us this stuff, but it ended up feeling right to pull the heartstrings on the very last line.”


When beautiful people break up it couldn’t be that bad
They’ve got their good looks to cheer them up
And friends to call if they get sad

When beautiful people break up they never get depressed
They go right out to do the town
In shiny cars and nicely dressed

I know it’s true I’ve seen them there before
I know it’s true I’ve never seen them wanting more

When beautiful people break up the pain is swift and sweet
it blows away by break of day
like papers on a city street

When beautiful people break up they cry some lovely tears
Then dry their eyes and wear a smile
And look ahead to happy years

I know it’s true it’s just the way they are
I know it’s true when you’re as bright as any star
that shines into the universe and never seems to fade
illuminating all our flaws exposing every last charade

When beautiful people break up the timing’s always right
The movie ends, they part as friends
They never spend a lonely night

When beautiful people break up the world comes to their door
And lets them know it loves them so
And loves them till forever more

I know it’s true I’ve seen that story line
I know it’s true I wish that it were yours and mine

Mark Westin: lead voice, acoustic guitar, electric guitars, bass, keyboards
David Dasch: voice
Ken Veltz: drums

Mark Westin
Mark Westin


"There isn't one."


We sweat and we toil for the things that we need
And we lust for the things we desire
When we're tired or bored then we call on the Lord
Just to add some more fuel to the fire

I suppose it seems soothing invoking the name
Of a being supposed to adore us
When we're losing our dreams but we won't take the blame
Then we pray to let god do it for us

Though we claim to be searching for solace
We're mostly just dialing for dollars
To inherit some worth or inherit the earth as the meek
It's the easy way to god that we seek

My faith has been tested and tested again
There's some black pits of hell I've been through
And some demons I've fought maybe worse than your own
But I don't have to prove that to you

I've been shown to the top and I've watched myself drop
For the price of a poison or passion
And I've given up hope on the doorstep of broke
All the while remaining in fashion

Cause I wanted to get without giving
And I wanted to learn without living
And I lived for the peaks and I learned I was lost in the mist
And the E-Z way to god does not exist

Mark Westin
Mark Westin


"This song was begun on a trip to the Middle East in early 2006, and finished while watching our own elected officials attempt to push the US into theocracy.

Suzanne Hockstein sings, Steve Schiller plays fiddle, couldn't have done it without 'em."


Well they bulldozed the ancient city when they leveled the hilltop flat
Bones and pottery shards just a couple of yards
From the tank where the man in the gun turret sat

Yeah they dug up a thousand years or two and they dug up a whole lot more
Of the torture and pain that they use to explain
Why they’re fighting a hundred year war

And the ancestors’ graves and the answers they gave
Blown away in the desert sand
Everybody’s come out just to scream and to shout
Take a side at the bible’s last stand

Well it used to mean something to someone, but everything’s so different now
We can justify slaughter for oil or water
No matter how sacred the child or the cow

It don’t matter just what you believe in, to survive you believe what you can
But when they force you to run from a book or a gun
Even suicide seems like a reasonable plan

And now nothing that’s spiritual matters it seems
All true faith’s been replaced by a brand
You got nothing to lose, still this life’s what you choose
To depart at the bible’s last stand

You were told to liberate your mind from the western world
You were taught your faith could take you anywhere you want to go
But the western world’s the only world there’s ever gonna be my friend
And everybody’s Christian now son don’t you know

(I sing with the voice of one who walks with death each day
I sing with the voice of one who knows all hope is gone
I sing with the voices that will not be heard again
But still I sing)

Well they bulldozed the constitution when they leveled our consciousness flat
If you’re Muslim or Jew you don’t pray like they do
And they don’t like those funny hats

Yeah they buried the ancient scriptures in a place where they’ll never be found
And said don’t be surprised at the gospel revised
That our soldiers are handing around

And the word of the lord’s been deleted
And replaced by an earthly command
Of the righteous and strong who will never be wrong
As they fight for the bible’s last stand

So it’s man versus man in the ending
It’s a trigger a pin and a hand
Everybody’s come out on the sidelines to shout
Taking odds on the bible’s last stand

Mark Westin
Mark Westin


“This is about the kind of girl who can’t stop getting various enhancements to her appearance in an attempt to achieve some kind of mythical perfection.  The message under the humor is that it’s a misguided approach and that natural beauty is way hotter than fake boobs.  To me, anyway.”


Well you got the heels and you got the hose
And you broke the bank on designer clothes
You did the hair and you did the nails
You did everything that the look entails

But there’s something baby you forgot to do
And that’s understand that the look don’t look like you

I got just one thing to say when you walk that walk my way
With your sweater cut so low and your skirt so tight
Baby you almost got it right – but not quite

Well you spent as much as a girl can spend
On the color tint in your contact lens
And you spent a week in the dentist chair
Making sure your smile had the special flair

But there’s one big change that you forgot to make
That’s your mind when you decided to go fake

I got just one thing to say when you walk that walk my way
And you flash those baby blues and those pearly whites
Baby you almost got it right – but not quite

How much farther will you go to complete your beauty quest
Baby I don’t wanna know what’s inside that perfect chest

Now your credit cards gotten all maxed out
From the stuff you did to make yourself stand out
But the only ring on your telephone
Is the repo man for your auto loan

Cause the boys you hoped to snag are steering clear
Since they found there’s nothing in between your ears

So there’s just one thing to say when you walk that walk my way
And you hope I’m gonna take you home tonight
Baby you almost got it right – but not quite

Mark Westin: lead and backing voices, electric guitars
Ken Fox: bass
Ken Veltz: drums

Mark Westin
Mark Westin


"A gentle and loving tribute to parents everywhere.  As Mike Block says:  it's a lovely song with a truly bleak worldview.    PS - I don't have any."


