by Cannonball Statman

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"How To Blister The Air"

At the corner of Velvet Undrground Street and Captain Beefheart Avenue there is Cannonball Statman, standing tall, his hair looking like fire, his music chopping holes in our collective reality through which his words sail through to take us on unmappable journeys through the place where we live and only partially know. Cannonball's recent life experiences have caused a maturity to color and deepen his already amazing observations. The production on "Shriekofafreak!" presents a new setting for his musings, a spectral, ghosty environment, infinitely suited to the material, a counterpoint to the relentless velocity of the performance. Cannonball produced it himself. See him if you can, enjoy this record as a document of an immense talent laboring in our midst. We're lucky to have him among us.

(Stu "Chicken Leg" Richards)


This albomb was conjured out of the void of a desert, with its buttes and cactus husks and bleached bones and target-practice cans on the eve of a cold night, and ends on one, a la the alpha and omega of NYC foodstuffs and dogstuffs. Quite a witch's brew (just add mud and mix).

Oh parasite, how could I live without you! At once a much more acoustically-driven parasite and more cinematic Anthootenanny, further symptom of Antifolkography, in other words, Pop. Some good noise here!

The real name of the man from the government was Stu...Stu Richards. And Bigfoot is taking over: Bigfoot and Admiral Nelson and Cannonball on St. Mark's at the Bard's Brunch. "The asteroid followed by the meteor was trolling for Intelligent Humans... Remember? On to the next Dominant Earth Beings!" Come on baby, light my Feuer.

Sitting in Bryant Park staring at businessmen and insomniacs waiting for Ronnie. Or a crow. Playing at 1a.m. in McCarren Park with CXB and Lennon and McCartney's violin bows. The holes in the sky are marbles, at least the sky has not lost its marbles!

Rewiring the world with post-Neil Young poetry, this record also chronicles the Year of the Sewer Rat. It started with one dead rat on the stoop and now they're making a nest out of a book they tore up that came in the mail. A chicken-scratch dance with the rats in Phoebe Blue's dollhouse. The fur is a-flyin'! And the apple M&Ms are everywhere. It's Shriekofafreak Week, baby!

(Bernard King)


I don't know if Jesse "Cannonball Statman" knows what he is angry at, yet. He covers many areas (even in say, 15 seconds). His 2015 LP "Shriekafreak", like his other releases, has unimaginable and must-see stories. It's like watching a great sci-fi, social commentary action series with characters and plots that pop back up and remind you of everything that's going on and how it makes sense. The lyrics are truly surreal, but completely unpredictable, and dare we say genius. Cannonball Statman is not a clever stoner weaving some "wild, trippy tales." He's more like a Salvador Dali who decided to make a Clockwork Orange social statement, while containing incredible beauty without the listener ever being able to guess what's coming next. Edge of your seat, pin drop listening. We are not used to that.

In this world (and especially in another world called New York City), many of us, almost all of us, love music or art that may be abstract or surreal. It flows somehow for us, and we get comfortable with it. We still usually know what we are getting, even with the most abstract, beautiful, or demented popular art, and we like to claim the strangeness as "MY ARTIST" (my discovered secret). Cannonball Statman is not 'your artist'. UNLESS you enjoy and can deal with the real unknown: truly not knowing what comes every second, on a musical, story, and human experiential and emotional level. And if somehow you are able to take it all in and experience the cracked pieces of beauty that eventually make a whole. Including an occasional opinion that quietly offends you, while listening to this - your new, "cool" artist. Here is a litmus test - how do you respond, especially as a New Yorker, to this anthemic lyric from the first song, "Gaslit"?

"I avoid the park,
and the people who go there!"

