RADIO FRIENDLY FIRE: Demos 2013​-​14

by This Mad Desire



These are the latest series of home recordings that I've made since the batch I released called VALHALLA and this one's called RADIO FRIENDLY FIRE. I like to think of these as a modern version of folk field recordings like in the olden-timey days when they would head out to the Mississippi River looking for genuine blues artists to cut records. They'd be walking along and hearing someone plucking a banjo. Suddenly, they'd drop everything and wheel up their recording equipment. "Frank! This is the real deal! Get a load of this!!" And then of course we find out it's Robert Johnson or someone like this, i.e. one of the greatest musicians of all time. (Not that I'm comparing myself to Robert Johnson... If you've been reading this website, you know I stick with the "Neil Young on David Bowie drugs" line. I don't even know what that means but it sure sounds exciting!)

There are two *bonus tracks* when you purchase the album for $7 in any format you like (wav, mp3, ogg, flac). One of those bonus tracks is a cover of "Indian Summer" by Beat Happening. That's my sales pitch!

The songs cover a wide range of my songwriting history with some of the songs coming from this past year and some from many years ago. Songs I wrote in Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Guelph, Hamilton, Toronto, you name it. A wide variety of times and time zones. My friend Emiily asked me what the lyrics were going to be about and I told her that in all reality, I don't write songs about business -unless we're talking about the business of Love. So there are a lot of songs about relationships, falling in and out of love, etc.

One of them was written for a father's rights organization -they sent me tons of stories that would just bring you to tears. I read them and then composed something about new beginnings called Open Hearts Open Minds. Another one explores what it might be like to be an aging actress losing her looks (Popcorn Nostalgia) and then there's Superficial which is my family's national anthem! "I just want to be Superficial -Superhuman and Artificial!" That's a fun line to sing along to! Somewhere down this page there's a special message from Jeff Rau requesting Drink Me and GREAT NEWS: Jeff's prayers have been answered. There's a version of Drink Me included here! Bottoms up! Cheers!

(My friend Erik Jenson was talking about my friend Olenka Krakus the other day and the way you get my duet with her is to download the VALHALLA collection... psst. it's a cover of Pale Blue Eyes by the Velvet Underground. Don't tell anyone!!)

The cover photograph is courtesy of Jon Gustafsson and is of a volcanic eruption in Iceland.


released December 20, 2014

All songs written, recorded, and not very produced by Mackenzie Kristjon.



all rights reserved


This Mad Desire Hamilton, Ontario

The music of Hamilton, Ontario-based Mackenzie Kristjon. Like "Neil Young on David Bowie drugs". For more info, please contact mackenzie.kristjon at

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Track Name: Not Yours Anymore
a rich and terrible woman.
a loveless turn of events.
don’t think i don’t love you
but i’ve died too many deaths
and i’m not yours anymore.
i’m so sick of what i was before.

it’s in the stars now baby
so get out of your car.
dance in the streets now baby.
you’ve been driven much too far.

they’ll turn it into a movie.
they’ll turn it into a radio song.
and everything will be lovely.
i believe it won’t be long.
Track Name: Superficial
let’s be superficial and speak from the heart.
we can be creative and it doesn’t have to be art.
let’s dress up and be glamorous!
and everyone will flatter us..
let’s have conversations that don’t matter
and make promises we don’t intend to keep..
i want to be Superficial! Superhuman and artificial!

and what would it matter if i never loved you?
you were happy anyway, weren’t you?
let’s dress up and be glamorous!
and everyone will flatter us..
let’s have conversations that don’t matter
and make promises we don’t intend to keep..
i want to be Superficial! Superhuman and artificial!

a life filled with glamour + grace..
a life ruled by fashion + taste..
we ignore what we can’t face..
we don’t use what we can’t waste!
we will sip/drink red wine..
we will feel good all the time..
and i wanna be Superficial! Superhuman and artificial!
Track Name: My Graceful Hero
i always thought you had a certain grace
like you could be a hero if you wanted to.
it was written there all over your face
and when i saw, i wanted to be a hero too.
with an elegance that you can’t fake.
a gift that no one can take from you.
if you would be what you could be.

you know ability alone is not half enough.
required effort allows you to rise above.
in blue tights + red cape like superman,
i stand on a ledge and wonder if i can
step off and take flight,
float upon a ray of light
that shines down on me.
(my graceful hero always leaves).
feel the light on my freefall shine
as i join the skyline..
Track Name: Court Disaster
speak like you mean something to me,
like a slave who wants to be free.
don’t bow to me on bended knee.
keep your head up
there are things you should see.

