Stories You Wouldn't Believe

by Sam Shinazzi

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about

Sam's second album released through Laughing Outlaw Records

Bit of understated self-promotion in song from the artist sometimes affectionately known as The Turtle:
“I belong in a coffee shop/ I belong in your heart/ I should be on your stereo”. And so he damn well does.

But maybe it’s just his sheer unassumingness (erm, is that a word? – ah well, it is now…) which means he’s been under the radar certainly more than his quiet gifts deserve. Shinazzi puts together songs of the sort of simplicity that takes a lot of work. Often they are little confessional conversations. From soft raw reminisces to something like The Drifter’s romantic daydreams which we’ve probably all had about that girl on the bus, but have been too embarrassed to tell anyone else. But then he adds the its the small details to take it that one step further: musing on why some other guys could make something of that spare seat next to her, before just walking away with a Springsteen tune blasting through his iPod – actually, it’s more likely to be an old-school cassette Walkman.

Other memories are of the something real he once had. On the cold night double-date stroll through Wyoming – with him quick to point out its ‘not Wyoming, USA’ but the somewhat more accessible one up near Gosford – it’s not just the girl he misses, but the comfort of the friendship as well. Sometimes he even thinks he might be ‘getting too old for this shit’, or drinking that bit too much for his own good. But the by the final track he’s Trying Not To Think About It, and maybe ready to get his heart broke again – at the least he’ll get some more feeling songs out of it. Failing that, Fred the cat will be there when he gets home.

Ross Clelland

It wasn’t that long ago that there were so many new talented female singer songwriters releasing albums that some who should have had attention and praise lavished on them didn’t, purely because there were just so many. Now it seems that it’s the time for male singer songwriters to try to make their mark. Sadly it appears that some of the best are going to fall by the wayside and not get the radio play or media attention they deserve just like some of their female counterparts.

With the likes of James Blunt attracting a lot of interest at the moment though maybe, just maybe, a singer songwriter of the calibre of Sam Shinazzi might get the attention he so rightly deserves with ‘Stories You Wouldn’t Believe’ which is his third release.

Sydney based Shinazzi’s last two albums; ‘Less Than Perfect Day’ from 2003 and 2001’s ‘Long Drive Home’ were released as by ‘the c-minus project’. But to most of us Shinazzi is probably best known for co-writing the bulk of Jenny Queen’s album ‘Girls Who Cry Need Cake’. This is recommendation enough; any one with a hand in composing classics, yes classics, like ‘Drowning Slowly’ or ‘Due South’, both on Queen’s
debut album, has nothing more to prove. If James Blunt can top the U.K. charts with ‘You’re Beautiful’ then,
if there is any justice in this world, Shinazzi’s ‘The Drifter’ which is not even the highlight on ‘Stories’
should be the next number one by a singer songwriter.

There has never been a better time than now for Shinazzi to make his mark. The twelve songs on ‘Stories’ are straightforward acoustic based story songs. These songs stand on their own. They need no clever studio embellishment for them to hit home. In a way these songs could have been made at any point over the last 35 years yet they still sound contemporary especially given today’s musical climate. As Shinazzi says in ‘Game Over’, “I’ve got a guitar and I’ve got some chords. I’ve got a million words and I’ve got a voice”… but what a voice, and what melodies the man composes.

But what makes Shinazzi better than those who are enjoying more success than him at the moment is that Shinazzi’s songs find their way into your heart from the very first time you hear them. From the opening song, ‘Breakdown’ where a world weary Shinazzi sings “this coffee tastes like cigarette, feels like I’m drinking nicotine, I think you know what I mean” over one of his lovely melodies you are drawn into Shinazzi’s world. It’s simple; he’s writing and singing about places we’ve all been to, about the relationships we’ve all had, about the bars we’ve all been in. He’s not just writing about his life, but yours and mine too.

Not content with opening the album with three of the best songs I’ve heard all year, with the fourth song, ‘Out Of The Question’, Shinazzi hits us with the perfect song. At just under two minutes ( and although I would have loved this song to go on longer, there’s a certain thrill that it ends too soon, it just makes you want more of the same) it’s another excellent Shinazzi melody with honest lyrics about a love lost and outstanding lead guitar from Robert Cranny. This song shows a rockier side to Shinazzi but those touching lyrics are never far away, “No more love songs, don’t send me letters….” before bowing out with the sound of a heart breaking; “please remember I always meant to brighten up your day, even though it wasn’t always that way”.

Then just when you think it can’t get any better it does. ‘My Friend And A Free Day’ follows and with it’s mandolin and keyboards it touches upon country rock, another slight diversion which other singer songwriters would not have taken. Again, and I make no apologises for quoting so many lyrics, Shinazzi touches us all with “so don’t you try and see her through my eyes, because you can’t and you won’t and
you never will.” How many times has this man had his heart broken?

