ListenTo The Painters

by G.W. Sok

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Erik Daas
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Erik Daas A nice compilation of what you can expect if you start listening to GW Sok's adventures during and after being part of The Ex. Favorite track: Here we go again.
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After saying goodbye to The Ex at the end of 2008, after thirty years of this beautiful frenzy, I thought I was done with music. For three decades the band had been my life, my family,
my vehicle. Thus leaving wasn’t easy. But it was time to move on, time for a change, time for something else. Even though I didn’t know yet what that something else might be.
During the first Exless year I got involved in a production of the Dutch theatre company Noord Nederlands Toneel, and so, somewhat by chance, I ended up on a nationwide tour with 60 performances of Dante’s La Divina Comedia. And it made me realize that I still enjoyed being on stage performing and playing with language.
Around the same time, at the end of 2009, a couple of musical collaborations came my way through the internet. Chapi Chapo and Detective Instinct, people I didn’t know but who liked what I’d done during my life as an Ex, sent me some tracks and asked me to add words and vocals.
Then, in early 2010, my collaboration with Cannibales & Vahinés from Toulouse began. And since we would only play on and off, I would occasionally travel back and forth from Holland. This gave me also time to work with Zoikle, based in Rotterdam, after a musical collaboration for a short experimental film.
Meanwhile, my friends from Two Pin Din invited me for a guest appearance at one of their shows, and together we wrote some songs. Then somehow, suddenly I got approached by
more and more bands from all over the place. Different kinds of people with different kinds of music from different kinds of countries. Most of these collaborations simply started out as one-offs, but things got slightly out of hand...
So here I am, in the year 2016, happily writing lyrics for this, that, and the other project, playing in about six bands, and doing the occasional guest vocal. Much of the music is pretty good stuff, really, and yet rather unknown. And as most of these projects take place in different countries and different scenes, my audience nowadays is widespread and scattered. Hence the idea to offer you, dear listener, some sort of cross section of my recent musical and lyrical escapades. Just for the hell of it.
I wanna say thanks to the bands and artists involved in this album, for their confidence, trust, friendship, and generosity. Also thanks, of course, to those not present on this (first)
compilation: you know who you are. Even better: so do I. And it’s a pleasure.
G.W. Sok — Amsterdam, April 2016


released May 27, 2016

14 tracks, 14 bands, 1 vocalist
a cross-section of G.W. Sok's musical adventures between 2009 and 2015 after his departure from The Ex in late 2008

all words by G.W. Sok
all music by the artists involved
photo © Christina Hallström
Tractor Notown, NOT 08 /



all rights reserved


G.W. Sok Amsterdam, The Netherlands

G.W. Sok co-founded The Ex in 1979 and was their singer and lyricist for 30 years. (See for their discography.) Since 2009 he is involved in various other musical projects, such as Detective Instinct (UK), Zoikle (NL), Beukorkest (NL), Cannibales & Vahinés (F), King Chsmpion Sounds (UK/NL), Filiamotsa (F)... ... more


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Track Name: Two Pin Din - Listen to the painters

We need poets, we need painters
we need poetry and paintings...

Narrow minds are weapons made for mass destruction
file them under giant ass seduction

Sheep with crazy leaders heading for disaster
courting jesters who take themselves for masters

We need poets, we need painters...

The shrub who took himself for a park
the squeak who took himself for a bark

We need poets, we need painters...

We need filmers, and writers, dancers, musicians
actors, and sculptors, bakers, electricians
thinkers, and doctors, cyclists, and builders
lovers, friends, and neighbours, and others
filmers, writers, dancers, musicians
and poets, and painters, and poets, and painters
Track Name: Zoikle - Illusies 1

Wil je wellicht wat illusies
licht gebruikt, tweedehands?
zulke heerlijke illusies
goede wijn, zonder krans
iets met een vleugje paradijs
een betovering die er mag zijn:
in dit gekke paradijs
ben je verliefd op pijn

Wil je wellicht wat illusies
licht gebruikt, nog lang niet oud?
van die romantische illusies —
ze gaan allemaal over jou
souvenirs voor een koopje
die je heel goed zullen staan
neem mijn lieflijke illusies —
voor een lach, of voor een traan

Ze hadden een vleugje paradijs
een betovering die er mag zijn:
in dit gekke paradijs
ben je verliefd op pijn

Wil je wellicht wat illusies
iets tweedehands dat blinkt als goud?
van die romantische illusies —
ze gaan allemaal over jou
souvenirs voor een koopje
die je heel goed zullen staan
neem mijn lieflijke illusies –
soms een lach, soms een traan
Track Name: Action Beat - Spoonfeed hell