This album is Cannonball Statman's signature aggressive super-speed-riff (death?) acoustic guitar with a noted new addition of well-placed moody, soft drone atmospherics, that feel like the blue-green light of an alien ship that landed deep in the woods (in your brain? Deep in your hypothalamus forest?). And of course, then there is Cannonball. His ideas, lyrics, statements and stories over fast fast fast guitar chords, commentary about individuals, NYC "people", relationships, metaphorical aliens, poignant pools of human feelings, and the seemingly invisible constructs in society that may or may not control us all: Social 'Success' and deception, 'adult' expectations, the socially powerful medical/societal establishment. And - all these constructs' secret, evil agents-in-disguise who watch us, and make every sneaky, evil, soul-killing attempt to keep us in line - normal. In "That Dissonant Sriek":

"Did I tell ya? We found an alien outside of Niagara
on the way to Odessa. She stood outside smoking an E-cigarette, drilling silence and words into the tip of my head."

It's Dylan through Philip K. Dick. And Cannonball offers us an incredible escape to a real life, if we are simply brave enough to say "yes."

(Brian Kelly)


"4th of July, NYC (Apollo)"

At least there's free live music here,
and garbage smells like roses here,
and roses smell like hipster beer;
I lost my sense of smell right here.

At least I smell like music here,
and can't hear myself think;
maybe it stinks here, but
maybe Caroline and Bernard live with the ghost of Jim Morrison here.

At least I was born here.

I even grew up here!
My eyes blew up in
green neon firework maniac
magic on Bushwick
Avenue frying Saturn sunset pan Inwood
Plutonian year;
even my sense of smell grew back here!

I love you, and you're strange,
but what's that hornet doing in your ear?
Maybe you can't even hear?

my brain was stung by a baker's dozen thousand yellow jackets on fire
(again), so I see blue jays flying in the mirror
when I fall face
first into the parking meter
in the rain, like sleet beat robins and my
metronome (the Earth's core)
into the floor. You'll still be
in the rain (again)

"it sounds too much like System of a Down"
when I wait on the ground floor,
"followed by a two week USA/Canadian tour"
of the parking lot of
"symphonic barking rock",
"...and pioneers of surrealist acoustic speed metal, and..."
all the music you listen to, and
"it stinks!"
"It winks, but doesn't blink!"
"Is it supposed to be pink?"
"Four paws up!"
(Sparrows, pigeons! Chocolate lab. Robin!)
"You'll love this album!"
(Black lab yellow lab, Labradoodle BABCHAB?)

So, "Shriekofafreak!"
just came out this week,
unless it was leaked

to quicksand didjeridoo landscapes,
crying out insane warped uncanny ramblings
for a hailstorm born of firework air.

(Cannonball Statman)


"You can't fuck with this kid. He puts modern "punk" acts to shame. Very aggressive folk music. This is like acoustic Dead Kennedys. He sounds like he is about to snap and he barks like a dog. I think there is something wrong with him…in the best way possible." ( // Chris Urban)


released July 5, 2015

All songs written, performed, and produced by Cannonball Statman in Brooklyn, NY. December 27, 2014.
Cover photograph by Mark Statman in Arizona, USA.
Album cover designed by Cannonball Statman.



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Track Name: Gaslit
In Koreatown, the Godfather stands. Disappears, dancing, magic money he is waving.
"I avoid the park and the people who go there."
Godfather hails a fast taxi cab.

The eternal voodoo trash artist stands above his roots, and underneath a psychedelic fog. And I am singing along.
"I avoid the park and the people who go there."

Now, I stand in front of a paralyzed-eyes redheaded wheelchair figurine, staring at the tragedy.
Tragedy stares back at me, in Koreatown.

Where my suicide attempts were inspired, and I was taken by the lab rats.
'Cause every breath is a symptom of an undiagnosable disease.
Give your life for a diagnosis.

She found me on the New York scene, after she gave her life to a computer screen.
When I was nineteen, it was a strange year.
Gaslit me! Alienated everybody! I helped her find free groceries!
Could've been the next post-Velvet disco queen tragedy, or an herbal tea, or maybe, just crazy.
Just like me! Just like me!