Shinazzi is an exceptional songwriter and performer, I’ve had no reason to mention a host of other artists who he sounds like or might have taken inspiration from for the simple reason Shinazzi really does stand alone; in an overcrowded genre he really does shine out.

Four months before those ‘best of the year’ lists hit us and I’d be very surprised if Sam Shinazzi doesn’t figure in many of them. More please.

Malcolm Carter

credits

released September 1, 2005

Recorded by Adam Wes Gregorace
Produced by Adam Wes Gregorace and Sam Shinazzi
Mixed by Wayne Connelly

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about

Sam Shinazzi Sydney, Australia

Singer/songwriter from Sydney, AU, with five releases and also co-written with Jenny Queen. Supported Bonnie Prince Billy, Lou Barlow, Buffalo Tom, Mountain Goats, Evan Dando, Pernice Brothers, Jose Gonzalez, Josh Rouse, Crooked Fingers, Richmond Fontaine, Steve Poltz, Hayden, Holly Throsby, Josh Pyke, Peats Ridge Festival and the Great Escape Festival. Sam toured the USA in 2005, 2009 and 2012. ... more

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Track Name: Breakdown
Don’t you ever get the feeling you’re falling apart?
Don’t you ever get the feeling you don’t know where to start?
This coffee tastes like cigarette, feels like I’m drinking nicotine
I think you know what I mean

I broke down on a highway, I screamed out to my city
But she kept on walking by, like she’d never seen a guy breakdown.

My heart is beating so fast it’s going to jump right out of my chest
My heart is beating so fast I’m certain he needs a rest
I’m in the gutter of a street that I don’t know the name of
What was I thinking of?

I broke down on a highway, I screamed out to my city
But she kept on walking by, like she’d never seen a guy breakdown.

Little things in your mind build up with time
Little things in your mind build up.

Come on over Alice, put that smile back on my face
Come on over Alice, my home is your place
This coffee tastes like cigarette, feels like I’m drinking nicotine
I think you know what I mean

I broke down on a highway, I screamed out to my city
But she kept on walking by, like she’d never seen a guy breakdown.

Little things in your mind build up with time
Little things in your mind build up.
Track Name: Until Sunrise
I’m in a bar tonight
I want to drink it dry
No glass is too tall
Give me something old, for something that is blue

There’s a girl in the corner wearing the same shirt you wore the first night that we met
And it’s sad that she’s not you
You are the best
I’d love the to see you right now,
But you’re first asleep and I’m way too drunk to drive.

I get bored, I get high
I get shy, so I drink and I smoke
The words come easier you know

Take my mind and give it sunshine
And give it hope and joy and dreams that come true.

There’s a girl in the corner wearing the same shirt you wore the first night that we met,
And it’s sad that she’s not you
You are the best
I’d love to see you right now,
But you’re first asleep and I’m way too drunk to drive.

Have you heard about that guy who couldn’t sleep at night?
So he thought all about this girl who really spun his world
And he substituted sleep for a simple fantasy
And he held her through the night until sunrise.
Track Name: Out of the Question
She said “Forget everything, I know what you’re thinking Sam and it’s out of the question…
No more love songs, don’t send me letters…
I know what you’re thinking Sam and it’s out of the question.
I don’t blame you
I would never name you
Your secret is safe with me
But why can’t you see
That this scene is old
And now that I’ve told you…”

I guess I won’t be seeing you much anymore.

Please remember
I always meant to brighten up your day…
Even though it wasn’t always that way.
Track Name: My Friend and a Free Day
Every afternoon a delight
Looking back into your eyes
You look so beautiful
May you always shine in my mind.
A train leaves from the south
I look on from the staircase above
You look so beautiful
May you always shine like today.

So don’t you try and see her through my eyes
Because you can’t, you won’t, you never ever will.

Every evening a sweet, sweet night
I’m looking forward to the times
We drive through suburban streets
It’s you and this moment I need to keep.
Let’s stay up to meet the morning
Beneath the bridge in all it’s glory
You look so beautiful
May you always shine like tonight.

So don’t you try and see her through my eyes
Because you can’t, you won’t, you never ever will.

Every morning I’m close to empty
I wake without you and you wake without me
But I think of you all the time
May you always shine in my mind.
The morning air wakes me up
I walk to the station without my love
I visualize you amongst strangers all the time
May you all always shine in my mind.

So don’t you try and see her through my eyes
Because you can’t, you won’t, you never ever will.
Track Name: Scotty Come Home
Every time I hear Natalie Merchant or the 10,000 Maniacs I think of you.
And it takes me away to a place I need to be
But only you, only you have the key.

I close my eyes on lives that won’t stand still and it kills me…

Scotty come home
Hey Scotty come home
The little kids are growing every day now.

