If I'm Not Struck By Lightning

by My Friend Michael

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  • Poster/Print

    Handwritten lyrics, intentionally messy, potentially including alternate lyrics or verses, or words not fully legible. Trust me, lyrics clearly written turn into mediocre poetry. But this is the closest you'll come. Heavy paper in nice ink, though you can choose. Messy handwriting, professional presentation. Not a print. Happy to frame or laminate for additional cost.

    You can ask for any customization, i.e. paper, size, color, artistic flexibility/messiness, the words I whisper before sealing in envelope and telling address to pigeon, etc...

    - I pick the song (default, can be from album)
    - You request specific song (0.50 cents extra)
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    A real professionally printed CD, includes free download code for digital copy, and potentially unreleased hidden demos (apologies in advance... and you're welcome?)
    You can hold a Compact Disc up to an old radio and I think it just works. But yeah just a CD with packaging that folds open and is beautiful to behold. Includes additional art (initial version has no insert or lyrics unless initial demand for it; might be a surprise inside some of them, randomly chosen).

    Includes unlimited streaming of If I'm Not Struck By Lightning via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 2 days
    edition of 40 

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released May 20, 2017

...then I guess I'm not as special as the ground?

There may be some interesting hidden tracks if you download the whole album! But can't confirm, they're hiding.

-- PRESS --

"Michael Weinstein has grabbed the acoustic baton from Bright Eyes and is ushering in the new wave of brutally honest, heartbreaking folk for young Millenials." - Ari Herstand, Digital Music News


released May 1, 2017

All songs written and performed by My Friend Michael.

Vocals and Guitar: My Friend Michael
Various Synths: Adam Hirsch
String Synth: Brandon Montell
Assorted Noises: Adam Hirsch, My Friend Michael
(See songs for specific credits)

Recorded and Mixed by Adam Hirsch at Tiny Telephone Studios, San Francisco and Oakland, CA
Mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering, Boston, MA
Assistant Mastering Engineer: Maria Rice

Cover Photo: Sam Zeisler
Graphic Design: Ali Sooudi, Simon Friedlander & Michael Weinstein (with acknowledgement to Jasper Van Looveren-Baines)


A special thank you to Adam Hirsch for his generosity in clarity of opinion, technical intuition and flexible late nights, and to Jacob Winik, John Vanderslice and everyone who stepped foot in Tiny Telephone Studios during my time there. Additional thanks to Alex Schwartz and his honest feedback through every stage of the process (i.e. blame him), Tommy P. and Harlow's Monkey for the support in promotion and organizing the inspiring early release show, to Jasper Van Looveren-Baines for his incredibly helpful design feedback, in addition to Josh Beam, Connor McGuigan, Ben Breuner, Paris Gravley, Lizzie Davis and others for their honest feedback when I needed an opinion, to Jacob Skaggs for his excitement and willingness to make beautiful videos and express sincere support of my vision, and truly to all of my friends--you know who you are--for supporting me and listening to these songs over and over, seriously can't believe you still come to any shows though I hope you continue the journey with me, to Clyde Always—Bard of the Lower Haight—for his art and words and community support, and to KC Turner and Brendan and Les and the scaffolding of the familial SF singer-songwriter community, and to my high school English teachers for supporting whatever spark of language or music they saw in me, and my high school music teacher whose reminder to "write for the trash" is only just now something I've learned to understand and strive for.

Thank you to strangers and acquaintances who have come up to me after a show because a song particularly touched you (I don't remember so many of you) for every hug, comment, story, tear, drink, and for the generosity of your vulnerability. And for the unexpected Facebook messages, emails... You all inspire me every day to continue, it's the best. And a special thanks to my family for supporting my music since I jumped around writing lyrics on an untuned ukulele to buying me my first guitar in middle school, for introducing me to the influences of which this album is merely a collage, and for sitting through the surreal experience of watching their loved one publicly and cathartically express vulnerability on stage; I'll never understand how artists have parents, but I'm deeply grateful for their understanding of the art.