Like the billboards in the sky!
Look at the billboards in the sky!
Watch them screamin' out every thought you're thinkin' about.
"I will sacrifice myself for a greater cause."

In Koreatown, the Godfather waits for ink to exude from his face.
Where my suicide was well-documented, and I simmered with the lab rats.
'Cause every virtue is a symptom of a temporary terminal disease.
Give your life for a diagnosis, in Koreatown.
Track Name: Wormwood Toxicity
On the Q train, sees his reflection in a stranger's eyes, seared by the sun.
He goes back into the ocean again. This time, the blade is in the palm of his hands.
Looking for a wounded traveler, or just anything he can murder.
Remember when he was a boy on land, before he became that genetically modified man?

The dirt goes in, and the mud comes out.
And we live, until we die.
Sometimes I move, and I don't know why.
And I'm drowning, in front of your eyes.
If you give yourself, do it.
Then you won't be worth a shit.
And don't you run away from it.
You will die in a cold nacht, with that parasite.

In New York City, it never rains. But the sky opens up, and leaks liquid stains evaporated from an alien fire in the sky.
And if you wanna live, you'll probably die.
But there's more to this story, like there's more to the ocean.
Like, don't even ask me to explain where I come from.
I'm gonna take off my shoes. Tear out all my teeth.
Throw 'em back into the witch's brew.
The mud comes out!

Merman and marmaid at the Chinatown arcade, with "don't touch that dial" smiles, and hard lemonade.
Convincing the oysters they mean the world, to unstoppable stomachs that can't stop raving.
The world is your oyster, but so am I.
And I just wanna open your eyes.
I just wanna make you lose your mind.
I just wanna live. I'll probably die.
Track Name: Stranger Dreams
The man from the government knows more about you than you do, in your dreams.
In your dreams, there's a man they call The Masked Disturbance, from the uncharted corridors of known existence.
The lady sits at the table, and everybody stares at her.
They think she's kinda crazy.
Yesterday, you rode the train with The Man in the Vampire Suit.
You thought he was real, and maybe he was.
It's a strange world.
And when gold becomes a useless cover, I trust, you'll know where to go from here.

I've had stranger dreams, between you and me.

A man came by from the government, and he wants to know your name.
He's checked into the motel in the center of town, drinking black coffee, to fuel his alien brain.
And his sights are set on you.
It's a strange world.
And your friends just wanna laugh about all those strange daydreams, about all the things they've never done before.
You know, they'll never have the guts.
You'd better run away.

Your friends just wanna play around with strange girls, and leave them for dead, when they find out there's something wrong with their heads.
It's a strange world.
Track Name: Talk to the Black Squirrel
Lightning strikes this neighborhood on the West side of Brooklyn, in the small hour between night and day.
Dawn fades in through brownstones, streets crowd with people, and the Interdimensional Diplomat comes in, through sky.

No, I can't forget people. They're my friends. Extended family.
They're not devilish toxins or dangerous adversaries, despite what electricity would have us believe.

Just look up the street. Stench of homicide bites your left nostril, so turn right.
You'll never have to turn left again.

Tomorrow, the Queen of Long Meadow stands at your door.
Turn inward, face your pillow. Sleep in!
On my way up the road, a woman pulled up in a car, and asked me if I needed a ride. I said "no thanks."
Come with me if you want to live.

Look up the street, at the Black Squirrel.
You'll talk to the Squirrel, I'll keep on walking.
I'll hunt for fortune cookies in the sewer.
Yeah, in the sewer!

On the West side of Brooklyn, in the magic hour oozing night from dying day.
When evening wind strikes brownstones, streets blast maniac tongues of rock and roll, and the Interdimensional Diplomat comes in, through sky.
Track Name: The Suicidal Superhero
Said he was dying. Said he was dead.
And everything living was already dead, and he couldn't do anything anymore.