Everything’s changing and I really could do with a word or two.
An earthquake surrounds
I’m underground a road that goes and goes…

A special little song
Some words that linger and inspire
A reminder

Scotty come home
Hey Scotty come home
The little kids are growing every day now.
Track Name: The Drifter
I get onto a bus heading into town
I sit down on a seat next to this girl I’ve seen around
And I make eyes at her, she’s got pretty eyes
I make eyes at her but I’m not usually one of those guys.
And I’ve heard stories you wouldn’t believe
I’ve heard stories you wouldn’t believe.
Take this one guy…about my height…
He had what you might call the perfect life
Take this one guy…about my height…
He had what you might call the perfect life.

I step off the bus into the street but she doesn’t follow me
I’ve got some music on and it’s carrying me
Max Weinberg’s in my ear and I’m walking to the beat…

I look up at the buildings and they look back at me
You were here for a while now I drift around aimlessly
You were here for a while now I drift around aimlessly

The days are rolling by
It’s hard to keep up
The days are rolling by
It’s hard to keep up.

I get on the bus…it’s heading home south
The night is falling
It’s strange how strangers are ignoring strangers
And I’ve heard stories you wouldn’t believe
Take this one guy…about my height…
He had what you might call the perfect life
I used to be a pilot and I’d fly to wherever you’d be
Now I look out the window of a bus and I’m indifferent to what I see
You were here for a while now I drift around aimlessly
You were here for a while now I drift around aimlessly.

The days are rolling by
It’s hard to keep up
The days are rolling by
It’s hard to keep up.
Track Name: A Night For Remembrance
A night for remembrance falls through
We’ve come so far
Like a shooting star I fall every time.
When something is so special
Its stays that way forever.

Every time I open…you close

My mind is clever
It can hear you everyday
And leaving is not an option when you feel this way.

Every time I open…you close

I’m falling…can’t you see?
I’m waiting patiently
And sometimes I see…
I see you in a million dreams
I see you in brilliant scenes
You’re the star and you’re my dream
You’re the star and you’re my dream.
Track Name: Wyoming
We went walking
Through Wyoming
Not Wyoming USA
But the Central Coast…Australia.

Our girlfriends looked so pretty
I wondered what they were doing there
With me and you
With you and me.

Its wintertime therefore it’s freezing…
But I never felt more alive than that night
Me, Scotty, Janice and Alice
Went walking through Wyoming…

Not Wyoming USA but the Central Coast…Australia
Track Name: Game Over
I awoke to the sound of you leaving
That’s not true, I was awake I wasn’t sleeping.
There was a guy on your arm…you’re deceiving
You’re like a book I once read but it wasn’t worth keeping.

Take that chip off your shoulder
It doesn’t suit you and somebody ‘ought to tell you.

Take a life and cut it into pieces
Take a knife and cut open my stitches.
I don’t need a key ‘because I don’t need to be
With someone as soul destroying as you.

Take that chip off your shoulder
It doesn’t suit you and somebody ‘ought to tell you.

Go ahead and laugh it up with some guy
Laugh it up…I’m telling you enough.
I’ve got a guitar and I’ve got some chords
I’ve got a million words and I’ve got a voice
I’ve got a voice.I awoke to the sound of you leaving
That’s not true, I was awake I wasn’t sleeping.

There was a guy on your arm…you’re deceiving.
You’re like a book I once read but it wasn’t worth keeping.

Take that chip off your shoulder
It doesn’t suit you and somebody ‘ought to tell you.

I declare game over.
Track Name: Getting Too Old
I’m getting too old for this shit
I’m getting too old for this shit
I won’t beg anyone for anything
I won’t suck no dick
So go ahead and try to come on your own
Because we’re all alone.

It’s you and me and the guy down the street
The girl with gum stuck to her feet
A lady with a knife
A man who has no life
But oh how they tried
They tried their whole life.

So I went solo and I am fine
Nobody hurts me and nobody lets me down.
I know it’s hard sometimes being on your own
But don’t let anybody let you down.
I’m getting too old for this shit
I’m getting too old for this shit.
Track Name: Trying Not To Think About It
I’m trying not to think about it
But every single second has a life of its own
And I don’t know how I ended up this way
And I don’t know why I turn to you each and every day

If it’s something you don’t want
If it’s something you can’t feel
I’m trying not to think about it

And time won’t stand still no matter how much you want it to
It doesn’t stop me falling through the cracks
It marches on regardless and it won’t let me turn back

If it’s something you can’t see
If it’s something you can’t feel
Why worry babe?
Why worry like you do?
I’m trying not to think about it

Moments come and go but I hold onto them you know
It doesn’t stop me falling through the cracks
Time marches on regardless and it won’t let me turn back
If it’ something you don’t want
If it’s something you can’t need

Take the time…accelerate…get a move on…it’s ok
Take the time…accelerate…get a move on…it’s ok
Take the time…accelerate…get a move on…it’s ok
Take the time…accelerate…get a move on…you’re ok…you’re ok…you’re ok.