GioSafari Does NYC

by GioSafari

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about

"GioSafari Does NYC" is a compilation of live tracks and singles that tell the story of Gio Andollo's development as a struggling artist in the big city - from heartbroken poet to stalwart revolutionary. The album was released on the 5th anniversary of his having moved to the city, with little more than a hope and a dream, like most starry-eyed artist pilgrims making the long, arduous journey from some forgettable suburb to THE Big Apple. This album is the product of his struggle to make a name for himself and his work in the heart of empire.

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released 05 September 2014

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about

GioSafari New York, New York

GioSafari is the pseudonym for singer-songwriter and peace activator Gio Andollo. He lives in NYC, where he has committed to music - songwriting, recording, busking, performing, promoting - and activism. He speaks truth to power in the heart of Empire, recalling the subversive musical traditions of American folk & punk, singing for peace & justice, and advocating the use of bicycle helmets. ... more

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Track Name: On The Road (Live At Knoxville's WDVX)
I'm out here, a thousand miles from my home.
Walking a road other men have gone down.
I'm seein' your world of people and things -
Your paupers and peasants and princes and kings.

Hey hey, Bob Dylan, I'm writing this song
for the man with the brand you would never take on.
You say "you're born with the wrong name, it happens you see...
call yourself what you want, it's the land of the free."

So you left home behind and you never looked back,
Just rambled and gambled your way 'long the tracks.
All alone on the road with the spirit ahead
and old Rob back in Minnesota, cold and dead.
[I mistakenly sang "Bob" on this recording]

You know, I went with you all the way down to New York.
Tried following your footsteps, but the road got too dark
and the imprints more shallow each step 'long the way:
21 grams you lost with each role that you played.

Then I lost you and couldn't get on by myself,
and I couldn't believe I was anyone else;
so I sought all those characters in people I knew
and the drama's been guiding me cue after cue.

Now I pray that you're doin' alright on your own.
As for me, well, you know I'll just keep moving on.
With my comrades and comp'ny this road occupied,
making all the difference it's less traveled by.
Track Name: Psychology... (Live At Raphsodic Coop)
I don't remember a single thing,
I don't remember pain.
I can hardly remember where I was going,
all I've left is blood stains
on my backpack to remind me
what happened on that fateful day,
the day that cosmic tragedy
washed all my hope away.

Life was hard before,
I was focused only on survival
from devastation begun months prior,
my emotional condition viral.
I rode my bike from place to place
in hope of some kind of relief,
escape from everything in my life
that caused me so much grief.

But I couldn't escape the clutch of fate,
which clearly had other plans:
my grief to show an exponential rate
of growth over months' time span.
Without a home or job,
any life purpose or vision,
I succumbed to fate's cruel plan,
I hated God and Her decision.

Over time things got much better
and began to fall back in line.
I made plans to move to the next city
that God put on my mind
and in my heart which beats now
for this insomniatic place,
plans I'd hoped to share with her,
our destinies interlaced.

But I'm no fool, for I have learned
from my own past experience.
My hopes and dreams like a match have burned
away when not in agreement
with God and Her intentions
in any certain season or hour.
So I don't say "this or that will happen"
but "I'll do everything in my power."

Now my joy is mostly general,
like the gray of a cloudy sky.
I can see and it's not raining
but there is never any sunlight.
Perhaps this will change when I get to New York,
perhaps it never will.
Perhaps I'll one day see her there,
every hope and dream fulfilled.
Track Name: Pax Americana
Shalom is a way of life.
Yes, peace goes far beyond fashion.
Love for one's brothers and sisters,
respect for oneself and creation.
This peace is absent in countries
where the work of small hands is forgotten,
where human rights take a back seat
to the profits of corporate production.

Two fingers form a letter which stands for victory.
We hold it up in protests for all the world to see.
We say it stands for peace, for which we'll take a stand.
Nevermind the fact our goods were all produced by broken hands.

Such goods are then shipped to lands
where the first-world consumer hordes
Pillage and plunder display shelves
of clothing and grocery stores
'til nothing is left in their tracks,
least of all the sad memory
that the ones who provide them their food and clothes
are naked and going hungry.