We were so happy you and me
When we got married we just felt so free
We both made money
We spent our checks
I called you honey
We had wild sex

But now I’ve given up your nipples so the baby can sup
Kids screw everything up

We used to travel
To Spain and France
I loved adventure
You loved to dance
Our tans were golden
Our clothes were fine
We ate the oysters
And drank the wine

But now I’m pouring apple juice in an unbreakable cup
Kids screw everything up

Why’d we do it, why’d we have to go through it
Sucked our savings down the drain
S’posed to love ‘em but we really wanna shove ‘em
Kids ain’t nothing but pain, pain, pain

I had a six pack
You had an ass
I had a motorcycle
And you had class
We had a passion that we could not deny
We made a baby and it all went bye-bye

We used to run with the big dogs now we’re raising a pup
Kids screw everything up

Mark Westin
Mark Westin


"The mythical beast known as the 'perfect man'."


He’s cute and he’s funny he smells really good
He comes from the best part of the neighborhood
He’s nice and polite he’s a well brought up boy
Certain to bring any young woman joy
He never makes the conversation tense
He’s mister freakin’ white picket fence

He always remembers and he always calls
He never sits naked and scratches his balls
He’ll listen for hours while rubbing your feet
He always says something that sounds really sweet
And when you’re down he’ll come to your defense
He’s mister freakin’ white picket fence

And every woman dreams she’s gonna get him
I’d like to find a single one who’s ever really met him

He’ll clean up the dishes and take out the trash
He’ll do all your laundry and lay out the cash
He’ll visit your grandma at least once a week
If you’re asking me kinda sounds like a freak

He’s not a bad guy just a little dense
Somebody gotta teach him common sense
He needs your help so don’t spare one expense
For mister freakin’ white picket fence

Mark Westin
Mark Westin


"This song asks the musical question 'what if we had the same burial rituals today that people did in ancient Egypt?"


I’m getting the feeling I’m ready to go
I called all my friends and I told them all so
My buddies they told me now don’t you be scared
You’ll come out in style if you go in prepared

I packed all my silver and paintings and clothes
In fact I’m still wearing the T-shirt I chose
Then I looked for awhile and I found a nice space
Then we all had a party and painted the place

Gonna do just fine in the afterlife
Gonna do just fine in the afterlife

I feel a bit weaker don’t get around much
And the ladies I know say I’m losing my touch
I cooked myself dinner but I couldn’t eat
So I wrapped it to go with some onions and wheat

Then I went to the temple to talk to the gods
And I found I was favored with two to one odds
So I went by my tomb and I checked all the locks
Then I lay myself down to get fit for a box

The shadows are closing now I’m gonna go
But I’m sure not afraid because I’m in the know
I’m off on a journey to I don’t know where
But I got all this stuff make me feel at home there

I’ll have a big party and make lots of friends
‘Cause you got to be nice when the time never ends
I’m sure that they’ll find out I’m someone to dig
If I hold up all right I could make it out big

Mark Westin
Mark Westin


“Social commentary.  More like social network commentary.  It’s played for laughs, and anyone who’s on Facebook will get all the jokes, but I also wanted to drop a small message about loneliness in there.”


It all began so innocently
Had friends in common so I could see
Her profile
And after awhile

I made the first move sent a request
When she accepted my heart nearly leapt
From my chest
I knew I’d been blessed

She made me smile with her cynical notes
I shared a few of my favorite Proust quotes
Pretty soon we were wall to walling
And I knew we were falling falling

Falling in love on Facebook
Loving the links we share
Falling in love on Facebook
It’s almost like she’s really there

We cyberchatted all the night long
I never knew a connection so strong
With just a wireless card
It wasn’t that hard

To open up about hopes and dreams
We were a perfect fit and so it seemed
That we had to meet
We went out to eat

Across a table an actual meal
We sat face to face in a world that was real
Not coded
We got really loaded

I got courageous and went for the kiss
No app could provide such incredible bliss
She danced in the rain as I watched it soak her
Went back to her place and I super-poked her

And we were
Falling in love on Facebook
Loving the links we share
Falling in love on Facebook
It’s almost like I’m really there

I’m head over heels in love
with all my new technology
On the web I can be who I want
Or just live in anonymity
And if I embellish a bit well forgive me
It’s just how the game is played
Before there was internet I have no clue
How anybody got laid

I don’t know how I got to this place
First we were Facebook friends
but now she’s always right in my face
she’s invading MySpace

My bio says I do intelligence work
She found out I was really a part time
produce clerk
she thinks I’m a jerk

There has to be some kind of lesson in this
I try to figure it out but I miss
She called me a loser but hey I’m not bitter
I’m doing her best friend already on Twitter

It’s gotta be better than
Falling in love on Facebook
Loving the links we share
Falling in love on Facebook
it’s almost like she’s really there
it’s almost like somebody cares

Mark Westin: lead voice, acoustic guitar
Al Hemberger: bass
Kathleen Pemble: voice
Raquel Vidal: voice
Ken Veltz: bongos, cajon, shaker, cymbals