The Living Room

by Sean Kua

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about

All songs written and recorded in my living room or bedroom, except 'I Know You're Here', written in Dana's bathroom, recorded in my bedroom; 'Seven Stitched Smiles' written between breaks at work and a subway ride home, recorded in my bedroom.

All album art by Sean Kua
Album art: Antique piano in a Friendship House in Havana, Cuba

First and foremost, thanks to my mom for putting up with my banging on the piano at all hours of the day and for paying for my piano lessons. Thanks to Constantin Tatu for being a patient and amazing piano teacher. Thanks to the Royal Conservatory of Music who taught me that you can have a music education without the pretentiousness (kidding!). Thanks to Denise Daniels for being such a brilliant vocal coach. My dad for helping pay for my voice lessons. I'd like to thank my city and its people for the inspiration for these songs. Thank-you to Wexford School for the Arts for helping me hone my talents, thank-you to my mentors at Kapisanan for giving me more insight on how to survive as an artist. Thank-you to feminism, rad queers (of colour) around the world; many thanks to my amazing and talented friends who believed in me all the way, thank you to my haters, and thank-you to my awesome fam jam, chosen and biological.

credits

released 07 August 2014

Sean Kua: Vocals, back-up vocals, piano, musical saw, ukulele, lyrics, music
Recorded in my bedroom/bathroom in Toronto, Canada.
Recorded, produced, engineered, and mixed by: Sean Kua

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about

Sean Kua Toronto, Ontario

I like to listen to music and make music, hey, what a coinkydink!

I'm inspired by many artists both living and dead, and by non-artists also living and dead. I like to write songs about people I encounter, or things that I like, sometimes things that I hate, or how I feel. I really hope you enjoy what you hear and you help feed me! ... more

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Track Name: OWNWO
New World Order is in effect. Get your number before They find out.
My big brother says he'll put me if I tell our mother his secrets
So he fattens me up with infomercials and empty v.

Just pretend you're brainwashed
Just pretend you care for the government.

Bring Them down They don't speak for us.
Listen, we're like lambs, bleat until you're met with a blade.
Bleat until They silence you.

We're all born into slavery.
From the cradle to the grave we're indoctrinated to Want and Need.

They feed us false everything, hoping we believe in what They say.
And if we stray They'll keep our tongues and whitewash our memories.

Resist
Resist
Resist
Resist
Stand up and resist.
They don't speak for us.

Listen to the air. Keep a sharp eye. Know your number. Know your voice.

Don't be afraid.
Remember Their names.

© Sean Kua 2012
Track Name: 1984
There once was a man who lived in a shoe.
He had a wife and she was dying.
He had a daughter, she was dying, too.
I saw him at the bank one golden afternoon.
He pulled out a gun.
He robbed the whole place with our faces pressed against the cold marble.

Amerika

He couldn't pay for the hospital bills or for the medicinal marijuana.
His wife and daughter died the second he stepped out of the bank.
Though he hurried on home hoping he'd get there in time to pay the last bill... to spend the last few moments.
But the ambulance was there before he had a chance to turn the knob.

Amerika

His face is on the news.
His faith is on the loose.
He's got six hours before they catch him.
So he smoked and he smoked and he smoked and he smoked and he smoked and he smoked and he smoked and he smoked and he smoked and he smoked.
He cursed the damn hospital.
He cursed his damn job.
He cursed his damn life.
And he cursed the God above.
And he smoked himself to death.

© Sean Kua 2008
Track Name: Libra
Why can't it be like the movies?
I wanna meet him on a bridge in the rain.
I don't wanna have to go through the trouble of getting to know him.

Call me what you want.

I just want a have a hand to hold without having to work up the courage to ask.
I want nothing more than unconventional beauty.
A vast intellect.
A scruffy beard.
Down to earth.
Impeccable style.
Sexually empowered.
A sleeve, or two.

That's my man right there.

We would go out. People would stop to stare.
Cars would crash cuz we'd be so beautiful.
We would just laugh.