Encircled broken crosses, symbolic imagery
emblazoned on our t-shirts, dangling jewelry.
We say it stands for peace, for which we're all in favor.
Nevermind the fact our goods were all produced by sweatshop labor.

Our logos we proudly display,
corporate slogans we wear as our banners.
Even peace has done well to pay
the checks of graphic designers.
But what do these signs mean to those
who work over them night and day,
while violent military forces
are at work to keep it that way?

Hegemonic power secures our corporate interests.
"Free trade" law legitimate by our destiny manifested.
We say it stands for peace, which we'll spread throughout the nations,
Nevermind the fact our goods were all produced by exploitation.
Track Name: Vagrants & Vagabonds, Outlaws & Thieves
A beguiling bard set up shop in an underground train station
and played subversive songs to commuters disguised as entertainment.
Crooning of peace and hope with a deceiving smile 'cross his face,
he coerced many a listener to drop change in his case.

But there was that day a deputy, wise beyond his years,
who hearing the bard while on patrol saw through the smoke and mirrors.
With justice burning in his heart
he courageously approached the bard
and with these words he quelled all the commuters' fears:

"You can't play down here, you need to move on."
The musician feigned flummoxed, "What have I done wrong?"
"I'm just singing songs about love and peace!
None are disturbed, some are giving money!"
"But this is a business," the officer said,
"would you play guitar at Bloomingdales instead?"
With that he restored lawful order and peace
from vagrants and vagabonds, outlaws and thieves.

The peace was short-lived, for on the train there was a conniving cripple,
a beggar missing five fingers who solicited from the people.
He claimed to be a sports coach as he hobbled down the aisle,
asking the riders for pocket change and always to wear a smile.

The conductor saw him transfer cars and grimaced with dismay.
He knew the tricks the beggar used for sympathies to sway.
Indignation burning in his loins,
he wished they all would keep their coins;
so with these words he warned them all over the PA:

"Don't give this man money, it's against the law"
The beggar kept begging, moved to the next car.
"I'm taking donations for my basketball team.
None are disturbed, some are giving money!"
"Don't encourage disorder," the conductor said,
"Give all that you have to MTA instead."
With that he ensured none would be fooled by these
vagrants and vagabonds, outlaws and thieves.

Now the bard sitting homeward bound on the train heard the good conductor's caution
and watched as the beggar with only five fingers walked slowly in his direction.
With insolence burning in his soul
he cared not for the subway rule,
and with these wretched words Pandora's box was to be opened:

"I have something for you," and gave him a dollar,
"I know how it is, I was stopped earlier."
They grinned at each other, not caring at all
to keep civil order, to uphold the law.
"That's why you play good music," the coach said,
"Don't give up and always keep smiling instead."
With that he gave credence to all anarchy
for vagrants and vagabonds, outlaws and thieves.
Track Name: Malala (Taliban Blues Won't Get Her Down)
She's gone to school now
you can't stop her brain.
She's gone to school now
she'll carry on the same.
You think your guns will scare her off, boys,
But I tell you that she's just not afraid.

She'll go and tell the others, boys.
You can't stop her mouth.
She'll go and tell the others, boys.
She'll tell 'em what you're all about.
You'll look into those big brown eyes, boys,
And you'll see that she's just not afraid.

She knows what she wants
And she knows how to get it now.
She knows what she wants
And she'll get it anyhow
All your anger - ooh, all that anger, boys,
They'll show you that she's just not afraid.

Malala
Taliban blues won't get her down...
Because you know I've told you once, twice, even three times now
- She's just not, boys, she's just not afraid of you!

Now she's lying in the hospital.
You tried to take her out.
But she's not dead in that hospital, no.
Now let there be no doubt.
You can't kill no beautiful idea, boys.
And now you know she's just not afraid.
Track Name: Protest Song (Live At Occupy Wall Street)
They say the art of protest songs is dead,
that we should write romantic songs instead;
a tune about the moon, the sun, the stars;
a tune about balloons and fun at bars -
about the things that lift us til we fall,
or songs about, well, really nothing at all.
When thousands die each day for lack of bread,
nothing is preferred to something said.

