If You Don't Like It, You Can Leave

by Julian Velard

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about

“If You Don’t Like It, You Can Leave” finds Julian at his most inventive and deeply personal, with nine engaging originals about happiness and heartbreak across the five boroughs. From the opening chords of the shimmering “New York, I Love It When You’re Mean,” to the cockeyed romantic overtures of “No One’s Getting Married Tonight” and “Brooklyn Kind of Love” or heart-tugging ballads like “A River Away” and “Jimmy Young,” Velard becomes the most captivating keymaster to the greatest city in the world.

Through his songwriting gifts, New York City brims with a kind of pain and promise that anyone can recognize, no matter how well you’ve memorized the mass transit schedule. He wraps it all in a beautiful bow with a heartfelt hat-tip to another New York hero, Billy Joel, with a cover “Where’s the Orchestra?” the elegiac closer to Joel 1982 masterpiece The Nylon Curtain. Add a dash of production magic from Steve Power - producer of several albums by U.K. pop legend Robbie Williams as well as Velard’s own breakthrough The Planeteer - and gorgeous arrangements recorded over five days at the Clubhouse Studio in Rhinebeck, NY, and you’ve got a record as exciting as the very city it pays tribute to.

credits

released June 17, 2014

Produced by Steve Power and Will Hensley

Recorded by Will Hensley on November 3-8, 2013 at The Clubhouse Studio in Rhinebeck, NY
Recording assisted by Andy Gilchrist
Mixed by Steve Power at TOP Studios in London, UK
Mix assisted by Rohan Onraet
Mastered by Tony Cousins at Metropolis in London, UK
Mastered for vinyl by Alex DeTurk at Masterdisk, NYC

Personnel:

JV - Vocals, Piano, Wurlitzer 200a, Hammond B-3, Farfisa Organ, Glockenspiel, Orchestra Bells
Ryan Bull - Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Jon Cornell - Upright Bass, Electric Bass
Bill Campbell - Drums, Percussion
Justin Flynn - Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet
Jeff Pierce - Trumpet
All horn arrangements by Justin Flynn

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about

Julian Velard Brooklyn, New York

Julian Velard is songwriter, piano man, and native New Yorker. a biting 21st century wit in a stylish package—think Harry Connick, Jr. with the panache of a Brooklyn hipster—recalling Stephen Sondheim or Randy Newman at the peak of their talents.

His comedic timing and musical stylings have made him a regular on The Howard Stern Show and NPR’s Ask Me Another.
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Track Name: New York, I Love It When You're Mean
Packing my bags into a car
Heading to East L.A.
Nothing but sun up in the sky
But it’s just not the same
Not like the time you left me stranded in the Bronx
4 in the morning, couldn’t get a cab to stop
Walking out in the cold, it hurt me just to breathe
New York, I love it when you’re mean
When you’re mean to me

Break out the shorts, go to the gym
Nobody wears long sleeves
People are tan, sculpted and thin
Straight outta magazines
Not like the 7 train on a Monday after 5
Knocking old ladies down to make it home alive
Stuck in the subway like a can of sardines
New York, I love it when you’re mean

Can’t believe I never stopped to notice the million little lights
Inside of each one is somebody’s little life
Who’s in need of stars when you got all these apartments lighting up the night?
I never seen it shine so bright

Some other cities may be easy on the eyes
You see yourself living there, happy till you die
But give it to me real, I don’t wanna live in a dream
New York, I love it when you’re mean
New York, it’s exactly as it seems
New York, you don’t like it you can leave
New York, you don’t know what it means when you’re mean to me
Track Name: I Don't Know How To Drive
Battery Park I’m on my way Union Square
I don’t need much a pair of shoes will get me there
Stop for a Peking duck for lunch in Chinatown
Shop for a watch along Canal
Mine’s slowing down
But I’ve been on time ever since I was sixteen
I’ve never been late
Cause I’ve never had to wait
For the lights turn from red to green
What does horsepower even mean?

I don’t know how to drive
Who the hell wants a car anyway?
My feet on the street I’m alive
I’m at looking you
Stuck sitting in traffic for an hour or two
The back of a cabbie’s head blocking the view
That’s not what New Yorkers do

Bumper to Bumper it’s St. Patrick’s Day parade
Plaza Hotel’s my shortcut though I’ve never stayed
Meet you at 3:15 outside the Guggenheim
Later for dinner and a little night music
I love Sondheim
And I’ve been walking tall ever since I was sixteen
I’ve never missed a date
Cause I’ve never had to wait
For the lights to turn from red to green
I’m my own two-legged machine

I don’t know how to drive
Who the hell wants a car anyway?
My feet on the street I’m alive
I’m at looking you
Stuck sitting in traffic for an hour or two
The back of a cabbie’s head blocking the view
That’s not what New Yorkers do