I starve in the city of shame
I fast in the world full of game
I can wait idle in queues for hours
I can almost watch the grapes go sour

I starve I fast I wait I watch
I starve I fast I wait I watch

It’s the easiest feast in the world
a chance to make a living, as long as it lasts
their trivial smell, their spoonfeed hell
to make sure that I won’t fast too fast

When will the odds return
when will we ever learn
when will the gods return
when will they ever burn

I starve in the city of shame
I fast in the world full of game
I can wait idle in queues for hours
I can almost watch the grapes go sour

In queues — in shops — on corners — behind bars
in the park — at home — outside — in the rain
on the bus — on a bench...
underneath the stars
Track Name: Year Of Birds - Yir of beards?

A message from the UK
international record day
the Olimighty man of Ack! Ack! Ack!
says: contribute, okay?

My mailbox under serious attack
and me, I turn into a nervous wreck
all right, I’ll write, and now: I need a nurse
to help and keep me on the right track

Not sure if there’s a vinyl verse
besides, things can’t get any worse
hellooo, this is a tape you play
on record-day...

But hey, for what’s it worth:
try the new 7” of Year of Birds!
Track Name: Chapi Chapo & les Petites Musiques de Pluie - Here we go again

The road is clear for the new insane
heading once again for the fastbuck lane
you hold your horses but they’ve changed their van
reworking one more master plan

And it’s greed greed greed resurrection time
same old trick with the same old wine
it’s the next gravediggers-for-gold revival
to get shot in the foot by one’s own rifle

Do we hear something new or is it desperation
or the same old sleaze with greasers’ guarantees
oh, lead us not into temptation
will it do the trick or will it make us sick
well, forget all that fuzz about missing the bus, because...
what the doctor ordered is some patience

They turn their wine into water
then they whine that it ought to
be fine wine because they bought a
brand new balloon of speculation-farce

And they think that this time they will reach the stars
yeah they think that this time they will reach the stars
they think this time they’ll reach the stars
and I think they spent too much time on Mars

For what’s it worth, they did come down to earth
but since they’re on a different train here we go again
their world is quite a match for inflammable inflation
so lead us not into temptation

Still, I don’t even have the slightest notion
why they keep on bringing all that water to the ocean
I guess I’m talking about degeneration
oh, lead us not into temptation
Track Name: Cannibales & Vahines - No Can Do

Sometimes they say oh
oh it’s good for me to go
in this or that direction
where it’s better than before
and they seem to know the score
and there’s all kinds of action

And then they mention stupid things
like a barbidoll that sings
or another prefab trend
like greener gardens of cement
sometimes they say oh
oh it’s good for me to go
in this or that direction...
this or that direction

I don’t wanna go where the masses go
they’re not the kind of masses I would wanna know
I don’t wanna do what all the others do
without all the idiots I can be happy too

Maybe I don’t wanna be an umpteenth clone
maybe I want something to call my own
I better get it done and I’ll do it just for fun
and that’s good enough for starters

All the rubbish we can buy
all the deaths that one can die
is anybody watching me
well, none of this appeals to me
not any of those actions
all those stupid actions...

Real life soap tv
courses in stupidity
mindless conversations
these microwave sensations
politics of flying kites
cover ups and stupid lies...
oh sometimes I say no
Track Name: Detective Instinct - Lore of the lamb
I was in prison, long ago
it was the first grade and
I had to take a well-you-know
the law says you must first raise your hand
and ask the teacher for permission
so I, obeyer of the lore of the lamb
am busy raising my hand to the führer
who says yes Thomas what is it?
and I, Thomas, I say

I… have-to-take-a… I mean, may-I-go

Didn’t you go yesterday, she says
and I say yes ma’am Mrs Parsley, Sir
but I have to go again today
but she says
it’s no, and I say eh?
and again she says no, but I go anyway
except that I do it not outside, but in my pants
why else would I have said

I… have-to-take-a… I mean, may-I-go

Six years old I was
and yet I guess that even then
I already knew the rule
I must obey and rule by law
and stick to all the regulations
of the lore of the lamb
otherwise I’m going to shit my pants

So next time
she’ll know I have to go, because
I’m gonna shit her pants
not mine
Track Name: Gran Kino - Bericht uit Beijing

Is dit een tragedie
in hoeveel bedrijven?
met een proloog en een epiloog
en een waarheid die er niet om liegt?
een koe, die je niet bedriegt
of eentje zo stom
als het achtereind van een varken dat vliegt?
is de waarheid wel waarheid
of slechts een naarheid, een onklaarheid, een rariteit
een trieste komedie die dreigt te beklijven
een scheet uit de reet van een smerige smiecht?

