Mountains and Cities

by My Pet Dragon

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about

"This is big, audacious & brimming with hooks.... do not be surprised if you’re hearing more from and about My Pet Dragon, and soon."
--John Norris (Noisevox, ex-MTV News)

"The buzz about New York City-based rock band My Pet Dragon can be attributed to their anthemic songs and powerful live show. Strong pop melodies and lead singer/songwriter Todd Michaelsen's soaring vocals."
-- Filter Magazine

"If you remember a time when rock music on the radio was GOOD – My Pet Dragon is your band."
--Electric Panda

“Moonshine... this one is a must add to your end of the summer playlist."
--Music That's New To Me

"There is some of that emotional and sonic breadth of Arcade Fire at work... a chest-swelling urgency... this one has guts, sinew and songs."
--Elsewhere

"Already receiving rave reviews, Mountains and Cities is your – drive down the coast, wind blowing your hair, destination unknown – kind of album."
--Republic of Brown

"The ideal soundtrack for that cross-country, convertible drive under Augusts’ everlasting sunshine"
--The Deli NYC

“This is music to play while celebrating private victories over personal demons. This is music to play while you dance around your apartment wearing tube socks and a tank top, singing into the handle of your hair brush... It’s hard to pick out favourite tracks; every song on this album is clearly a work of art and an act of love, and every song feels like my favourite when it starts to play."
--HaveMatWillTravel

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My Pet Dragon Is:

TODD MICHAELSEN - Vocals, Rhythm & Lead Guitars, Horns, Ebows, Percussion, & Programming

REENA SHAH - Background Vocals and Percussion

RAJEEV MADDELA - Drums (Tracks 1, 2, 8, 10, 11, 12)

MARIO PADRON - Bass (Tracks 2, 6, 11, 12)

VINCENT MASCOLO - Guitars (Tracks 1, 2, 12)



Additional Musicians:

DANNY LOUIS - Mellotron (Track 5), Bass Guitar (Track 8)

ANTHONY MOLINA - Bass Guitar (Tracks 4, 9); Bass Synthesizer (Track 5)

ANTHONY RIZZO - Lead Guitar & Guitar Effects (Tracks 9, 10)

JASON MOLINA - Drums (Tracks 4, 9)

JUSTIN SMITH - Violin (Track 4)

STEPHEN GEORGE - Drums (Tracks 5, 6); Additional Keyboards, Percussion & Programming (Tracks 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10)

LOST AND FOUND CHOIR: (Track 2) Anne Robinson, Chris and Julie Bowman, Jeffrey Cameron, Jimmie Goodman, Aliza Hava, Dakota Bowman, Noah London, Roman Horst, Lyndsey Michaelsen



All songs written by Todd Michaelsen.
Published by Dragon’s Lair (ASCAP)

Produced, Mixed and Recorded by Stephen George for Gimme That Sound Productions

All tracks recorded and mixed at Gimme That Sound Studios

Additional recording Todd Michaelsen at Dragon’s Lair Studios

EXCEPT: Tracks 3, 4, 6, 7:

Recorded by Todd Michaelsen at Dragon's Lair Studios



Additional recording Stephen George at Gimme That Sound Studios

Mixed by Stephen George at Gimme That Sound Studios

Assistant Engineer Dakota Bowman

Mastering Chris Gehringer at Sterling Sound

Cover art by Shiro Akiyoshi
Layout by Gene Amoroso | bolduniverse.com

© 2011 Gimme That Sound Productions®. All rights reserved.


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Biography:

The My Pet Dragon story begins with a young Todd Michaelsen climbing into his old, beat-up Buick headed for New York City with a lyric book and Stratocaster in tow….

Todd grew up in upstate New York in a town called Granville, a small mining community on the Vermont border not too far from Saratoga. He grew up listening to his parents rock records of Springsteen, Young, Hendrix, and Dylan, but was also very influenced by 90's alt-rock. He had just quit college to expand his horizons in New York City's East Village, where he crashed on his uncle's couch for a year. After meeting artists, musicians, and DJ's, he moved to Bushwick, Brooklyn and immersed himself in the burgeoning music scene of Brooklyn. It was there he started playing with future My Pet Dragon drummer Rajeev Maddela. The two bonded over a love of rock music influenced by big, expansive artists such as the Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, and Bjork.

