Survival of the Cutest

by Zru Vogue

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about

In recording Survival of the Cutest, Zru Vogue (Rick Cuevas and Andrew Jackson) took each song down to its bare essentials, and built it from the ground up, constructing and composing rhythm tracks first, then carefully layering bass, keyboards, guitars, and other instruments. As soon as they had enough elements in place, they stopped, and if it seemed they'd gone too far, they removed any elements that seemed to be cluttering the song. This approach resulted in some creative arrangements that they would not have come up with any other way, and helps to give the album a cohesive style while continuing their avant-garde Zruist underpinnings.

"Some of the original playful Zruishness has been recaptured in Survival of the Cutest, and fans will be happy to hear the trademark 'ethnothrob' sound once again in the rhythms of these tracks."
-R.C. Barajas

credits

released April 15, 2005

All songs performed, arranged, and produced by Andrew L. Jackson & Rick Cuevas. Engineered and recorded by Rick Cuevas (assisted by Andrew L. Jackson) at Zrubutus Studio, Palo Alto, CA, USA. All songs lyrics & music by Andrew L. Jackson, except “Intro,” “Interlude,” & “No One Knows” words by Andrew L. Jackson, music by Andrew L. Jackson & Rick Cuevas. Cover illustration by Mari-chan, Tokyo. Cover design by Andrew L. Jackson.

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Zru Vogue San Francisco, California

Avant-Pop, Art-Funk, Surrealist Indie Rock from the San Francisco Bay Area. Zru Vogue's first single "Nakweda Dream" (1981) is an early post-punk classic. Band members Andrew Lawrence Jackson, Rick Cuevas, and Patrick Coyne continue to create inspired new music for postmoderns. ... more

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Track Name: Intro/Pretty Fairies on the Daisies
Intro:

Scientists have uncovered conclusive evidence that the origin of the universe was a "happy accident." Natural Selection. Improvisation. The survival of the cutest!

Lyrics:

Whatever happened to that princess?
The little girl who witnessed…

Pretty fairies on the daisies
Pretty fairies on the daisies
Pretty fairies on the daisies
I seen her grow older, I seen her grow colder

Bring her back, bring back that sweetness
Don’t be afraid to show your weakness

Got your defenses up
I want you to drop them for me
Got your defenses up
I want you to drop them for me

Whatever happened to the little girl who played
Imagined games that lasted days?
I seen her grow older, I seen her grow colder
I seen her grow older, give me the cold shoulder

Used to smile and say “hi”
Now she just pass me by
Afraid to be real with me

Bring her back, bring back that sweetness
Don’t be afraid to show your weakness

Got your defenses up, I want you to drop them for me

Pretty fairies on the daisies
--
Lyrics ©2005 Andrew Lawrence Jackson
Track Name: What It Means to Be
Lyrics:


How did I get here?
I know I don’t belong here
I don’t even know what it means to be

I appreciate the concept
It’s easy to believe in things
But look around and nothing seems to be… to be…

Real. What is real?
What you feel, what you see, what you hear?
What does it mean… to be?

So much has happened
And so much hasn’t happened
And so much never happened
And so much never happens

But I still feel inside
Like I’m on a great thrill ride
I look around and I wonder
Will I be brilliant in your eyes
Or will I blunder?
And when I look around, I’m in wonder…

How did I get here?
Do I belong here?
And I ask myself what it means
How did I get here?
Do I belong here?
And I ask myself what it means…
To be.

Do I belong here?
And I ask myself what it means
How did I get here?
Do I belong here?
And I ask myself what it means…
To be.
--
Lyrics ©2004 Andrew L. Jackson
Track Name: If Blood Was Wine
Lyrics:

If I were brilliant
If I were profound
I'd pull it together
And write it all down

If I could see you
Through innocent eyes
I'd drop all the pretense
And cut through the lies

If it were easy
If life weren't so hard
We'd just sit and look
At the clouds in your yard

If I could meet you
And if you were me
You'd fall in love almost
Immediately

And if time were frozen
And love reigned supreme
You'd still be the girl
That I kiss in my dream

And if food were flesh
And if blood was wine
I'd eat and I'd drink of you
All of the time

