"Perversions" (released as Mark Nicholas)
Release Date: 2008
Where To Buy:
iTunes (download) - $9.99
CD Baby (CD) - $8.99
1. Two Sandwiches (Detroit Mix)
2. The Measure Of Pleasure (Sad Bastard Mix)
4. I Wish I Wanted You (DJ Ginger Snapp’s Mashup)
5. Coming Clean (Club Mix)
6. Backlash (8-Bit Mix)
7. Perverse (Original Demo)
8. Little Goth Girl (Ethereal Mix)
9. Selective Memory Loss (Pure And Simple Mix)
10. Goodnight My Love
11. Perverse (Syrian Remix)
12. Green California
13. Your Beautiful Lie (Mark Nicholas VS. Cosmicity)
(This track is made up of samples recorded live from a video game, so there are no real lyrics to speak of...)
The Measure Of Pleasure (Sad Bastard Mix)
Think on it now, just what do you want? You want to close your eyes and be back there again. Confused as you were, you were in love. The minutes were raw, sad and elusive, but the days and the months... those were conclusive. Which brings you to now, just how you are. So, how are you? So, how are you now? Sleep on it now, just how do you dream? You build elaborate sets so you can redesign the frame of mind when you weren't happy. At least you were real, lost and alone. Your romantic lifestyle: the perfect exile. Which brings you to now, just how you are. So, how are you? So, how are you now? Oh you know just what the problem is here, but you wouldn't admit it to anyone near 'cause you walk at a pace that must always have grace. But the truth of the matter is you've never been sadder, and hiding that's madder than any mad hatter. But you climb into bed and forget what's been said again. Blinking and skipping and sprinting and tripping down memory lane 'til it drives you insane, well, it's just not the way that you used to behave. And we all see it coming... the shifting... the dumbing... the swearing... the thumbing your nose at the people who want you to be who you know you could be again. Ponder it now, what could you regret? You've lost so little, depending on your measure. Perhaps a slight drop in the measure of pleasure. But the things on your list - those right at the top - you've checked them all off so there's no need to stop and wonder out loud just how you are... So, how are you? So, how are you now?
(Sorry, I'm not allowed to reprint these lyrics since I didn't write them. Google search Michael Sembello's original version from the Flashdance soundtrack and you'll find 'em!)
I Wish I Wanted You (mashup of “I Wish” and “I Want You”)
I feel clean in the dirtiest of ways. I've been stripped of guilt and I love the way it feels. You're like glass but you're only clear to me. I see through your smudges and all your hidden grudges. Wanting you is pure frustration. Having you is purification. Wanting you is devastation. Having you is purification. You're an angel, but you've fallen down with me. You've slaughtered inhibition. I bow to your decision. You're like anime... exclamation above your head. The perfect culmination of a thousand dreams I've had. (You'll never have, you'll never have, you'll never have, you'll never have, you'll never have the things that you desire.) I wish I were more than these words reveal. I feel naked. I feel wasted. I feel lucid. I feel lost. I wish the world were black and white. I wish I could say what I mean. I wish I were a little less bitter... maybe then you'd reconsider. I wish I saw things clearly, or you could see what I've seen. I wish I could stop scrubbing my skin, but I'm sure it's still not clean. I feel naked. I feel wasted. I feel lucid. I feel lost. You're like water, with just a touch of lead. But you're so god damn delicious, I'll drink you 'til I'm dead. I'm like steam, and you are ice cold steel. I cover you. I drip from you. I love the way you feel. I wish... (wanting you is pure frustration) I were... (having you is purification) more than these words... (wanting you is devastation) reveal... (having you is purification.)
