Milky White

by The Good

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about

The Good's music is tricky to describe: The Chicago band plays a form of rock that's just off-kilter enough to avoid easy pigeonholing. The group's recent Milky White CD is full of odd harmonies and chunky riffs, with enough commercial-sounding singles ("Popular Notions," et al) to survive in an overpopulated music world. —The Onion, Madison / Chicago, August 2, 1997

The Good's lyrics have it all over most locals, and they could stop there, but they don't. Scholvin is a rock god guitarist who perks up this record all over the place, Arkin adds violin on Rogers' eerie "Building On Graves," and this band could give a seminar on how to turn background vocals into the most intriguing part of the song. When I reviewed their last record, I said that The Good live up to their name. This time, they outclass it. Rating: 8 (out of 10) —Gwen Ihnat, Illinois Entertainer, May 1997

If the clever lessons within the lyrics and their well orchestrated progressions don't hook you, then the lush vocals of singers/songwriters Devin Arkin and Tony Rogers will make you a fan for sure. If you do not already own a copy of The Good's latest effort, I strongly suggest you go pick one up. You won't be sorry. —Escapist Magazine, Peoria, IL, February 1998

One band has distinguished itself from other Chicago performers. Whitehouse Records' The Good have combined strong lyrics, perfect harmonies, and diverse melodies to create their second album, Milky White. With such a powerful release under their belts, I predict The Good is on the way to national attention. 4 STARS (out of 5) —Daily Illini, Champaign, IL, March 6, 1998

Milky White is the stunning debut from The Good out on Whitehouse Records. The record (and the band too actually) are a bit difficult to easily characterize. Though it's basically straight-ahead rock and roll there's a bit of an alterna-twinge and elements of the Beatles and 70's arena rock not to mention a bit of folk and blues thrown in for fun. There's also an element of They Might Be Giants type of humor-rock. —Rob Cooper, Divein Chicago, February 1998

These guys are kinda like the Beatles meet Teenage Fanclub...... while getting hit by a bus driven by Pink Floyd! They have combined witty lyrics of the ages, with an excellent guitarist, and amazing vocals to top!
—Eclectic Ecstasy, Griffith, IN, July 1998

The kinds of catchy, inspired, infectious lines that have not crossed my ears in quite a while. Crashing modern media into classic literature, The Good have produced a lush soundscape of odd thoughts that translate into purely wonderful music. —In The Mix, March 1998

While other Chicago powerpoppers The Bad Examples are more likely to draw comparisons to Squeeze and Crowded House, The Good are more likely to thunder along like the Who and the Posies.... The band's latest CD is Milky White, a stunning (and generous) collection of lyrically unique powerpop gems that rarely misses. And it's not afraid to try to make you think. —Tom Durkin, Noize.com, January 1998

If Frank Zappa had ever started a band with Pete Townshend of The Who in some alternate universe, the result would probably sound like The Good. —Daily Egyptian, Carbondale, IL, January 30, 1998

Don't ask how they do it, but the Good can weave depressing subjects like political and moral decay into intricately devised compositions that sound exactly like rock 'n' roll. One finds oneself enraptured by the tunes, while at the same time being immersed in deep inner debate over the lyrical nature the Good exude... With subtle sarcasm, obvious taunts, and a wicked sense of humor, Milky White captures essences and nuances of life's grand parade that hardly ever come to light in contemporary media of any kind. —Nightlife Magazine, Carbondale, IL, January 29, 1998

The pop rock of The Good is worthy of the band's name. The Good weaves intricate tapestries of songs from background vocals and layers of instruments. Breaks and bridges from The Good are hummable enough to be full songs on other discs. —Hi-Test Records, December 1997

Thought provoking lyrics... crunching guitars... creativity... intensity... The Good. Their latest release, Milky White, is one of this year's more remarkable CD's and definitely creates a connection with the listener. Their lyrics and fervid guitar riffs make this CD special. Add The Good's creative background vocals with tight, full sounding production and this CD soars. —Backstage Pass, Chicago, November 1997

The Good is damn good. Sporting loud guitars with heavy riffs, they lay down some numbers that are full overdrive, but still manage to sound original. No simple task in this day or any day and age. Incorporating piano, some strings, and even a few choice samples into the fray, Milky White has all the earmarks of becoming a fan favorite and a critic darling. —The Glass Eye, Cleveland, October 1997