It was at Raj's loft/rehearsal space that Michaelsen met Reena Shah, an actress and classical Indian dancer from New Jersey. The two became inseparable and quickly moved in together, their blossoming romance punctuated by the harsh reality of living in a cold water flat in a rough neighborhood. A shared love of music and art got them through this stressful period. Their luck changed when they went to Mumbai to visit Reena’s relatives. It was Todd’s first trip to India and he was amazed by the experience. The couple explored Jain temples and saw live music, dance and the martial arts of Kerala. Indian culture was thriving despite intense poverty, just as they had thrived as a couple despite the hardships of their lives back home. After two months in India, Todd proposed to Reena on a beach overlooking the Arabian Sea.

After the inspiring trip, the couple returned to New York and formed My Pet Dragon, named after Todd's imaginary childhood nemesis. Todd and Reena's journey throughout India heavily influenced Todd’s songwriting—rock fans and DJs, alike, embraced their homemade debut album, First Born. A remixed version of the song “Dragon Breath” was played on BBC Radio and the album and subsequent tour received rave reviews. First Born also caught the ear of acclaimed DJ and producer Karsh Kale, who had Todd write and sing three songs on his 2006 album Broken English and appeared on Breathing Under Water, his 2007 collaboration with Anoushka Shankar. (Todd was also featured on the track 'Phoenix Rising' off of Kale's latest record "Cinema", which debuted at #1 on the iTunes World Music Charts this year). Todd and Reena worked together again on 2009’s award winning animated feature film “Sita Sings the Blues,” with Todd composing the score and original songs, and Reena voicing the title character of Sita.

All of this activity led My Pet Dragon to acclaimed producer Stephen George. George, aka Stevo, was the original drummer in the legendary band Ministry and has recorded and worked with a wide range of musicians including Iggy Pop, The Cars, and Common. Stevo was impressed by First Born and a demo of Todd’s new compositions. He offered to produce and release the next My Pet Dragon record on his newly formed label, Gimme That Sound Productions. Recorded at George’s studio, in a barn located in the Catskills, the recordings feature new friends Danny Louis (Gov't Mule), Carlos Anthony Molina (Mercury Rev), Carl Jason Molina (Hurricane Bells, Longwave), Anthony Rizzo (Little Embers, Garden Variety), as well as My Pet Dragon band members Rajeev Maddela, Mario Padron, Vincent Mascolo, and Reena Shah. The recordings were inspired by classic and contemporary artists such as Radiohead, Flaming Lips, Smashing Pumpkins, Beach Boys and Neil Young, but invoke a unique, ethereal sound driven by Todd’s frenetic guitar strum and melodic tenor voice.

Though many tracks on the record find Michaelsen playing all the instruments and performing all of the vocal parts, during the recording of the album, My Pet Dragon blossomed into a full 5 piece rock band who's combination of power, ambience, and passion set them apart right away. It seems as though Todd has finally found the right musicians he was looking for when he headed to New York City years ago. Maddela's mesmerizing drumming matches the energy of Todd's songs, voice, and guitar playing. Mario Padron's exciting performances and expansive bass playing push the band into new territory, while Vincent Mascolo's beautiful guitar playing and backup singing gives the band its shimmer and ambience. Reena Shah has now started playing keyboards while her singing, dancing, and percussion give the band a unique and soulful presence. "MPD", as their fans call them, are as excited about the new record "Mountains and Cities" as their audience is.
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Contact:
pd@gimmethatsound.com
www.gimmethatsound.com

www.mypetdragon.net

For press inquiries:
August Forte / august@novo.net
773.278.6686

credits

released August 2, 2011

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Track Name: Majestic Lovers
You set the fire beneath me... you set it off, you set it off
you know just how to release me, you get me off, you get me off
Lord I want to tap into your heart
lord I want to tap into your heart

And the feeling that it all will be gone someday
It’ll keep you in the arms of a woman so soft
I think I now know why it is you pray
You're wishing for something beyond beyond

Majestic Lovers, come sing with me like no other

You walk the wire to meet me
you dance across, you dance across
in you I'm lost completely, sweetly lost, completely lost
Lord I want to tap into your heart
lord I'm gonna tap into your heart

And the feeling that it all will be gone someday
It’ll keep you in the arms of a woman so soft
I think I now know why it is you pray
You're wishing for something beyond beyond
And the feeling that it all will be gone someday
It’ll keep you in the arms of a woman so soft
I think I now know why it is you pray
You're wishing for something beyond beyond