Out in the Hamptons everyone owns a Cadillac
Models with DUIs and a taste for Armagnac
Why would I need wheel if I want to feel
Like I’m going places
I’ll take a few paces

I don’t know how to drive
Who the hell wants a car anyway?
My feet on the street I’m alive
I’m at looking you
Stuck sitting in traffic for an hour or two
The back of a cabbie’s head blocking the view
When will you wake up
And see the only way through
Is out here on the sidewalk
Cause walking’s what true
New Yorkers do
Track Name: Brooklyn Kind Of Love
“Can I have your autograph?”
That’s the line that made you laugh
My little Anne Hathaway
Sipping your latte at brunch

Private school in Connecticut
Taught you coffee shop etiquette
My devilish grin and good manners
Pack quite a punch

I hear there’s a bar that’s brand new
With a great east river view
And after a whisky or a few
It’s back to mine for season two
Of a show you’ve never seen
I’ll explain plot points in between kisses
Cause this is a Brooklyn kind of love

My roommate thinks you’re heaven sent
Especially now that we split the rent
Life’s been never sweeter
Then this two-seater financial ride

I dream of children with our face
A doorman and a parking space
Together we can make it
Take it straight to the Upper West Side

Manhattan’s a land of kings
And queens with wedding rings
One day we’ll afford the finer things
Till then let’s wait here in the wings
Drinking in the Hudson sun
Embracing the odds of a million-to-one near misses
Cause this is a Brooklyn kind of love

I knew you were different
Right from the start
You saw through my bow tie
And into my heart
Like the Chrysler shining at night
You’re a star, you’re a star
With you and this city
I need nothing at all
My life is a movie
You’re my Annie Hall
I’m loving where we are
Where we are you’re a star
So can I have your autograph?

Let’s go to that bar for you and me
Where the skyline’s easy to see
We’ll dance till dawn beneath the apple marquee
Then back to ours for season 3
Of that show we’ve both seen
The story of a king and queen
The once Mister and Misses
Like this is a Brooklyn
Like this is a Brooklyn
Like this is a Brooklyn kind of love
Track Name: A River Away
Streets are full
Of people living lives like us
Waiting on a dream to come
And take them away
A dream’s not a bus

Take a look inside yourself
Take the journey by yourself
The Brooklyn Bridge is just a bridge
It’s nothing but stone
It won’t bring you home
I’m standing on the other side
I need you to make it tonight

When you’re falling love
You can’t be afraid
Come over I’m only a river away
When the heart is on fire
Stop chasing the rain
Go ahead baby jump in the water
I’m only a river

Away with doubt
We know what that’s all about
Spending nights alone
With thoughts of what could have been
We all have to swim
To make it to the other side
You have to leave the fear behind

When you’re falling love
You can’t be afraid
Come over I’m only a river away
When the heart is on fire
Stop chasing the rain
Go ahead baby jump in the water
I’m only a river

Away from you
The storm is inside you
Let my eyes be your guide
The light will pull you through
The river’s dark and deep
The heavy secrets will keep you
From seeing the truth

When you’re falling love
You can’t be afraid
Come over I’m only a river away
When the heart is on fire
Stop chasing the rain
Go ahead baby jump in the water
I’m only a river away
Only a river away
Only a river away
Track Name: No One's Getting Married Tonight
Baby look at the sky
I can see the bridge from here
Our future’s never been so clear
The clock is counting
The reasons why
You should leave me on the brink
With a lifetime left to think
About this city and its people
Walking around parks till they day they die
Don’t make me one of them
I guarantee I’ll give this love a try

Here’s what I think
Let’s go and get drunk without my friends
Make sure the evening ends
With making out in the back of every cab
I don’t care where we wake up
If you swear you’ll stay with me
And no one’s getting married tonight
No girl in this bar looks better than you
No matter what they do
They could say, “let’s have a three-way”
We know the only two things that are true
Is that you’re leaving with me
And no one’s getting married tonight

I have a plan
If we wait a couple years
And develop our careers
This could be more than
A flash in the pan
Flip a good thing into great
Maybe own some real estate
Inside this city so full of people
Riding subways till the day they die
Don’t make me one of them
I guarantee I’ll give this love a try

Here’s what I think
Let’s go and get drunk without your friends
Make sure the evening ends
With getting laid in a white limousine
We’ll listen to Springsteen
I will spend all my Sundays with you
If no one’s getting married tonight
No guy in this club looks better than me
No matter who you see
He could be a shirtless fireman
We know he’s only muscles and tan
And that you're leaving with me
And no one’s getting married tonight
Tonight, not tonight