Sophistication and pop rarely go hand in hand, unless you're dealing with Chicago's The Good. At first listen, these lyrics sometimes seem inflammatory. After all, The Good refers to minister Louis Farrakhan as a "bigoted fucker" and the atom bomb as a big reaction to "Nips." Underneath this shocking exterior, however, lies some carefully devised commentary. —Rock Island Argus, September 4, 1997

So what makes The Good so... good? For one thing, they're not afraid to be original. The songwriting alone is intelligent, thought provoking, and at times, downright good humored. This band has a strong knack for utilizing so many different sounds, styles, feelings, and emotions in their music it'll make your head spin.... The Good, however, put that old adage of "jack of all trades and master of none" to rest. Milky White is a garish collection of dazzling melodies, haunting minstrelsy, and true musicianship. —Mark Bruno, Showcase Magazine, Chicago, August 1997

Full-layered great songwritten rock here with tunes that aggressively and intelligently take on Harry Truman, Winnie Mandella, Lou Reed, Orson Wells, and Minister Farrakhan. It's thinking man's music all around. Damn good! —River Cities' Reader, May 21, 1997

The Good (from Chicago) is definitely worth checking out... they're five funny guys with the serious musicianship to drive the humor home. —The Des Moines Register Datebook February 5, 1997

credits

released January 1, 1997

All songs by Tony Rogers or Devin Arkin. Performed by Tony Rogers (vocals, guitar), Devin Arkin (vocals, violin), John Scholvin (guitar), Ryan Olbrysh (bass), and John Goodman (drums). Featuring Scott Ramsayer (keyboards), Dorothy Deen (cello), James M. Bartlett (string bass), and Lenore McIntyre (violin). Recorded by Chris Shepard and Scott Ramsayer.

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The Good Chicago, Illinois

The Good is the creation of singer / songwriters Tony Rogers (tonyrogers.bandcamp.com) and Devin Arkin (who died from brain cancer in late 2016), joined by John Scholvin (guitar), Dave Rothkopf (bass), and John Goodman (drums). The band began making waves on the Chicago music scene in the early 90's; they've released 4 critically acclaimed full length studio albums, and more. ... more

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Track Name: Tinky McVieux
Tinky McVieux, where are you from?
And will they forget the things you've done?
How does it feel? When will you know?
You've got to choose which card to show... Tinky

She'd lied about her Irish and forgotten all her French
Now all her friends and relatives were feeling very tense
About her imminent appointment as ambassador to Rome
How would Tinky back them up
And what would she proclaim her home?

Tinky McVieux, where are you from?
And will they forget the things you've done?
How does it feel? When will you know?
You've got to choose which card to show... Tinky

It didn't take much money to refabricate her past
So shortly Tinky's circles tightened up and no one asked
About her Asiatic eyebrows and her sub-Atlantic chin
The places she was headed for had none to do with where she'd been

Tinky McVieux, where are you from?
And will they forget the things you've done?
How does it feel? When will you know?
You've got to choose which card to show... Tinky

You fib like a schoolgirl and smoke like a gun
Now tell me, what does it mean to be American?
If you had to listen to the things that you say
You would be so glad you're livin' in the U.S.A.
Track Name: Ten Years After
So you want to change the world but you don't know what to do?
Tax the rich, feed the poor.
Ten years after there's no rich and no one to tax anymore.

Easy, easy to know what's wrong and start a fight.
Easy to know it's wrong
And so hard to make it right.

So you went off to school and you learned the world's not fair.
Racist, sexist, fascist, and your parents just don't care.
Tuned in, turned on, dropped out and nothing's changed
And no one even knew you were gone

Easy, easy to know what's wrong and start a fight.
Easy to know it's wrong
And so hard to make it right.

So you want to change the world? Here's something you could do.
It's tougher than a sit-in and it may not be for you:
Get off your ass, go to class
Learn to work to learn to be prepared to
Take the torch when it's passed.

Easy, easy to know what's wrong and start a fight.
Easy to know it's wrong
And so hard to make it right.
Track Name: Popular Notions
Billy the banker spends his Sundays on his knees
Helps him release the burden of the community trust
When something goes wrong he prays but doesn't know what it means
Searching for peace of mind no matter what the cost...
When Billy's lost, he goes for his Pentacost...