Majestic lovers, majestic lovers, majestic lovers
come sing with me like no other
Track Name: Moonshine
In the dark of the night you put your hands together and you pray
for the sweetest of souls who will listen to everything you say....
cuz we're both bleeding hearts what a shame we found each other too late
well you're timeless like the sun, you're timeless like the moon baby

Let's drink some Moonshine together
may the red wine keep us alive forever

I remember when you were drunk dancing under stars
and you told me who you loved oh no no it broke my heart
well you're timeless like the sun, you're timeless like the moon baby
well maybe in the next life, maybe in the next maybe

Let's drink some Moonshine together
may the red wine keep us alive forever

In the dark of the night you put your hands together and you pray
for the sweetest of souls who will listen to everything you say
oh mama, oh my my my, don't you ever go away
cuz we're having a party and you are the guest of honor - stay

We'll drink the Moonshine together
may the red wine keep us alive forever
Let's drink the moonshine together
may the red wine keep us alive forever

maybe in the next life I'll meet you in the moonlight
meet me in the waves, meet me in the waves
maybe in the next life I'll meet you in the moonlight
meet me in the waves meet me in the wave
Track Name: Love Anthem
We need love, we need hope
to cut away all this rope
we're tied and bound, told not to make a sound
they want to keep, keep our feet upon the ground
we need to lift up to the sun, we need to know that we are one
we are one, we are one, we are one with everyone
you can't dance on the backs of the poor
you can't dance like that no more
you can't dance on the backs of the poor
you can't dance like that no more

if you can hear us, we're calling out
you better hear us, we're calling out

Only love can save us now
Only love can save us now

Now all the rage inside you feel
don't let 'em tell you it's not real
upon this earth for once in our lives
you can stay asleep or you can wake to realize
you can't dance on the backs of the poor
you can't dance like that no more
you can't dance on the backs of the poor
you can't dance like that no more
we need to lift up to the sun, we need to know that we are one
we are one, we are one and this is the sound of connection

if you can hear us, we're calling out
you better hear us, we're calling out

Only love can save us now
Only love can save us now
Only love can save us now
Only love can save us now
Only love can save us now
Only love can save us now
Only love can save us now
Only love can save us now
Track Name: Siren
I get lost in the clouds when you are around
your footsteps in my bedroom calm me down
And the city tonight is sparkling wine
and when you wear that green dress you stop time
And I'm outta my mind, when you're by my side
this temporary insanity is fine

Oh lady you're the real thing
and there's no one who deserves you... not even me
Oh lady you're the real thing
and there's no one who deserves you... well maybe me

And I let out a sigh when I think of that night
when I got wrecked off Guinness and you off wine
Baby you were so kind that I had to make you mine
you came out of nowhere somewhere divine
And the city tonight is sparkling wine
and when you wear that green dress you're stopping time

Oh lady you're the real thing
and there's no one who deserves you... not even me
Oh lady you're the real thing
and there's no one who deserves you...

You're the siren in the night sending chills up my spine
and I'm tripping off the songs you sing all the time
You're the siren in the night sending chills up my spine
and I'm tripping off the songs you sing me

ooooh you're my siren in the night
you're my siren
ooooh you're my siren in the night
you're my siren
ooooh you're my siren in the night
you're my siren
ooooh you're my siren in the night
you're my siren
ooooh you're my siren in the night
my lovely siren

Oh lady you're the real thing
and there's no one who deserves you... not even me
Oh lady you're the real thing
and there's no one who deserves you... well maybe me

Oh lady you're the real thing and there's no one

Oh lady you're the real thing and there's no one
who deserves you.
Track Name: U R
U R, U R the sound I hear coming,
I hear you cut and slice through the air
U R, U R the mystery hanging the glow up in the atmosphere

U R, U R, U R, U R, U R
U R, U R, U R, U R, U R

U R, U R the sound I hear coming,
I hear you cut and slice through the air
U R, U R the mystery hanging the glow up in the atmosphere
U R, U R those far away places,
we talk of but never get there
U R, U R the feeling that we used to get back when we had no care

U R, U R, U R, U R, U R
U R, U R, U R, U R, U R

U R, U R
U R, U R, U R
You are, You are.
Track Name: Darling
Man I need a melody to make me forget about time
Forget about the rising seas in the land of me myself and I
Forget about these zombies, forget about the suit and tie
We're gonna fill our souls tonight, with music straight off the vine

If you don't belong anywhere out there
If you don't belong well come to me my dear

Darling come see about me
and I'll make sure my friends take care of you
Darling come see about me

Man I need a melody to make me forget about time
Forget about the crows feet in the mirror dancing 'round my eyes
We're gonna see a show tonight
Show me yours I'll show you mine
Gonna fill our souls tonight, with music straight off the vine

If you don't belong anywhere out there
If you don't belong well come to me my dear

Darling come see about me
and I'll make sure my friends take care of you
Darling come see about me


Don't it make you feel crazy,
'cuz you release all the love they hide, Oh
Don't it make you feel looney,
well they're the ones that are stuck inside, Oh
Lets run away and get married,
a little house in the countryside, Oh
Lets run away and get married...
What do you say would you be my blushing bride?