the way that you court disaster saying that you will be mine.
head down you move ever faster to something you *cannot* define.

you’ll know the limits of your cage
by the fact that you feel saved.
nowhere to move, no room to grow.
you can’t see the horizon, you’ve nowhere to go.

the bruises on your filthy skin.
the arguments you will never win.
streets full of rain that would not come.
hands tied while it all comes undone.

the way that you court disaster saying that you will be mine.
asking me to be your master. run while you still have time.
Track Name: Fortune Teller
when i was a mindreader,
i always knew what you meant.
i didn’t have to play follow the leader;
i knew the way things went.
when i was a fortune teller,
preparing for the apocalypse,
my books were all bestsellers.
i could have predicted this.

it’s coming soon to a theatre near you.
all those things you thought were true.

when i was a sailor,
my heart was restless and free.
i sailed from shore to shore
and left the past behind me.
when i was a cowboy,
i got onto my favourite horse.
i searched the Wild West
looking for you of course.

it's coming soon to a theatre near you.
all those things you thought were true.

there's no such thing as right.
there's no such thing as wrong.
there is only where we belong.
Track Name: Do It Right Now For Love
i’m so tired of her strap-on anger don’t she know?
i’m so tired of her selfish nature, don’t she know?
it’s so hard to watch someone you can’t trust
hurt the ones you love. no it ain’t easy.
do it right now for love.

i’m inspired by her simple visions don’t she know?
i’m inspired by her springtime luscious beauty don’t she know?
Track Name: Don't Look Away
“You’ve been gone such a long time, baby. Tell me where did you go,”
said the girl with the orange lips whose voice was cold as snow.
The ladies down on the boardwalk walk their dogs down by the sea.
They pass us by but their jeweled eyes cry out “raised on robbery”.
I’m the devil in training. I am the saint at prayer. I’m the wind in the desert. I’m the scholar in the dark armchair. I’m the resplendent traveler always with the brand new style. I’ve seen and done everything but I might as well be a child.


You stood in this kitchen and it wasn’t what you thought.
It’s been such a long time that I was hoping you’d forgot.
All those dreams out the window and you know it’s why I left.
I never wanted to hurt you; I just thought it was for the best.
I’m the devil in training. I am the answered prayer. I’m the light in the storm, the sailor in your stare. I’m the consummate salesman always with the great big smile. I’ve seen and done everything but I might as well be a child.

Track Name: Army On The Way
You could say it makes you feel
more lustful and wicked and savage.
Too trustful and sinful to manage.
And your luck is all up to the planets.
Our love is so battered and damaged.
It’s like a child being born on a whim.
Let the fights now begin.
Who can you trust anymore?
Who can you trust when you’re poor?

I can wreck it if you want it. I can take your dreams away.
My pawns are at the ready; my armies are on the way. Hey hey.

You could swear it makes you
explode into a rage or a fling
but on your finger there’s no diamond ring.
Just tell me; I’ll do anything.
I’ve been practicing for forgiving.
It’s like courage let loose from a word
swooping down and then up like a bird.
Who can you trust anymore?
Who can you trust when you’re poor?

My spies are on the lookout for anything you might do.
Don’t you have any doubt that I’m always watching you.
I don’t care what it costs me; I won’t live a life like this.
You will regret you lost me; I assure you I’ll be missed.
Track Name: Drive Automobiles Into Cathedrals
drive automobiles into cathedrals, art museums, and bedrooms where i fell in love with you. all these hearts and flowers but no one’s complaining. if love is an expressionist painting, i’m explaining i’m in love with you. no time to change direction. no time for paranoia. the future is closing in on you. the future when i fell in love with you.
Track Name: Open Hearts Open Minds
open hearts open minds.
no surprise what you will find.
i have a friend in an old steeltown.
he can’t believe what goes around.

he permits what you resist.
he doesn’t see his kids but he wishes he did.
and they don’t know how his heart melts like snow.
from all those times from long ago.

are you with me?
open hearts open minds.

take a chance, a new romance.
i already know your secret plans.
i have a friend in an old steeltown.
he can't believe what goes around.