Because he's high on popular notions
If everyone else understands, you don't need a foggy notion
Makes it easier to be a man

Rudy the writer cranks out his opinion page
Lucky he doesn't have to think about what he thinks
Money, machines, and might send him into fits of rage
And every new social program just needs to flatten kinks...
Big business stinks... well, that's what he thinks

Because he's high on popular notions
If everyone else understands, you don't need a foggy notion
Makes it easier to be a man

Susie the actress wears a gold heart on her sleeve
Stumping for candidates who won't let the ship go down
Bares herself naked everywhere but on the screen
Charity suits her fine if they've got a lecturn she can pound...
If it gets her around as the best head in town...

Because she's high on popular notions
If everyone else understands, you don't need a foggy notion
Makes it easier to make a stand

Make a stand.
Track Name: Hang
If you could put a spin on a Jamaican proverb
Might it make a little bit of fame everlasting?
Would they put you in the ranks of the Edgar Allens?
Or does it matter any more that a man condemned to drown can't hang?

If you could look right off the cover of the morning paper
Would that be better than a column in the women's section?
Obscurity or oblivion, is there a trade-off?
Or is it worth it to consider
Reasonable to remember
That a man condemned to drown can't hang?

If your ending could top any triple act you'd ever written
If Grim could do you like a movie that would leave heads shaking
Would people talk to your friends like they were summing up fiction?
And might they forget about your mama
Lose her in the drama
Lose her in the sky
Not wonder why a big, loud storm
Can make it hard to see the space you left behind
And still remember that a man condemned to drown can't hang?

Hang with me, stay with me
Don't you ever fade away from me
Track Name: Building On Graves
A Tobe Hooper movie, through a Craig T. Nelson speech
Said baby don't build on graves.
It wasn't very subtle but it somehow slipped between my adolescent days.
Somehow I had come to think that greedy real estatists were its audience
But thirteen odd years later, and a thirty-second trailer
Said it was coming back to get me through my TV.

Your mother, she got by on the sweat of the morning.
(What would we build on, if we didn't build on graves?)
But your brother won't get by on this debt to the yearning for olden days.

The mud on a field in Lexington
The blood of a breed of Englishmen who lived on slaves
Still mingle on the site where a battle rages
Between builders of a different age.
The scrimmages are over but the war is never done for the men of industry.
Ideas in their heads, built on others long since dead
Who gave their lives to be... to be...
To be free!

Your mother, she got by on the sweat of the morning.
(What would we build on, if we didn't build on graves?)
But your brother won't get by on this debt to the yearning for olden days.

The gypsy tried to hide and pull the wool over her eyes
When she said don't build on graves.
But I still caught her looking at my polyester hood with blind and empty rage.
She rattled off the details of the dark and stormy curse
That would rain down on me.
But the only words that got through were the ones she wouldn't breathe.
It wasn't the graves she was afraid of.
It was me!
Track Name: Harry and the Mushroom
How'd you do it Harry?
Did you think it wouldn't be half as scary?
Or were you even scared of the dead canaries?
Better them than us or Jerries.
Harry, you gave 'em hell.

Your hero, Andrew Jackson,
Gave the Injuns what for.
Men of action do what they have to do.
But there were factions
Who thought your knife was too long.
No satisfaction 'til you saw it make the cut.
We Anglo-Saxons had to show those Nips a big reaction.
'Twas the eve of the atom. Who needs the Russians' help?

Were you a hero, Harry?
We needed a Hiroshima, but how 'bout Nagasaki?
Were you just being cocky for the commies?
Or did you just lose control?

You finished what they started
At Pearl Harbor and those deadly Bataan marches.
Far too many American boys departed.
Your warning disregarded --
Potsdam 'em all to hell.

Were you a hero, Harry?
If you were at ground zero, would you have kept on
Building little boys and fat men?
But then again, they've got the yen to be our friend
Until the end, and you control when that will be.

Pretty as a picture, stronger than a mixture
Of a ton of TNT and a bullet
Louder than rock & roll but a whole lot of kids never knew it.
Bright as the sun, and when it's done you've got a really killer tan.
Do what you can under the circumstances:
Turn back into the fire.
Suffer a nation's ire.

Mushroom in the sky is beautiful.
Mushroom in the sky, close your eyes.

They heard the plane a flying,
Didn't know the dying would happen to so many.
They couldn't recall when something so small
Packed such a punch.
The doctors are dead, there's no more bread
That won't kill you if you eat it but you need it to live.
Halloween in July, a dangling eye.
Who are you? Who could do...?

Mushroom in the sky is beautiful.
Mushroom in the sky, close your eyes.