Here’s what I think
Let’s go and get drunk
I’m your friend
And I want my life to end
With no compromises
Let’s be ourselves and get rid of all disguises
I’m scared of the unknown
And you’re scared of being alone
And there’s nothing wrong
With admitting every fear
They get stronger ever year
Nobody’s getting any younger
I can see our future
It’s shining so bright
Maybe the timing’s not right
Do you own anything white?
Maybe I’m not the one
Let’s get married tonight
Tonight, not tonight
Track Name: Jimmy Young
Jimmy Young played piano at the bar
My Dad said Jimmy Young coulda been a superstar
1967 a year to remember
Summer of love ran through September
Girls in the village, heaven was never far
With Jimmy Young at the bar

Jimmy Young he could kill you with a song
My Dad said Jimmy Young made you feel like you belong
Winter in the city was hard to handle
Blew the dream out like a candle
The bar was silent
Empty from dusk till dawn
Jimmy Young was gone

I’ve been singing my heart out
For the best years of my life
Now I’m wondering what it’s all about
Tell me where’s the rainbow and the pot of gold
For this lonely thirty three year-old
Is that where you are Jimmy?
Is a piano bar the only place I’ll ever be?

My dad says I’m Jimmy Young
My dad says I’m Jimmy Young
I am Jimmy Young
I am Jimmy Young
Track Name: Girl Next Door
7:08 in the morning
I’m with girl of my dreams
Five feet away making breakfast
Sharing a coffee
With the wall in-between

Listening out for the footsteps
My soul is the sole of her shoes
My heart is a part of the hallway
I’m falling to pieces
I think I should I move

I think I’m love with the girl next door
Apartment D6 on the fifteenth floor
The wait for the elevator makes my day
“Are you going down?”
Is all I ever say
She’s on her way

I pray for the sound of my doorbell
When will the moment arrive?
When she loses her key
And comes looking for me
Buried Alive
Here in D5

I think I’m love with the girl next door
Apartment D6 on the fifteenth floor
The wait for the elevator makes my day
“Are you going down?”
Is all I ever say
She’s on her way

I should talk to her
But there’s only fifteen flights
I wanna be next to her
On the other side of the fifteen floor tonight

I think I’m love with the girl next door
Apartment D6 on the fifteenth floor
The wait for the elevator makes my day
“Are you going down?”
Is all I ever say
She’s on her way
I go back upstairs
Where I’ll stay
11 hours 37 minutes
On my own
At 6:48
She gets home
Track Name: You Don't Fall In Love At The Start
You don’t fall in love at the start of a journey
The light from the stars takes a lifetime to arrive
The mind gets ahead of the heart in a hurry
You don’t fall in love at the start

You won’t fall apart late at night when you’re lonely
Pick up the phone we can talk till New York opens its eyes
Give me a chance you’ll see I’m not that bad once you get to know me
You won’t fall in love at the start

You don’t walk away without seeing the ending
A great romance of the heart is worth years of waiting in line
No way to tell if love’s real or a scene you saw in a movie
We’re all in dark
No one knows what’s coming
But I’m willing bet we’re gonna be stunning
Baby you don’t fall in love at the start
Track Name: That Old Manhattan
I don’t know where I will go
Or what I will do
Nothing’s left to remind me of you
That old Manhattan I love
The home I once knew
Nothing’s left to remind me of you

They’re building a tower on my street
44 stories of glass and concrete
6 months to complete
And 6 months from then will we care at all
About a concert hall
That had to fall
No one plays Gershwin anymore

I don’t know where I will go
Or what I will do
Nothing’s left to remind me of you
That old Manhattan I love
The home I once knew
Nothing’s left to remind me of you

I grew up on baseball and Dr. Brown’s
Popcorns and hot dogs
Send in the clowns
Like million other towns
Covered in banks and fast food chains
With drive through lanes
All that remains
Is Grand Central Station and me

I don’t know where I will go
Or what I will do
Nothing’s left to remind me of you
That old Manhattan I love
The home I once knew
Nothing’s left to remind me of

Checkered cabs
Hotel lobby bar tabs
Subway Tokens
Where are the pay phones?
New York I’m calling you

That old Manhattan I love
The home I once knew
Nothing’s left to remind me of you
Track Name: Where's The Orchestra
Where’s the orchestra?
Wasn’t this supposed to be a musical?
Here I am in the balcony
How the hell could I have missed the overture?
I like the scenery even though
I have absolutely no idea at all
What is being said despite the dialogue
There’s the leading man
The movie star who never faced an audience
Where’s the orchestra?
After all this is my big night on the town
My introduction to the theater crowd
I assumed that the show would have a song
So I was wrong
At least I understand
All the innuendo and the irony
And I appreciate the roles the actors played
The point the author made
And after the closing lines
And after the curtain calls
The curtain falls on empty chairs
Where’s the orchestra?