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Cue the Curtains


The Rand Hubiak Band has a new single — “Cue the Curtains” — that arrives today, but first let me mention several upcoming shows for my New Jersey fans:


Tonight I’m playing as one of the five featured songwriters at Cafe Artiste in the Jersey Shore Arts Center (the yellow brick school building at 66 South Main Street, Neptune/Ocean Grove), starting at 7:00. It’s a $5 donation to the center at the door, and BYOB (although they do sell snacks, which include wrap sandwiches if you’re hungry enough for a meal). I’m also opening for Richard Lloyd Band (Richard Lloyd being the guitarist of legendary post-punk/early new wave band Television) on Friday, 17 January, at Brighton Bar in Long Branch. Those tickets are $12 if you buy them from me in advance (I accept VenMo and PayPal and can have the tickets waiting for you at the door). The cost is greater if you wait to buy at the door. Twelve bucks is a *spectacular* deal as you’ll get four hours of music if you want to use them to stay the whole night! And I *have* to sell 18 tickets, so if you think you’d be interested, write back to me to set up a VenMo payment! Now, on to the main purpose of today’s missive: Another brand new single arrives today! A Beatlesque ballad stylistically evocative of such classics as “Let It Be” or “Hey Jude,” “Cue the Curtains” also features hyper-literate lyrics that can be both devastatingly poignant and emotionally eviscerating in the vein of Aimee Mann or Michael Penn. The song slowly builds from a whisper to sweeping orchestration and then back again. Besides the usual suspects (Adam Silverstein on piano, Paul Galiszewski on drums, and Tom Briant on not only all guitars but also the bass), “Cue the Curtains” features Barbara Anndrea Arriaga on cello and Megan Williams on violin. So this is the first track I’ve done for which we used live strings instead of synthesizing them. That’s a huge deal for us sonically and also a coup in terms of the talent we were able to lend to the track. For a little back history to the song: Tom, Paul, and I originally recorded the track way back in 2014, with me on piano and vocal, and Tom just doing acoustic guitar, at Jankland Studios in Wall NJ with Steve Jankowski engineering the session. During a smoke break for Paul, Tom added electric rhythm guitars and guitar solos. Later, he came to my house and added he bass line. I knew we wanted to add strings, so the song sat in my studio for five years. When Paul and I were in Jankland in October to work on one of Adam’s compositions (“Cold Out”) and a dozen other tracks, I brought this song to re-record the vocals because my voice had changed so much in the half decade since laying down the foundations. (And that change is for the better — it’s all recovery from 2009’s vocal trauma.) And given the change in the recording industry’s business model in those five years, a move away from albums to singles, it seemed alright to finish the song without having the other eighteen tracks to the album to which it belongs finished (although one single, “This’ll Be Our Year,” has already been released from the album!). To that end, I contacted Barbara, whom I’d just met this summer, and Megan, whom I’ve known for thirty years, to add their talented string playing. (Those two women also added strings to another song Tom and I recorded ages ago, a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Hejira,” which will be coming out in a few months.) You can listen to “Cue the Curtains” or purchase them from among the various following platforms:

YouTube Spotify CDBaby Apple Music Pandora Deezer Napster And of course there is the playlist, which you can stream at both YouTube and Spotify. Here are the playlist contents: The Random Hubiak Band — Cue the Curtains The Beatles — Let It Be Electric Light Orchestra — Shangri-La Crowded House — Together Alone Michael Penn — High Time Tears for Fears — Goodnight Song Todd Rundgren — Just One Victory Cheap Trick — The Flame The Beatles — Hey Jude The Moody Blues — Isn’t Life Strange Badfinger — Name of the Game The Verve — Bitter Sweet Symphony Teho Teardo and Blix Bargeld — A Quiet Life Michael Penn — I Can Tell David Bowie — A Beter Future Hank Fontaine — (Don’t) Count on Me George Harrison — Blow Away Lindsey Buckingham — Flying Down Juniper The RedWalls — Thank You The Smashing Pumpkins — Farewell and Goodnight John Lennon — Aisumasen (I’m Sorry) Utopia — Love is the Answer David Bowie — Everyone Says ‘Hi’ Rockford — Tomorrow Never Knows Ringo Starr — Choose Love Prince — Purple Rain Electric Light Orchestra — Mr. Blue Sky Adrian Belew — Big Blue Sun Rockford — Smell of Sweets Robyn Hitchcock — The Man Who Invented Himself George Harrison — All Things Must Pass Aimee Mann — That’s How I Knew This Story Would Break My Heart The Beatles — Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End Lyrics: If it’s my silence you seek, I’ll offer you my turned cheek.


Just don’t hand me one more weak, paper-thin alibi.


You can dispense with your lines and your purloined pantomimes


’Cuz it will save me the time of refuting all your lazy lies.

I’ve seen you strut your hours for accolades, applause, and flowers.


This covetous desire devours all that it claims that it esteems.


And your soliloquy, too practiced to be just for me defines this tragicomedy.


Cue the curtains: End of scene.

Go ahead, delegate blame if you need someone to shame.


It’s been my face in that frame since the moment I opened up that door.


And there’s no need to exhume the evidence from the tomb.


The elephant in the room can hardly be ignored.

I’ve seen you strut your hours for accolades, applause, and flowers.


This covetous desire devours all that it claims that it esteems.


And your soliloquy, too practiced to be just for me defines this tragicomedy.


Cue the curtains: End of scene.


All of your contrivances — the cobbled, cloyed cliches —


You could play the ingenue, but that was way back in the day.


All the world’s a stage, true; but the limelight’s life is brief,


And you’ll find no home in permanent suspended disbelief.

I’ve seen you strut your hours for accolades, applause, and flowers.


This covetous desire devours all that it claims that it esteems.


And your soliloquy, too practiced to be just for me defines this tragicomedy.


Cue the curtains: End of scene.

You can dispense with your lines. I’ve heard them too many times.


You’ll be absolved of your crimes when the production starts again.