open hearts open minds.
Track Name: Sweetheart Come On
in this land to speak love is heresy.
sweetheart come on and live this lie with me.
you know we all have past lives that haunt us now and then.
sweetheart don’t be afraid. love finds us in the end.
and I’ve waited so long…
sweetheart come on and work your magic on me.
i know it’s wrong but let it loose on me.

in these times, to speak out is heresy.
sweetheart come on and cast the spell on me.
all of this life’s a warzone. we’ve fled now from our homes.
i know you’re stalking me. i know i’m not alone.

you and i we don’t speak the same language,
speak the same language, you and i.
in my heart i know that love song, know that death song lullaby
that lulls you to sleep. we’re never going to say good-bye!

gone now i am love console me.
this life of mine is yours control me.
darling sweetheart won’t you hold me?
stockholm syndrome i adore thee.
Track Name: Popcorn Nostalgia
popcorn nostalgia, celebrate the actors.
i used to be one in my thinner days.
celluloid perfection, freeze-frame the cellulite.
my legs used to turn men on…
Turn off the Movie! Turn on the Lights!
Remember Me if only for To-night!

i spoke all the lines, made love to the camera.
you’d close your eyes and make believe to me..
it’s not real but it’s still true.
the Monster always gets to you.

(if you see me, don’t be disappointed
by what time has done to me..
i’m not my movies. i don’t have perfect teeth.
in life, i could not suspend your disbelief..)

sandpaper critics say, “beauty is a rose
with immortality on the vine…”
if that’s true, then i should tell you:
I want back my glamour! I want back my pride!
Beauty is on the outside!
I want back my cuteness, my innocent me...
I don’t want to be this thing you see.
Track Name: Disprized
disprized I’ve read the rePorTs. tHere was nothing I learNed..
they drank the match & kerosene but could not be burned..

recuperate renoVate revisit redeem..
say what you want not what you meAn..

they specialize in tenderness, these mechanical heRds..
they sacrifice new maths and appliance-words..

recuperaTe renovate revisit redeem..
do what you want not what you dream..

disprized and looking to the sky
to serve up a new paradigm.
their gods of flesh breed pregnant spies.
electric fetus, electric eyes.

they traNsmiT twittering tones to-Night!
they woN’t find their way home To-night!
they won’t feeL dispriZed..
Track Name: Drink Me
“catch the sun,” she said, “and ride it into me.
i’ll eat you when you drink me..”
i’ve seen the way her tongue waves out to crash
her diseased dinners back on shore (crippled)
to be picked apart by condors.
my inability to swim with the current disquiets me
as her twilight undertow swallows me.

“swoop down,” she said, “like a pelican would
to quench his evening thirst except…
don’t feel that you can take part of me
and get away so easily..

"drink me.. and drown in me..”
Track Name: Outside
the city’s dripping from your eyes.
you have permanent control.
the architect of my mind you are -the truth still holds.
I MUST BE BLIND to what you know
I CAN’T READ YOUR MIND how could I know?

the sky crashed down around us.
the vines all wrapped around our arms.
in this twisted wreck they found us
but we never came to any harm.

there’s a lesson taught by the masks we hide behind.
we are the language of the truth we cannot find..

do you want to be invisible?
Track Name: Radio Friendly Fire
do your soul some good
and do what they said you should
and fall in love with me.
radio friendly fire. the sovereign music of our desire.
and tonight you belong to me.

radio friendly fire. music of our desire.
i know you know we know and there’s blood on the radio.

force magnetic strip.
kiss me on the lips
and tell me your secret dreams.
you should wear a dress
and tell me more with less.
tonight you belong to me.
Track Name: Sun and Pavement
feeling the heat of the sun’s daytime stare.
i smash my wings against pavement air.
just wanted to feel the clouds and the sky.
the sun melts my wings as I fly!

sun and pavement.

drawn to one, I achieve the other.
man-made angels seem destined to suffer..
knowing something that can’t be believed.
knowing I have been deceived again..

sun and pavement.
Track Name: True Love (Ain't What It Used To Be)
true love ain’t what it used to be. you’ll see -i guarantee. in the morning planned the perfect crime. one shot to leave it all behind... my secret weapon! oh what wondrous doors will unlock and mysteries reveal! we can dance on razorblades. there’s no heart we can’t steal! i can’t see you because love is blind but you know you’re always on my mind. we could carry on for centuries. this is our last chance to be free, my secret weapon. life’s hard but expenses paid. small price to be betrayed! you keep trying because love is fair over the hills and over there. my secret weapon! (is you)