If I were funky
And if I was chic
I'd take you back home
And kiss you when you're weak

And if I could be you
And if you were me
You'd fall in love almost
Immediately

And if time were frozen
And love reigned supreme
You'd still be the girl
That I kiss in my dream

And if food were flesh
And if blood was wine
I'd eat and I'd drink of you
All of the time

If blood was wine
--
Lyrics ©2000 Andrew L. Jackson
Track Name: Act Like Nothing's Wrong
Lyrics:

When they treat you like you don’t exist
Act like nothing’s wrong
When they try to draw you into their shit
Act like nothing’s wrong

When you feel like you can’t fake it for another minute
Act like nothing’s wrong
When you feel like you can’t suffer through another second
Act like nothing’s wrong

When the world keeps turning even when it shouldn’t
Act like nothing’s wrong
When you’re doing it again even though you said you wouldn’t
Act like nothing’s wrong

When you thought you were immune but it turns out you’re the one
Act like nothing’s wrong
When you want to make a killing but your phaser’s set to “stun”
Act like nothing’s wrong

Do your little dance, sing your little song
And act like nothing’s wrong
Pretend that you are weak, pretend that you are strong
And act like nothing’s wrong
--
Lyrics ©1994 Andrew L. Jackson
Track Name: Dig Deeper
Interlude:

Don't stop now. Pile on some more! This fire has only just begun to burn!

Lyrics:

Why don’t I dig deeper
And what is it I’m trying to see?
This life is full of strange occurrences
Twists and turns of fate no one decrees
And if I ever said I did
Now I don’t agree

I never understood then
Exactly what’s expected of me
Is it really possible
To be the man I always dreamed I’d be
Or have I already passed that test
Now I can just be me

Anyway, who’s to say
That what I wanted then
Still pertains today
My guess is that it doesn’t
Anyway

Life and love are everything
We measure out our steps along the way
Time stops
But I will never give my dreams away
I need them more than ever now
I think I’ll be okay

Don’t question everything
Leave some things alone and let 'em stay
You don’t always have to fix something
That is and likely'll always be that way
There’s a little simple wisdom
Or something I just happened to say

Anyway, who’s to say
That what I wanted then
Still pertains today
My guess is that it doesn’t
Anyway

Dream life
How can you just dream your life away
And is
There something wrong with wanting nothing more
Than what you have today

Anyway, who’s to say
That what I wanted then
Still pertains today
My guess is that it doesn’t
Anyway
--
Lyrics ©2002 Andrew L. Jackson
Track Name: Iron Man
Lyrics:

Iron Man
Wears ironed pants
He does all his own ironing
Since his divorce

Iron Man wears ironed pants
He operates the register at Tasty Dan’s

Tasty Dan is The Chicken Man
He says it without irony, and no remorse

He’s got a leg up on the competition
A leg up on the competition
A leg up, a leg up, a leg up, a leg up
A leg up, a leg up, a leg up, a leg up

A leg and thigh and breast as it were
As Iron mans the register

Iron Man is down on his luck
He needs a change but don’t know how
He’s feeling stuck
Iron Man is down on his luck
He feels like a stripped sedan
To Tasty Dan’s fully-loaded truck

He’s got a leg up on the competition
A leg up on the competition
A leg up, a leg up, a leg up, a leg up
A leg up, a leg up, a leg up, a leg up

A leg and thigh and breast as it were
As Iron mans the register

Iron Man wears ironed pants
He does all his own ironing since his divorce
Iron Man wears ironed pants
He does all his own ironing since his divorce

Iron Man…
--
Lyrics ©2005 Andrew L. Jackson
Track Name: No One Knows
Lyrics:

Tear away the hands of time
Peel back the skin of fate
Break free of the ties that bind
Run for it, it’s not too late

She hears the voices in her head
She feels the music in her bones
Her body feels the heat of passion
She shuts it down, so no one knows…

Shuts it down so no one knows…
--
Lyrics ©2005 Andrew L. Jackson
Track Name: Nuthin Means Nuthin
Lyrics:

There ain’t no tellin’, sho’nuff I ain’t tellin’
Don’t make no sense at all
It all ain’t nuthin’, sho’nuff it ain’t nuthin’
It don’t mean nuthin’ at all.