Gonna fill our souls tonight with music straight off the vine
Gonna fill our souls tonight so Darling won't come on by

Darling come see about me
I'll make sure my friends take care of you
Darling come see about me

Darling come see about me
I'll make sure my friends take care of you
Darling come see about me
Track Name: Crystal Ball
Crystal Ball
Words and music by Todd Michaelsen
Published by Dragon's Lair (ASCAP)

Oooooooooooooooo OoooooooooAaaaaaaaah
Oooooooooooooooo OoooooooooAaaaaaaaah

So buried beneath it
You can't can't even see it
You're a Chemical Demon
You have lost all your reasons
Its a miracle you're still Breathing
Ch Ch Chemical Demon
Have you lost all you Believe in?
Live a Life of Deceiving
You're So Buried beneath it
You can't can't even see it
Have you lost all your reasons?
Chemical Demon

No it doesn't Take a Crystal Ball,
to know you're gonna throw Away it all
No it doesn't Take a Crystal Ball,
to know you're gonna throw Away it all

Drown you sorrows in drinking
Have you lost all your feeling?
We can see your nose is bleeding
This ain't just on the weekend
You're Throwing it Away Believe it
You're Throwing it away can't you see it?
This is your One Chance to Be it
This is your One Chance to Dream it
This is your One Chance to Be it
This is your One Chance to Dream
DREAM DREAM DREAM

No it doesn't Take a Crystal Ball (No it doesn't Take)
to know you're gonna throw Away it all - (Throw it all AWAY)
No it doesn't Take a Crystal Ball (No it doesn't Take)
to know you're gonna throw Away it all

Gonna Throw Away, Gonna Throw AWAY

No it doesn't Take a Crystal Ball (No it doesn't Take)
to know you're gonna throw Away it all - (Throw it all AWAY)
No it doesn't Take a Crystal Ball (No it doesn't Take)
to know you're gonna throw Away it all

Gonna Throw AWAY

You're Throwing it Away Believe it
You're Throwing it away can't you see it?
This is your One Chance to Be it
This is your One Chance to Dream it
This is your One Chance to Be it
This is your One Chance to Dream
DREAM DREAM DREAM
Track Name: Lover in Hiding
I can see it in your eyes that you feel it too
Something in the wind that is ringing true
An electrical storm pass from me to you
When it disappears what are we to do?

So we howled at the moon and smoked a cigarette
Played your favorite songs and never forget

Lover in Hiding it's safe to come out
You always gave more than you got out
Now you're free to roam anywhere you want
We all cry tears of wine to give you purple clouds

I remember the last time that I drank with you
We were dancing all around like a bunch of fools
Screaming out with joy "baby I love you"
When you leave this earth I will miss you too

So we howled at the moon and smoked a cigarette
Played your favorite songs and never forget
How you sang along to Bob Dylan
And you pointed when the words struck a chord within

Lover in Hiding it's safe to come out
You always gave more than you got out
Now you're free to roam anywhere you want
We all cry tears of wine to give you purple clouds

I remember the last time that I drank with you
We were dancing all around like a bunch of fools
Screaming out with joy "baby I love you"
When you leave this earth I will miss you too

Oh what are we to do?
Oh what are we to do?
Track Name: Flow
Star-crossed lover, I'd pay to see you dance
In another dimension
You're the butter that’s dripping off my tongue
You make me wonder has the world just begun

What a night for a moonlit rooftop dance
Come on now this could be our one last chance
Let the energy go, Let the energy flow
Let the energy go with the energy

Come on now this could be our one last chance
What a night for a moonlit rooftop dance
Let the energy go, Let the energy flow
Let the energy
flow flow flow

Right through you
Back through me
Oh, through you
Back through me

Na na na na na na.....naaaaaaa

Coming from the bottom, surging up my spine
I am yours and you are mine
Star-crossed lover, I paid to see you dance
In another dimension