Maar ik noem hier het gewone
mensen die werken, studeren, wonen:
een dichter, z’n vriendin
en een grijsaard
met zwarte gemummificeerde katten
wel zo’n duizend jaar oud)
een man zonder baan en been
een man zonder kin
een man zonder kind
een man met een lang gezicht
en een man die gebukt gaat
een gewone jongeman
een vrouw met een traantje
een vrouw met een traan
een vrouw met een fakkel
jongens en meisjes die kranten venten, studenten
en een man met twee plastic zakken

Een man met twee plastic zakken
een man bedaard als een orkaan van hoon
die zijn verwonde ziel
de zojuist gebrande kaken van het plein op sleept
en de toekomst uit de klauwen weet

Een man met twee plastic zakken
oog in oog met de gestaalde kakkerlakken
de voortratelende vuilnisbakken
de praalziek paraderende wandaadwrakken
de gepantserde schoften, de schurken, de schobbejakken
de gehelmde hufters die de spaanders hakken

Een man met twee plastic zakken
is een man met twee plastic zakken
en hij zet ze allemaal te kakken

Want waar gisteren nog
vaandels van hoop de hemel sierden
daar kokhalst het nu helse kolonnes van tanks
en ik bots op een aanblik die de keel verengt
de kapotte verlichting, die de ogen krenkt
de verdoofde stad, met duister vergrendeld
en een komen en gaan van bajonetten
de Grote Sprong Voorwaarts der marionetten
helaas, het is waar
het plein hangt er bij als een abattoir

Een gewone jongeman
een man die gebukt gaat
een vrouw met een traantje
een vrouw met een traan
een matroos die, na jaren van gezwoeg
de Grote Roerganger eindelijk eens vroeg om een kadootje
een rondvaart op een bootje, of gewoon een dagje uit
en die afgescheept wordt
met nog meer zwoegen op die verrotte lekke schuit

Maar op het plein waar de tranen verbloeden
en treitertanks op een rondedans broeden
staat een man, gewapend
met twee plastic zakken vol woede

Gestaalde kakkerlakken
voortratelende vuilnisbakken
praalziek paraderende wandaadwrakken
gepantserde schoften, schurken, schobbejakken
gehelmde hufters die spaanders hakken

De man met twee plastic zakken
is een man met twee plastic zakken
en hij zet ze allemaal te kakken
Track Name: Filiamotsa - 4.Q.S.O.

So now that I have your attention, please
as I’m no rat who’ll waste his knees
with begging for some mindless cheese
I ask you kindly to ungrease
the slimy substance of your suffocated soul
this headless halo hanging around that empty whole
its fed-up void inflating way beyond control
stubbornly stumbling about like a moonmad mole

Should I cure you from this dumb disease
you bet I know there are no guarantees
to wipe this filthy flood of consonants and vowels
that keep escaping from your bowels

No man can keep on running from the truth
an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth
you gotta take the rough along with the smooth
there’s a wolf in the belly of the growing youth
some things sometimes should simply be said
so I’ll say it again till your ears turn red
I’ll be a pain in the neck till you’re taken aback
a head can be more than a rack for a hat

Should I cure you from this dumb disease
I bet you know there are no guarantees
and if my choice of words seems to disturb
then keep in mind that “fuck” is just a verb

And it’s true that with the pronoun “you”
it might sound quite offensive, too
and “asshole” is a noun, so consider it a sign
I guess we’ve reached the bottom line
Track Name: L'Etrangleuse - Writer's blog

Picture this, a dirty window
and if not, just call it sky
guess the sun hides round the corner
might be yellow, might be shy
I seem to sleepwalk at my table
through a desert of deserting thoughts
a thousand stories in the naked city
and yeah, clues, there must be lots

Oh, my head is in a daze
can’t you see that I’m amazed
I’m lost for words, such is the case
I’m in a hole, so where’s that ace

An interlude?
a chorus?
we all have our excuses
some are rude,
or bore us
and others just confuse us

Now it’s way past waky-waky
and my hands are kind of shaky
and my mouth attempts to mumble
stacks of words that seem to stumble
like stuttered sentences of waste
and I copy, cut, and paste
try to get them all in line
some more coffee would be fine

What is left leaves without trace
all the blanks take too much space
let me tell you, oops, erased
guess I’m going through a phrase
Track Name: Surplus 1980 - The world's still here

How I miss my cat right now
I hope that she’s okay
so hip hurray the world’s still here
but hey, my fearless Kitty ran away

Oh great the world’s still here,
I thought the end was pretty near
oh snap! I fear it is that time of year
with a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday
well gosh, it is sciatica, I guess
or yes that time of year, but hey...