Recently, he was stuck inside of who-knows-where.
He met the strange people, who he'll never meet again.
But no one would dare open up his eyes.

Said he was living. He was alive.
And everything living was standing right here, but nothing was the same.

Saw someone I knew, the other day, hadn't seen him in awhile.
He wore a new cover, that I saw but couldn't see.
And I had to walk on by, my chest went numb.

Some win. Hey, most of us lose.
And everyone dies, and you can't escape, but that's how you live.

Saw someone I knew, but couldn't talk for long.
She was wondering if I remembered her, or if I was real at all.
Told her, "That depends on how much you are willing to believe."

"I saw your fisherman, and he looked like me.
And the suicidal superhero came into the back.
And the Interdimensional Diplomat appeared in the sky.
And I saw the pain that it took."
Track Name: The Alien
The zeppelin of World War 3 just bought another pint of gasoline.
Sits in the background, watches the foreground.
Every day, he is a brand new poem.
He can't be read, 'cause he's always reading.
Some people are talking.
They don't even know him.
He won't sell his soul 'till the day that he dies.
Some people are talking.
Talk like they own him.

You're gonna be all right.
You are going on a mission for the human race.
You chose to spend your last night on Earth with the people you cared about, and I'll never forget it.
I swear, that night, you had that wild, but firm, profoundly intense look in your eyes, like you were ready to lift off into the stratosphere, at any moment.
You knew that land was just a prison.
A prison with no guard, but gravity.
Through a twist of fate, found a way out.
Drill holes in the sky!

The wicked witch on East 4th Street has lost the entirety of her mind.
She burns her clothes in a butterfly pose, and feels the weight of every living thing that stumbles down the ground within a three mile radius of her haunted house.
The house is a mess, but there's room for a guest, if Edwin Hyde "just happened" to drop dead.

The other night, you had some crazy dream, and it all went up. Up-up!

Now everything I've ever done, and everyone I've ever loved,
and every song I ever wrote, and every fortune I didn't tell,
and every zeppelin I didn't sell, and every lie I didn't catch,
and every UFO I didn't lay looks bitter, and dull, and devoid of all flavor.
But you can fly.

To the mermaid parade, or the merman brawl, or bashing my head into the wall.
Or the mystery air at the start of Fall. There's something burning inside us all.
Band names in a bathroom stall will always be prisoners to space and time.
You can fly.
Up! Up, up! Up! Up, up! Up! Up.
Track Name: Flushing
The grass is always greener on my side.
But oo, has there ever been a tree like you?
Green, like you, a plastic tree, standing in the lung of a big bloodbath.
I can read the news faster than you, you wanna know where our little friend went?
Struck by Siberian avalanche. Paralyzed, left to die. It's a sad day.
It's one of these days when you don't wanna go outside. You don't even wanna see the rocket ship take off, or the park.
Or the people who go there. Or the fashion show, in the park.
A few minutes pass. I hear a brave raging lunatic, ringing words of wisdom into the ears of a balding sociopath.
And I smile. And it comes to mind, that in a few years, we will all get together and laugh at this chicken-scratch.

Down in December, love grows on trees.
And in the sewer, joy and shattered leaves.
Tornado in Brooklyn, money in Manhattan.
Helicopter to Jersey, stop flirting with me.
Dance to the rats. Dance to the rats.
Sleep with the roaches. Dance to the rats.
Up, upon November, there's a brand new sewer rat.
Sleeping with the sleeping. Flushing in Flushing.

Magic, like a sunset in a parking lot.
A big, bad rocket ship takes off.
From Brooklyn, New York, to Flushing, Queens, where a deadly visionary was hatched.
About Nico, I can read the news.
You wanna know what she's up to?
Extending the upper limit of her vocalization range, for Lou, and Jim, and Jimi, and Satan.
Today, I got tired of you screaming at me, and eternally stroking your ego, so I'll go
off to play a Bushwick Antifolk show for the bartender, walls, and weirdos.
Run down Avenue A, take the J train, and I realize I was right, all along.
I'm Cannonball Statman, on the J train, and you just wanna be a character in one of my songs.