Take that Harper & Ford!
Take that Westboro!
Take that Hollywood!

© Sean Kua 2010
Track Name: Uncivilized and Colonized
-First Movement-
Chairs, and tables, and spoons laid out neatly.
Grab your needles and your lighters and talk talk talk to god between my knees.
Hate your skin, so take a stone and scrub that off, scrub that off until you become lighter
Like the rest, like the rest of us, like the rest, like the rest of us.
And if you speak up, don't be shocked if you're shunned for dropping truth bombs
All over white graves and our oppressors, get it straight, get it straight, you're in America now.
Manifest Destiny, just watch out, they've got their eyes everywhere.
Big Brother, so 1984, but it's the truth, it's the truth, it's been scattered like oil.
Get those tanks, and get to spilling, poisoned skies, lethal and fatal smiles.
Tricks and bribes, men and suits, weapons of mass destruction kill the terrorists now.
Bomb the planes, get your goats, scrape their bellies with more lies and feed to unsuspecting guests.
You best watch out, sir, you best watch out, sir, they're all fiendish wolves in sheep's clothing.

-Second Movement-
And now I know better than before.
When to speak, if only spoken to.
It's better to keep your opinions to yourself.
It's hard to feel it if you're only seeing it.
They'll invalidate to keep themselves comfortable with their myopic vision.

-Third Movement-
It's all lies from here on out until your grown.
You learn to cope, but you'll repeat these fabrications to your children.
And their children's children, 'round and 'round like a Mobius Strip.
And no one tries to take away your tongue like they did back way back when statues were made from stone
And gold, and silver, come in last place you'll become a statistic too.
They'll build more prison beds for poor Black children's test scores.
Then deny ever setting things in motion.
These systems were made to protect the rich, white, cis, Christian men, fuck those in between.
Remember their names.
Remember their names.
Remember their names.
It could be your own governor.

© Sean Kua 2014
Track Name: Weathering Storms
If I could weather these storms alone and fight battles on my own
Why's it so hard to let go of you?
I guess it was a comfort thing, cuz I was getting so used to all your quirks.
Like how'd you sweep imaginary crumbs off your beard five times before resting your pretty little head on your concrete pillow dreaming of blue skies and purple swans and orange rivers.

You used to say you'd keep me
Close to your heart cuz you trusted no one else but me.
I swore I'd never shoot you down, or break what mattered most to you.
And here I am bleeding black and blue.
You did the things you hated most, which was breaking souls.
So come clean, wrap up, don't bother, it was never much.

© Sean Kua 2014
Track Name: House by the Sea
Build me a house and I'll build a boat to sail across the sea to me
Sing me a song and I'll write you a poem to recite to you when we meet.
Whisper your name in my slumber and sweep me off of my tired feet. 
Hold me close to your heart and wait for our muscles to beat in tune. 


I'll wait, patiently, by the sea for your arrival, my dear.



No one has seen your face but me and we both know they're not ready for you. 
Your eyes are kaleidoscopes, the sounds you hear evoke colours. Bright blue.
But I'm just a ghost and you're just a tortured young soul. 
What's the use in making you hear when all you taste are tears?

I'll wait, patiently, by this fire that licks my sick, pale flesh.



When you say you stole me from another, will I ever see their face again?
And when you robbed me of my pleasure was I too blind or ignorant to see that you did it again?

© Sean Kua 2013
Track Name: Stones
I don't look like the other boys in my class.
Mama said, "Papa said, 'Play with stones.' "

I know how these walls look like to outsiders.
All I see, all I see is red… and black, and white.
Not my favourite, green.

My legs are covered in bites.
By wild dogs I threw my stones to.
I prefer the pink ones over gray ones.

I know how these walls look like to outsiders.
All I see, all I see is red… and black, and white.
Not my favourite, green.

And when the sun comes out again.
I will bask in all of its glory.
I will act like none of this happened.
I will be happy.