If you wanna hear a song of love,
please know that you're the one I'm thinking of
as I write on behalf of the oppressed
and resurrect a canon of protest!

I'll boldly look the devil in the face
and bring hope peace and love where there is violence and hate.
In my love I'll challenge you to be
the changes in the world you want to see.

Noone wants to hear about the wars,
the plight and exploitation of the poor;
you want to hear of blissful, happy things:
the joys that money sex and drugs can brings,
about the rainbows, flowers, and sunshine -
just make it seem that everything is fne.
This way you'll be able to ignore
the violence you are responsible for.

I'll boldly look the devil in the face
and bring hope peace and love where there is violence and hate.
In my love I'll challenge you to be
the changes in the world you want to see.

So you want to avoid reality,
and I should steer clear of controversy -
avoid today's politics & religion,
and stick to polite table conversation;
tell you what I've done throughout the day
as I push vegetables around my plate.
singing songs of little consequence
and leaving you in blissful ignorance.

But I love you too much to let you stay
and those are not the songs I care to play.
I'd rather peel the scales back from your eyes
so we can weigh the truth against the lies.

We'll boldly look the devil in the face
and bring hope, peace, and love where there is violence and hate
we'll challenge each other always to be...
the changes in the world we want to see.
Track Name: Everyman Awakened (Live At Uncommon Ground)
I awoke in a cell, silent and dark,
a plate was slipped through a crack in the door.
I didn’t belong here, I knew it too well,
so I stripped the striped uniform that I wore.
When a wrecking ball crashed through the fourth concrete wall
I stood naked, alone, and ashamed.
The audience roared in laughter and applause
as I curled on the floor of the stage.

Then a script was passed from behind the curtains,
highlighted to stand to my feet.
As I read through my lines and rehearsed the blocking
it occurred to me I was the lead.
All my co-workers, family and friends
made a noteworthy supporting cast
and the folks riding the train or walking the street
were just extras with B-roll soundtrack.

Shakened, awakened, I’ve come to my senses -
roused from nightmarish subconscious pretenses,
like Russian dolls, my dreams incepted
in layers of reality.

Now I found myself bound by my own ambition,
a straight-jacket pure and white.
Like a cubicle office or suburban family:
2.3 kids and a dog and a wife.
I sought freedom in privacy, asylum in debt,
my own snowflake amidst static white sound;
plugged in and tuned out, on automatic,
”normal” by every postmodern account.

Shakened, awakened...

It’s a soggy morn in this concrete jungle,
I’m up with this ragged war-weary platoon.
We’ve marched and fought days and days on end
Trusting our victory, delivery’s come soon.
Against no human enemy have we lift our swords;
but we’ve ravaged these labyrinthine walls between us,
revealing the world was never a stage at all
but a combat arena of bread and circuses.


Shakened, awakened, I’ve come to my senses -
roused from nightmarish subconscious pretenses,
like Russian dolls, my dreams incepted –
But now I’m certain these solipsist episodes have ended
As I lay in bed with my eyes wide open,
piercing the heart of Manhattan,
With vision for community.
Track Name: On The Road (Live At Word Up Community Bookshop)
I'm out here, a thousand miles from my home.
Walking a road other men have gone down.
I'm seein' your world of people and things -
Your paupers and peasants and princes and kings.

Hey hey, Bob Dylan, I'm writing this song
for the man with the brand you would never take on.
You say "you're born with the wrong name, it happens you see...
call yourself what you want, it's the land of the free."

So you left home behind and you never looked back,
Just rambled and gambled your way 'long the tracks.
All alone on the road with the spirit ahead
and old Rob back in Minnesota, cold and dead.

You know, I went with you all the way down to New York.
Tried following your footsteps, but the road got too dark
and the imprints more shallow each step 'long the way:
21 grams you lost with each role that you played.

Then I lost you and couldn't get on by myself,
and I couldn't believe I was anyone else;
so I sought all those characters in people I knew
and the drama's been guiding me cue after cue.

Now I pray that you're doin' alright on your own.
As for me, well, you know I'll just keep moving on.
With my comrades and comp'ny this road occupied,
making all the difference it's less traveled by.