Folks’ll disagree, they’ll tell you sumpin’ else
They’ll go and talk your ear off, folks’ll up’n laugh
They’ll say you’re out’yer mind
They’ll up’n laugh, but that’s all right

‘Cause it don’t mean nuthin’
When there’s nuthin’ more to say
Nuthin’ in the whole roun’ worl’
Nuthin’ means nuthin’, ain’t dat sayin’ sumpin’
Don’t dat make yo’ hair curl?

There ain’t no tellin’, sho’nuff I ain’t tellin’
Don’t make no sense at all
It all ain’t nuthin’, sho’nuff it ain’t nuthin’
It don’t mean nuthin’ at all

It all ain’t nuthin’, sho’nuff it ain’t nuthin’
It don’t mean nuthin’ at all

It all ain’t nuthin’, sho’nuff it ain’t nuthin’
It don’t mean nuthin’ at all
--
Lyrics ©2004 Andrew L. Jackson
Track Name: Japanese Schoolgirl Mapping Device
Lyrics:

It’s easy to find your piece of mind
It’s easy to find what you left behind
It’s all about positioning and global stance
It’s all about fine etiquette and designer pants

When you’re feeling lost
When time has passed you by
Remember that it’s easy if you try…

This Japanese Schoolgirl Mapping Device

So open up your book bag
And grab your sparkly gel pen
And your Tare-Panda notebook
Right there beside your cell phone

I want you please to write this down
‘Cause every boy in every town
Needs a Japanese Schoolgirl Mapping Device
A Japanese Schoolgirl Mapping Device

Japanese Schoolgirl Mapping Device (Mapping Device)
--
Lyrics ©2004 Andrew L. Jackson
Track Name: Imperfect
Lyrics:

We’re imperfect and it shows
That’s the way the universe grows
To accommodate beings like you and me
Happily being whoever we are

We’re imperfect that’s okay
I think I like us more this way
With expectations at an all-time low
We don’t need to try too hard

To get where we’re going
To get where we’re going
All this disinterest keeps us going
Anticipation for what’s growing
Unfinished business we keep throwing
Away, away
Pick up the pieces ‘cause we’re going
Away, away
Sort through the garbage looking for jewels
All day

Imperfect and we like it that way

We’re imperfect and it shows
(leaving behind reason and rhyme)
That’s the way the universe grows
(we hypnotize, we compromise)
To accommodate beings like you and me
Happily being whoever we are

We’re imperfect that’s okay
(wearing clichés, turning a phrase)
I think I like us more this way
(leaving behind this point in time)
With expectations at an all-time low
We don’t need to try too hard

To get where we’re going
To get where we’re going
All this disinterest keeps us going
Anticipation for what’s growing
Unfinished business we keep throwing
Away, away
Pick up the pieces ‘cause we’re going
Away, away
Sort through the garbage looking for jewels
All day

Imperfect and we like it that way
--
Lyrics ©2004 Andrew L. Jackson
Track Name: Falling Into Quicksand
Lyrics:

So long my friends
It’s time for me to go
I’m sorry I can’t stick around to play another show

I don’t know how to tell you this
I’m driven to distraction
And fading in the mist

And it feels just like falling into quicksand
So shouldn’t someone break a branch from a tree?
And shouldn’t someone hold it out with both their hands?
And shouldn’t someone try to rescue me?

The darkness always comes
It happens every day
So why should it be strange to feel the edges start to fray

It’s nothing new
It always comes to this
Driven to distraction
And fading into mist

And it feels just like falling down a rabbit hole
Where everything is curious and queer
And nonsense is the only sense you understand
And everyone regards you like you’re weird

And it feels just like falling into quicksand
And it feels just like fading into gray
And it feels just like melting into water
You rise out of yourself and float away

Don’t worry, it’s just a passing phase
Eventually, it’s sure to go away
I’m serious. It’s just a passing phase
Eventually, it’s sure to go away…

But it feels just like falling into quicksand.
So shouldn’t someone break a branch from a tree?
And shouldn’t someone hold it out with both their hands?
And shouldn’t someone try to rescue me?
--
Lyrics ©2004 Andrew L. Jackson