Were you a hero, Harry? (Mushrooms in the sky over America)
We needed a Hirohito to keep the Japs together.
But which of us is better? Who's the debtor? (Mushrooms in the sky...)
And which of us is in control?
Track Name: I Know
One day God was having fun,
Wanted to prove he was number one.
Told Abraham to kill his son, or so the story goes.
Abe said, "Lord, I'd rather not
You've really put me in a spot.
Isaac's the only son I've got;
I'll hate to see him go."

What would you do if he asked you?
Would you greet your boy with a bullet?
Could you be sure the word that you heard was your lord's?
There's a fine line between sick and divine.
It's your trigger, but God made you pull it.
You don't want to find a lock upon Heaven's door.

I know what I'd do.
I'd take my boy on a trip to the Mississip'
Where we'd fish and dip and sip tea made on the fire.
If your kid needs to die to satisfy your lord,
Your lord's a liar, a liar, sing the choir...

Minister Farrakhan told a million Americans
To pilgrimage to Washington to atone for their sins.
But Louis wouldn't apologize
For things he said to demonize
The folks who helped him toward the prize
But didn't share his skin.

What would you do if you were a Jew
And he called you a bloodsucker?
Could you love the message, warts and all?
Would you get up and scream
That the King had a dream
And it didn't include this bigoted fucker?
Either way, you're strengthening the wall.

I know what I'd do.
Two days a week I'd coach a team
And teach self-esteem and the dream
Like they taught us in school when I was a kid.
They'd know that I do what Louis says we don't
Even if we did, and we did, sing the kids...

My brother had a boy today
In a country far away.
In that same place this very day,
The Lord asked for another.

This time Isaac paid the price --
For the peace a sacrifice.
But don't believe he gave his life;
'Twas taken by a brother.

What will you do to stop feeling blue
Now that your hero's a martyr?
Shake your head about another one dead and move on?
Will you ask them why they wanted him to die,
Then try to make them smarter?
Tough when they think they're honor students of God.

I know what I'll do:
I'll take my kids to the land of milk and honey
And show them the bloody words of peace he sang 'fore he died.
It'll take me a while to change the world,
But the Lord'll know I tried,
I tried and cried with mine.
Track Name: Shame
Home all alone, hoping someone throws me a bone.
But the phone don't ring
And all I can do is sing about the shame of loneliness.
Are we all the same? Confess.

I go to the Y and catch 'em in the corner my eye.
And why do I go to the Y and spy on the naked guys?
It's not that I'm gay, though that'd be okay
But you probably think I'm a fag anyway.
I don't want to touch; just want to see how much bigger they are.

It's the shame of nakedness. Who's to blame for this?

Run the court, swing the stick.
It may be short, but it's really thin.
Track Name: Blue Rubber Bands
Blue rubber bands all over my street
Making me feel so incomplete
Blue rubber bands all over my yard
It's no wonder that I'm falling apart

Hey, Butera boy
Are you just trying to leave your mark?
Do too many toss your manifestos of leaf lettuce and grade A pork?
Well I know how you feel, but can you try to keep it under wraps?
I don't need to be reminded
I don't want to be the one to find all of your

Blue rubber bands...

Hey, La Raza boy
This is no address for your language
Is that why you leave a little more than bundles of paper on my doorstep?
Listen, I know how it feels when nobody understands you
But I don't need to be reminded
I don't want to be the one to find all of your

Blue rubber bands...

Maybe you litter when your fantasies get trashed
I would like to think I won't
And maybe you steal when you haven't got the cash
I would like to think I don't

Blue rubber bands...
Track Name: Evenin'
Evenin'. How ya doin' sir?
I'm doin' fine. Just putt-puttin' along.
I can see what you're doin', sir. Do you think I'm blind?
You call that putt-puttin' along?

How can I watch the road if I have to watch my speed?
Well, if you'd take it slow, you might see more of what you need
Come on, man. Can't you see how late I am?
The longer we stand here, the longer I miss the magical kiss of a beautiful...

Evenin'? Oh, why yes it is.
A perfect time to go putt-puttin' along.
You're a demon. You're the anti-christ.
Lemme pay your fine, and I'll be putt-puttin' along.

I don't think you catch my drift, I don't want to take your bread.
Then you'll have to let me go or just fill me full of lead.
Hey now, man. You know, that's not such a poor plan.
If you were any heavier, the slower you'd go to go where you go this....