What a night for a moonlit rooftop dance
Come on now this could be our one last chance
Let the energy go, Let the energy flow
Let the energy go with the energy

Come on now this could be our one last chance
What a night for a moonlit rooftop dance
Let the energy go, Let the energy flow
Let the energy
flow flow flow

Right through you
Back through me
oh oh oh oh
Through you- let it flow
Back through me

Flow
Flow
Flow
Flow
Flow
Flow
Flow
Flow, Flow, Flow


What a night for a moonlit rooftop dance
What a night for a moonlit rooftop dance

Flow
What a night What a night

Flow
What a night What a night

Flow
What a night!

Flow
What a night!

Flow
What a night!

Flow
What a night!
FLOW!!!!
Track Name: Lightning Inside
When I was a young boy my mother she told me:
”Son, don't you walk this world like anyone"
When I was a lover my woman she told me:
"Hun, don't you kiss me just like anyone"
When I was a Pagan I worshipped the setting sun, so I had no need for religion

and I feel, and I feel
there's a lightning inside me
and I feel, and I feel
that my time is gonna come

When I was a soldier
I shot at the sun for fun
until I heard the wardrums
When I was a human I craved a connection
and I want you to feel the words I've sung

When you're one with the sound you find that your found
You're one with the air and you're one with the ground

and I feel, and I feel
there's a lightning inside me
and I feel, and I feel
that my time is gonna come

Do you ever get the feeling something is happening beyond explanation?
Do you ever get the feeling something is happening beyond explanation?

When I was a pagan....

and I feel, and I feel
there's a lightning inside me
and I feel, and I feel
that my time is gonna come

and I feel, and I feel
Track Name: Songbird
You need a little love so be my bloody valentine
Cupid's always drunk and never shoots in straight lines
Soaring little dove flying with the airplanes
Well I'm a perfect shot so now you going down in flames

Bullet in the back
Massive heart attack
Screaming as our bodies collide

She likes to be choked
Secret up in smoke
Celebrating being alive

Oooh Songbird - Love to heal your broken wing now
Oooh Songbird - I've got something to make you sing now
Oooh Songbird - Gorgeous melody on a roller coaster
Oooh Songbird - I hold the key, sing for me and I'll let you out

Taste the killer lips pleasure with a pinch of pain
Ride the killer waves right before the hurricane
Center of the storm, a screaming little baby born
His primal little yell, animal to the core

Nails across the back
Massive heart attack
Screaming as our bodies collide

She likes to be choked
Secret up in smoke
Celebrating being alive

Oooh Songbird - Love to heal your broken wing now
Oooh Songbird - I've got something to make you sing now
Oooh Songbird - Gorgeous melody on a roller coaster
Oooh Songbird - I hold the key, sing for me and I'll let you out

Let you out, let you out

Oooh Songbird - Love to heal your broken wing now
Oooh Songbird - I've got something to make you sing now
Oooh Songbird - Gorgeous melody on a roller coaster
Oooh Songbird - I hold the key, sing for me and I'll let you out
Track Name: Mountains and Cities
Give me your sunbeams give me your light shine it down on me
I'm not afraid of bathing inside of your mystery
If the mountains and cities crumble
back into the oceans back into the sea
If the mountains and cities crumble
it wouldn't bother, no it wouldn't bother me

And if the black-winged bird follows you
And if the black-eyed serpent surrounds you
And if the black-howl wolves circle you
And if the black hole starts to swallow you

Remember the light that’s shining
out through your fingers down through your feet
Remember the light that’s shining
out through your fingers right onto me
Remember the light that’s shining
out through your fingers down through your feet
Remember the light that’s shining
out through your fingers right on back to me

We hear the sirens, we see the signs that they don't see
Their ice is melting faster than anyone can see
If the mountains and cities crumble
back into the oceans back into the sea
If the mountains and cities crumble
it wouldn't bother, no it wouldn't bother me

And if the black-midnight cloud covers you
You can’t see the path to get yourself back to you (oh no)
Don’t know where you belong you need that song to find you (oh no)
When you feel like the music’s gone, I’ll sing, I'll sing for you

Remember the light that’s shining
out through your fingers down through your feet
Remember the light that’s shining
out through your fingers right onto me
Remember the light that’s shining
out through your fingers down through your feet
Remember the light that’s shining
out through your fingers right on down to me

Remember the light
Remember the light