© Sean Kua 2013
Track Name: Dear Mayor
Hey Mr. Ford,
You made it to the news again for something politically unrelated.
What is it this time?
Pissing us off and over this city,
Shaming and blaming little children.
How does your family think of all of this?
'Poor Robbie, not his fault. This pressure, and lights, and cameras, action, go!'

Don't you worry, Robbie.
Just sit back and hit that crack pipe, we'll write the apologies for you.
Just sit back and blame the kids for all the things that you've done wrong so far.
Sit back, relax, smoke your crack, and throw your tantrums at the people.
Deny, deny, deny, deny, deny, deny, deny and piss in school yards.
Deny, deny, deny, deny, deny, deny, deny and throw a tantrum.
The city's cold and going nowhere, we're ruled by Harper and run by you.
Two white guys in suit and ties, looking important while fucking off.
Stigmatizing people living with HIV or AIDS. You're a chauvinist, a homophobe, transphobic, ableist and a racist.
If you were none of the above I wouldn't have a care in the world if you used drugs.
But, deny, deny, deny, deny, deny, deny, deny you are these things.
Yet, despite, despite, despite, despite, despite, despite, despite it's been documented.
And you will, oh god it's scary to think that you will continue to run in office
In spite, in spite, in spite, in spite, in spite, in spite, in spite of all these people
Pressuring you to step down from your throne of Assholeism.

© Sean Kua 2013
Track Name: Seven Stitched Smiles
Seven stitched smiles on such plastic faces.

Bring out the knives and start the rat races.

Stuff your mouths full (throw it out, but buy it back.
)
Hate the way it looks and shines on your finger.

Buy a bunch more records and rocks for a better
excuse to leave your house to be a home wrecker.



Run, run back to your mum and dad - cradle your soft caved-in heads.

Run, run back towards the horizon - hope you don't die a third class man.



A needle pulling at your flesh violently
.
Fire coursing through your veins so silently.

Rummage through your pockets incase you have more to throw away.

Grow a life in your belly for the sake of showing
 you have a light somewhere without us knowing.

But in the end was it really worth it all?



Run, run back to your mum and dad - cradle your soft caved-in heads.

Run, run back towards the horizon - hope you don't die a third class man.



Tomorrow's arriving.

Yesterday's passed.

It's funny how things get spoiled so fast. 

The next thing you know, you're falling down.
Bring your act, bring your ego, bring your beauty, bring your house, bring your car, bring your bank, bring your sadness, bring your tragic, bring your fear, bring your shit, bring your fuck, bring your guns, bring your everything!


And die like a third class man.

© Sean Kua 2008
Track Name: Dead Like Me
So, is this what friends are for?
Burying each other six feet under with no air to breathe and barely any room to move.
I'm in a box, a cold, cold box. It's lined with velvet, or something soft.
Is this supposed to comfort me in any way?

No one cares that I'm dead.
I'm so invisible.
(But) I feel invincible.

Coffins are for the living dead, but I'm still alive!
I'm pink and fresh. My nails and follicles are growing.
Unless, of course, I'm shrinking.
My fluids are draining because I feel chapped and dry.
Didn't see my parents mourning front row.

No one cares that I'm dead.
I'm so invisible.
(But) I feel invincible.

No one cry for me cuz I'm not really dead. No.
My friends put me here as a practical joke.
And I get it, yes I get it, so forget it and turn me over!
And I'd hate to know that this is all real.
Cuz I'd hate to wake up cold and dead.

Every 12am I'll get the privilege of getting up from the ground and prancing around.
No one will ever find out who killed me because my so-called 'friends' can hold their tongues.
Just goes to show that
We're all deceivers and liars.
We're all thieves in the night.
We're all doomed for nothing.
We'll never get out alive.
No one's coming to save you.
No one will come for the rescue.
No one's here to love you.
No one will come for the rescue.

The rain has begun and they use my face on that memorial pamphlet to keep their heads dry.

© Sean Kua 2008
Track Name: I Know You're Here
I know you're here with me, boy.

I don't need to hear you say you're sorry.
I don't need a letter of apology.
I hear you whispering to me at night.
I always feel you by my side.

© Sean Kua 2014