Coming Clean (Club Mix)
Each night before I sleep, I think and sometimes freak out loud about my life. Each time I think of us... the things we don't discuss... those neat, unwrinkled sheets. And now isn't quite what we projected. I know tonight won't go as planned. But I want to anyway. Even awkward, it's still good. I want to anyway. It still feels like it we should. You took that Cosmo quiz. It said that things like this are fine. We'll heal with time. That's great. That's good to hear. Sometimes I live and fear the truth is far more dire. And now isn't quite what we projected. I know tonight won't go as planned. But I want to anyway. Even awkward, it's still good. I want to anyway. It still feels like it we should. Look into my eyes, you will find an excuse. Just because it's weird doesn't mean I don't want to. If you see something wrong I'll just turn out the lights. I know it won't change a thing, but it'll work for tonight. And now isn't quite what we projected. I know tonight won't go as planned. But I want to anyway. Even awkward, it's still good. I want to anyway. It still feels like it we should.
Backlash (8-Bit Mix)
You've chased me down. You've found me out. You've pulled my hair. You've made me shout obscenities at the top of my lungs 'cause it's so damn fun... 'cause it's so damn fun. Am I drowning in the things I've said? Have I lost you in the doubts I've had? Will you backlash now, or offer some proof, that book you are quoting is absolute truth? You've seen me push. You've helped me shove. I've taken more, though I've had enough. I've bitten off heads. I've eaten my young. I've acted on instinct, though you said I have none. Am I rubbing you in just the wrong place? Did I blaspheme you with my lack of taste? Will you backlash now, or will you, in fact, reveal your mercy and leave me intact? You've made me fight then watched me fail. Just waiving my arms through the bars on your jail. I've rallied my strength, still chained to this wall... still screaming cold truth, but you hear nothing. Am I asking for a mouth full of soap? Have I done something to offend your pope? Will you backlash now, or will you explain, just how the almighty is making these claims?
Perverse (Original Demo)
I've got this mirror that I look in sometimes, just to see what you see... just to see what scares you when you look at me. I know you like it. Yeah, I know you love it. Even though it shakes you. Even as you scream that I'm no good. 'Cause I'm perverse. Clean in reverse and it feels good. Yeah I'm perverse. It could be worse. I could be like you. You're slipping under a wicked spell of boredom... tired of all those morals... tired of all those rules that you repeat. I know you hate it. Yeah, I know you loathe it. Even though you preach it. Even as you snitch me out to God. 'Cause I'm perverse. Clean in reverse and it feels good, Yeah I'm perverse. It could be worse. I could be like you. It's true that I think some unthinkable thoughts. I live without fear. I don't care if I'm caught. I don't live under your blanket of rules... soft fabric for control of a bed full of fools. Sleeping and snoring your short life away. Oblivious to anything that's not your way. So open your book. Recite your prayer. You can live without challenge, but i'm taking the dare. 'Cause I'm perverse. Clean in reverse and it feels good. Yeah I'm perverse. It could be worse. I could be like you.
Little Goth Girl (Ethereal Mix)
My little goth girl. She doesn't know how sweet she is. She dresses up to scare me, but all she does is dare me to lift buttons from her corset... smell the clove in her hair... Lost in her extensions I pretend that I don't care so she won't think that I’m romantic, but rather dark instead. And with this slight adjustment she should love me, but as I've said... It must stay my little secret that I adore the pale undead of my perfect little goth girl. Precious goth girl. Wears black lipstick and a solemn frown. She thinks that she intimidates, but her darkness just initiates the relentless pure devotion of a lonely normal guy who wears eyeliner to the club. And you may just wonder why. It’s so she won’t think I’m romantic, but rather dark instead. And with this slight adjustment she might love me, but as I’ve said... It must stay my little secret that I adore the pale undead of my perfect little goth girl.