My favorite thing in the world to do is chase the muse.
I chase it every day.
Stop electricity, cars, firetrucks, congress, barfights, dust mites, and red birds in my pursuit of it.
I'm losing my mind in the best possible way, 'cause I know I ain't never gonna catch it.
Track Name: That Dissonant Shriek
This weird world is rewiring me, to speak and think like a human man, to walk the streets like a citizen, and talk about the weather, whenever I can.
Did I tell ya? We found an alien outside of Niagara, on the way to Odessa. She stood outside, smoking an e-cigarette, drilling silence and words into the tip of my head.
"Don't go anywhere! Stay scared! You can't breathe! Man, you don't even want to! Think about it!"

I felt a sensation of billions of blood cells, magic spells, spirit, and vibrations of lust, from some four dozen post-death meatball heroes.
It was sinister and strange, drove me to the edge, from a metal to a magnet, and then a black hole.
And here comes some asshole, in the mouth of the room, with the head of a lion, and the heart of a mosquito, mourning the severing of his gut, with a burp of bourbon, and a tragic scream.
"Don't go anywhere! Stay scared! I can't breathe! Man, I don't even want to! What about you?"

Sometimes, I must admit, I hear a voice, calling me from afar.
I can't comprehend the words, but the message is clear, and it penetrates me like a chainsaw.
I know what it means, man, I know what to do. Yet, I cower, in the temporary warmth of the pack.
When will I start running? When will I run from the pack to that dissonant shriek of a freak, who howls alone in Riverside Park?
And upon my arrival, in that wild, uncharted volume, whatever will I do?
Will I erase these questions from my mind?

You can't break the ground in manic town, but you can smell the suicide.
I had somewhere to go, so I went to the TPM show.
There's absolutely "Nothing that Stitches Can't Sew."

Oh, whoa-oh-oh. Dropped all my shit in a puddle of spit, in Tompkins Square.
Took it back, bolted off like a poison cat, straight into the arms of the electric chair.
Born in the shadow of Moloch, it was written on my forehead.
Taken by the hand of the quicksand. Fell in, and never got out.
Snakes and spiders in my legs, they're not going away.
I hear sirens and screams from the rooftop, and I feel better.

Tonight, I'm gonna die in front of your eyes. I've got nothing better to do.
The train station's closed, and the landlord doesn't know, and I love you.

At night in Skyscraper, New York, a bullet rings through the air.
Through landscapes of dirt, and panoramas of lazy eyes.
There is something else behind these walls and doors, which lead to breakfast at night, in Skyscraper, New York.

A party emerges in Skyscraper, New York. The lonely club singer becomes physically demented.
But the man behind the wall was dying in a room of saturated blues and cigarette smoke, illuminated by black and white camera flashes from photgraphers in tuxedoes.
At night, in Skyscraper, New York.

A hospital in Skyscraper, New York is fluorescent greens and whitened walls.
A man in a gown loses all character inside of him, at the sight of a syringe, but manages to remain calm, in front of doctors, campaigning for the next parade of infants to march in their doors.
At night, in Skyscraper, New York.

He died on the street last night, in Skyscraper, New York, fueled by the messages on the billboards, starring signs of the apocalypse,
and silver screen dreams of a last chance at the road to fame, through the back entrance at the theater, where the rocket ship went off.
And the ashes of Hi8 video tapes of the crash sent everyone back to bed.
A memorable moment, in the days of looking out the window into a golden sky.
He was no more, his soul sinking into the stained cement.
The raindrops in the mud. The friends with mouths wide open.
The bluest sky from the oceans of his entire life.
At nacht, in Skyscraper, New York.