That the world is a yard sale
that it was and that it will be
nothing but a sell-out
I knew that already
I got my ear to the ground
I can see how it sounds
but the world’s still here
and so is Surplus 1980,
in 2013 and in 2020...
there will always be plenty
of social anxiety
and the need to get over it...

There will always be plenty of social anxiety
and the need to get rid of it
but I found a Fender Twin Reverb
with new 12” speakers
a coupla 100 dollars worth, yippie

And yet Kitty has escaped and I’m pissed and upset
I hope she’s okay and will find her way back
she’s on the other side of the fence and the street
is she gone for good or did she land on her feet
or is she on the other other side
no offence, but... off her feet
no luck yet getting her back
she might be dead meat
so I’m pissed and upset, just like that

I am in pain right now
it not be the flu
waiting for my dinner...
it makes me not sleep, too
I need to get out more
I’ll aim for one more minute
but I’m pelted with bleeding xmas songs
and that’s the bloody limit

I’m in pain again, my body’s aching
despite the ibuprofen I was taking
it’s my chest, my legs, my hips
my back, sometimes my fingertips
it is muscular, but unfortunately,
I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me
like I’m run over by a fucking street sweeper
on a grim blind date with some kinda reaper
I almost feel like an edgy window leaper
and then there’s Kitty...
yeah, where’s Kitty

I don’t miss her like a pain in the neck
what the heck, like the pain in my back
but yes I do miss her and I want her back

That the world is a yard sale
that it was and that it will be
yes I knew that already
and that’s all fine by me
but what I hate is this
the thing I’d rather miss
is going there really early
and find out the hurly-burly
of this mishmash, slapdash
for the sale is in fact tomorrow,
always tomorrow
the yard sale is always tomorrow

Oh great the world’s still here
and so is Surplus 1980
and my clever Kitty came back home
still I am flaky, glad, and achy
it must be that unwritten rule
you can’t outfool a foolish fool
I thought the end was pretty near
but I guess, it’s just that time of year
Track Name: King Champion Sounds - Ghetto of Eden
I’m out on a limb in our garden of Eden
’cause I see snakes corrupting souls
embarrassment embodied, shattered love
oh god, will you ever have enough

My ears are full, your mouth’s still feeding
your poison a passion, taking a toll
your beak a leak, it keeps passing gas
oh god, you’re a snake in the grass

I have no time
I have no time for
one too may vipers in the garden of Eden
when the world is bleeding

Out on a limb, what’s that goal
I see snakes corrupting souls
embarrassed bodies, shattered love
oh my, it’s never never never never never enough

I have no time
I have no time to...
I have no time 3?
I have no time for!
one too many vipers in the garden of Eden
and all the while the world is bleeding
well, I guess the grass needs weeding

I remember now, how my friends once said:
you should pay rent inside my head...
fangs but no fangs, homegrown god
question is, are you ever gonna stop

I have no time
I have no time to...
I have no time 3?
I have no time for you
Track Name: The And - The heart of everything

What is the heart of everything
what makes also the mute birds sing
and what makes your sore legs swing
what makes the tin man into bling
— what is the heart of everything

Sometimes it’s fenced off with barbed wire
sometimes it’s simply here for hire
but when it sets your heart on fire
when there’s this burning called desire
— what is the heart of everything

All the walls will tumble down
all the fences, they will rot
when the circus comes to town
with four letters, the whole lot
— what is the heart of everything
Track Name: The Bent Moustache - The sound of sirens

Hello, hello darkness my old friend
I’ve come to see you once again
because a noise that’s been made to stay
woke me up while I dozed away
and the television that has settled in my room
shows the doom
within the sound of sirens

The comfy couch and I, we watched alone
with my hunger slowly grown
for a minute I got off my ass
I took some crisps and I filled my glass
when my eyes were grabbed by the might
of the sight as such, and I was touched
by the sound of sirens

And on the naked screen there was
a speech that really made a buzz
the man in charge was quite shocking
blue in the face he kept knocking his head
up against the brick wall that’s been written on
his time has come
so it says in the sound of sirens

People, I hope you will understand
sirens are a helping hand
they woke me up, so that I can see
the struggle against the misery
but my distant support is stuck in another hell
with crisps and beer instead of sirens

No longer the people are afraid
to scorn the tyrant they all hate
then a sign flashed up on the square
understood it was everywhere
and the sign said:
“the worlds of the profiteers
are defended by the tyrant’s tanks
and the banks...
they will be silenced through the sound of sirens

* triggered by the Art of Simon, Paul, and Unkle Garf