Selective Memory Loss (Pure and Simple Mix)
Static stocking feet on fuzzy beige plush shag. Talking through commercials and the standard sitcom lag. A shock to my system would be so incredibly welcome, but the room just keeps on waiting. The light just keeps on fading. Tonight I won't sleep. I don't want to dream. I don't own this life. I don't know what it means. Tonight I won’t move. I don’t want to feel. I don’t know this place. I don’t know what’s real. Faking that I'm tired so I'm left alone to pout. Laying on the edge of comfort, sagging soft with doubt. A reason to revolt would be everything I need, but the air is stale and silent. The darkness somehow violent. Tonight I won't sleep. I don't want to dream. I don't own this life. I don't know what it means. Tonight I won’t move. I don’t want to feel. I don’t know this place. I don’t know what’s real. Won't you show me how my choices have made me a whore? Can't you dare me to stop and not do this anymore? Even casual suggestions, or part-time interventions, would be better than the quiet of this pointless self-confession. Tonight I won't sleep. I don't want to dream. I don't own this life. I don't know what it means. Tonight I won’t move. I don’t want to feel. I don’t know this place. I don’t know what’s real.
Goodnight My Love
Goodnight, my love. I'll miss you so. I'm not sure what happened between us. I just know it's time for you to go. Goodnight, my love. You look so sweet. It's not clear why I have to do this. I just know it's time for this to end... for you. One last kiss upon your wrist to mark the place where I must cut you... free. One last tear. And now, my dear, I hope you know how much I love you. Goodnight, my love. Please don't resist. You must know that I had to save you. You must feel so much better now... I'm sure. One more kiss as you slip away from all of the exhaustion. One last glance as you pass. You always looked so pretty sleeping.
Perverse (Syrian Remix)
(Same lyrics as the version above.)
Green California (Lyrics for "Green" only. Not allowed to reprint lyrics for the cover of "California Love".)
Hey look, I know it's crazy, but I'm just way too clean. I need to fuck this up. I need to turn it green. Oh sure, we have a pattern... and that's all very nice. But time has made us lazy. I say we feed this vice. Lets go... come on, shall we? You know you want to want me. Get free and watch her touch me. I'll make you wet with envy. Oh shit, it makes me crazy when you won't play along. You have to know we need this. You have to let her do this. What's that? You say it's stupid? You say it makes you sick? But I know it makes you flutter. I know it makes you stick. Lets go... come on, shall we? You know you want to want me. Get free and watch her touch me. I'll make you wet with envy.
Your Beautiful Lie (Mark Nicholas VS Cosmicity)
I think, therefore I am a bit too cerebral for your sensual ways. You are the definition of aloof... never seeking truth or even motivations. Oh, why would I want to deny your beautiful lie? Why would I want to deny your lie? I smell your thoughts in the air. Like the scent of your hair, it turns me on. Your mystery excites me today... like it does most days, only more than before. Oh, why would I want to deny your beautiful lie? Why would I want to deny your lie? If you want you can tell me strange lies, and I'll rest here believing in the world you describe. If you want you can pretend you're perverted, and I'll rest here believing that you never pretend. If you want you can tell me strange lies, and I'll rest here believing in pure fantasy. If you want you can persuade me with passion, and I'll rest here believing that I found the real you. I close my eyes to the truth. It's got nothing on you. I don't want to know. You take my resistance away. I've got nothing to say. Let's go and play. Oh, why would I want to deny your beautiful lie? Why would I want to deny your lie?
This album started out as nothing more than a desire to release a single from my 2007 album Duchess 33. I had chosen the song "Perverse", recruited a few remixers, and I was on my way. Or, so I thought! When I went to do a remix of "Perverse" I... I dunno. I guess I didn't feel like it? So I started working on other stuff. I needed to update a couple of Cosmicity songs to bring into my live show, so I started playing with those. That made me contemplate doing a little 4 song EP of reworked Cosmicity songs.
But then when I went to work on updating more Cosmicity tracks... I dunno... I guess I didn't feel like it? So I started working on still other stuff. I thought a cover song would be cool for my live show, so I made this funny extended ending for the song "Green" which included a verse and chorus from the song "California Love" by Tupac and Dr. Dre. Then I thought maybe I'd do a whole bunch of cover songs for an EP.