You must have better things to do than watch my speed
Somewhere a prowler's watching his burgled victim bleed
Somebody's baby's making a call you'll never heed
Somebody's donut shop has a sports page you could read to pass away this

Evenin'. How ya doin' sir?
I'm doin' fine. Just putt-puttin' along.
I can see what you're doin', sir. Do you think I'm blind?
You call that putt-puttin' along?
Track Name: Atticus
Everybody, have you heard?
Atticus Finch shot down a mockingbird.
He took aim and fired without a word.
Atticus Finch shot down a mockingbird.

Thomas J. loved to say that all men were made the same.
But did he love the little Tommy from the slave he made a mommy
The same as his milky white boy?

Richard M. Nixon got in trouble fixin' a gate,
Now he's mixin' with worms
But Liddy's sittin' pretty.
Can't remember what he did.
We just listen 'cause we know his fame.
What a shame.

Everybody, have you heard?
Attica prisoners were massacred.
Not many a guard thought twice when the gov'nor gave the word.
When we see good do bad, the difference is blurred.

Winnie Mandela stood by her fella,
And we loved her on the television.
But who would have known that she'd do to her own
What the Man had done to her?

It was looking pretty hairy for Marion Barry
With a mouth full of Mary and crack on the TV.
He blamed the Man, said I'm an African,
So we put him back in charge of America's capital.

The more you look up to some people,
The more they look down on you.
If they seem to good to be liars,
You can bet what they say ain't true.

Everybody, did you hear?
Susan Smith cried a lake full of tears.
She strapped them in and threw her into gear.
The mockingbirds stopped singing, but Atticus doesn't care.
Track Name: I Heart Your Brain
If I don't have heart
Then how come I'm still beating my head against your steel-plated head?
It says right at the start of this book I've been reading
That heart stoppage renders you dead.

I know it sounds absurd
That I'd hang on every word you breath
I know it sounds insane
But I love your brain

Do I have no faith
Because I don't believe in Jesus or love at first sight
I'll meet you at the gates of Ayn Rand and the Beatles
Lou Reed, Orson Welles, Frank Lloyd Wright

I know it sounds absurd...

I've had my share of Ichabod Cranes
And it isn't I don't want your body
But if they could shoot me into your veins
I'd go straight to your head

Talk about love like it's some kind of mystery
Blind...all you need...in the air...
But love in my book is a shared sense of history
Planted (recorded) just under your hair.

I know it sounds absurd...
Track Name: Canyon
Virginia walked to the canyon. She said,
"My small brain can't handle its depth.
It makes me insignificant, I can't stand to feel that nothingness"
And Virginia jumped into the canyon instead.

'Cause it was big and she felt small
And she was naked up against it all
'Cause it was big and she felt small
And it was empty and she could never fill it up...

Emilio went on a blind date with Beth
She asked what he thought of the national debt
He scratched his hair and and he asked to be excused so he could use the head
And Emilio ran to the subway instead

'Cause she was big and he felt small
And he was naked up against it all
'Cause she was big and he felt small
And she was worldly and he could never measure up...

I once looked over a big precipice
Thought about the fall 'til I remembered this
Nothing in this whole world has failed to fit in my head and still leave room so
I reached up tall and I grabbed my one wish

'Cause I was big and it felt small
And I was towering above it all
'Cause I was big and it felt small
But I was lonely 'cause nobody could make it up

Canyon....
Track Name: Electric Bandaids
Take me to the home, give me electric bandaids taped across my wrist
Take me to the home, give me controllers with joysticks
I can't fight anyway, give me companions who don't care if they exist
It's your right anyway, I'm not old enough to pick

But remember the helmet on my head against the wall
Remember the tube socks on my fists against my face
Remember that love just turns to shit once you put it into me
Look at the scars you can't erase

You can't hurt me worse than I can hurt myself

Put me on the news, show all of America just I broke your dreams
Put me on the news, let 'em drown in your despair
They can't imagine a mother could be as cool and patient as you seem
When you look back on your life before you left me here

But remember the helmet on my head against the wall
Remember the tube socks on my fists against my face
Remember that love just turns to shit once you put it into me
Look at the scars you can't erase

You can't hurt me worse than I can hurt myself

Take me to my home, it looks like my baby's going to get some sleep tonight
I'll come back in the morning with some games he might enjoy
You look so peaceful, even with that thing that doesn't let you bite
Maybe you're dreaming you'll wake up a normal boy

Remember the helmet on your head against the wall
I remember the tube socks on your fists against your face
And I remember when love seemed like the cure, if we could give enough to you
Look at the years we can't erase

You can't hurt me worse than I can hurt myself