But then when I went to do a bunch of other cover songs... I dunno... I guess I didn't feel like it? So I went back to working on a remix of the very popular "Duchess 33" song "Two Sandwiches" to include on the eventual "Perverse" single that I KNEW I'd eventually get around to finishing.
But I totally didn't finish the "Perverse" single. Most of the remixers I'd tapped got busy on other projects and I, well, I dunno. I guess I didn't feel like it?
Finally, lightening struck me. I was scorched and black and smelly and I realized I was never gonna get anything done if I kept trying to push myself into projects I didn't really want to do on a large scale. But if I did a little bit of everything, I could probably get a whole ALBUM worth of material together in a flash. And I absolutely did.
"Perversions" really happened in a matter of months (mostly late summer and early fall '07), while pulling from ideas I was messing around with earlier in that year. The final product has something for absolutely every Mark Nicholas fan... Cosmicity fan... and, why not... every electronic music fan and... yeah, I'm gonna go there... fans of every genre of music throughout the universe!
"Green California" is indeed that funny extended live version of "Green" I was talking about, with me "gangsta" rapping and everything. "Maniac" is a full-length cover of the famous song from the 1980's film "Flashdance" that I created for my final live show (performed at a little bar called Smalls in Detroit). I love this song, despite that show turning out to be the emotional low point of my year. I recorded it before that bad experience, and I think you can hear how much fun I was having recording it (even though it didn't really connect at that live show. I'm just gonna go ahead and say: completely wrong audience. I was performing with Assemblage 23 that night. Fairly different tone.)
But I think the very best part of the album may be where it slows down. "Little Goth Girl (Ethereal Mix)" completely transforms from a screamy thumper in its original form, to a moody I-don't-know-what on this album. I love it. And that may go double for "Selective Memory Loss (Pure and Simple Mix)". Then ya add in the only track I wrote from scratch for this album, "Goodnight My Love", a story told by a voice (man? super computer?) explaining to a sleeping woman why he has to murder her in order to save them both - and murder her he does! Despite the edgy lyrical content, I think the vibe of this song sits really nicely with the ones that precede it, and I often find myself listening to these 3 tracks like they're their own EP.
But I definitely like all of the songs on this album. I DID finally figure out why I didn't want to remix "Perverse". I remembered that I'd done about 4 versions of that song over the course of many months in 2006 before I finally settled on the album mix. Turns out I was just sick of working on it! So here you'll find what I'm calling the "Original Demo" version - even though there were many early versions - which, after I punched it up a little bit, could prove to be even stronger than the version that ended up on "Duchess 33". I guess that's what I get for over-thinking it in the first place. (And Syrian's remix of that same track cooks. Hooray for Syrian!) And I pulled a similar bring-it-back-from-the-archives stunt with "The Measure of Pleasure (Sad Bastard Mix)". What you hear here is exactly how I'd originally finished that song. But when I heard it together with the other tracks on "Duchess 33", it sounded wrong (too sad, too slow) so I created a faster version for the final release. But here I cleaned it up and brought it back in its original deeply depressing form. Yay depression!
The Cosmicity remakes - a new mix of "Your Beautiful Lie" and my wife's mashup of Cosmicity's I Want You with the Duchess 33 track "I Wish" - both came out awesome. Cosmicity fans who weren't too sure about this new sound of mine should be psyched about these.
And finally, "Coming Clean (Club Mix)" and "Two Sandwiches (Detroit Mix)" both give club-goers a little something to bounce to. Oh, and what's with that 8-Bit mix of "Backlash"? Hey, what can I say? I always wanted to have a song in one of those old Nintendo games, and "Backlash" seemed like the right kind of song to translate into that style. Here's hoping it makes you smile and remember fondly all of those times you skipped 8 levels in Super Mario Bros. using the warp zones and felt really cool 'cause you practically beat the whole game in 5 minutes.