And thank you for listening. I hope one of these songs makes you feel something. I hope you get the shiver in your spine that I do, and that you find beauty in these songs when you need it most.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, so much, for listening and connecting.


Thank you to Leonard Cohen, who unknowingly helped build me, taught me how to find absurdity in torture and romance in a certain wink of dignity. And whose phrases stay with me always in their concise, impolite and shivering profundity. I write now only to pay a vast debt. To the minor falls and major lifts, to those sentences that make you stop and stare at nothing, for some reason, as if waiting for a heavy stone to sink.

I am immeasurably grateful and indebted to all of you, I hope this album gives back to you some of what you've given me.



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My Friend Michael San Francisco, California

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Track Name: Folk Song #294
I've, I've run away from every Internet fight that's been waged in my name.
And I forgive them slow
'cause I want them to know all the things that I know

That's quite enough of this feeling of being alive,
I guess I'll try something harmful to put in my mind.

Always hang onto your sins, they're what whistle through the hatch when your heart is unhinged.
There's a song, at the back of my throat, and I think it's the worst song that I ever wrote.

While you copy with broken fingers, their rule of thumb,
Well Christ could die a thousand times before my sins are done.
You're hurting your case with your reasons for acting so dumb.
How many times I must we be reminded the end's not yet begun?

But I was never as strong as I thought, I understandably will not just accept what I fought.
I'm an affiliate of all that you wrought, on the outskirts of the blossom in the bosom of our plot.

I was impossible to please, but I'll judge you with all that I've got,
from out here on the rocks.
And I'll bleed you with the disembodied claws of all the crawfish we'd caught.

I whisper, This is just a folk song, just a howl; just some story disemboweled on the cross of some stage.
And no these are just chords in decay, they're always just the same, the same thoughts rearranged.

I think this corduroy's hiding the dust that keeps shadowing me, (I keep feeling something).
Who's to blame, for the words all the same, for the laws of the game, and the build and the crash
on the minor and fade.

I was impossible to catch, cause I blend with the radio waves;
You can always see the brave.

I've been a stranger so long, it's a line from a folk song.
Track Name: If You Will, I Will
We are sitting in the snowstorm as the white drowns out the clouds.
The way I hung around alone even before I heard that you left town.
I've been sailing through my choices on the sighs of the ghosts of the road.
It's gets too easy to decide, because the dead always guide you home.

And I am hunched beneath the hurricane in a towel and a shirt.
The way the words I used against the pain were really just as wet and as hurt.
The only warmth I draw from now is just my body and some gun,
And maybe the friction on the wrong side of some... some gun, ah well
I lost my last tooth to my gaping neck.

I guess I'm off in my head again
I think I've bled on my last corsage.
Well somethings got it in for me, the upraised root, the lowhung tree and still,
If you will, I will.
I will.

It is raining in the pool and you splash me like a fool I pretend to drown,
The way I hung around alone even before I heard from friends that you were leaving town.
Well, if I'm not struck by lightning, then I guess I'm not as special as the ground.
And if I refrain from talking, then I'll never be as lonely as I sound.

I lost my last breath to a ramblin' wind
My thought was lost mid air again
I think I've walked through my last mirage.
But if you ever turn around and find what it is you once found then still,
If you will, I will.
I will.

I lost my last, axiom when the last I sung didn't mean anything,
For if all we were was a motion blur I'm a harbinger of dexterity.
If every tooth that has died were retained inside I'd be broke, at least I'd have what grew out of me.
And though I hold tight to your vines at night there are scissors on the balcony.
I'm not yet torn to pieces though, I'm sure that all these cracks will show.

I lost my last,
I lost my last love to the past and then,
I think I'm off in my head again,
I think I've bled on my last corsage.
And though the years have nothing changed, I'm waiting for the olden days, until,
If you will, I will.
I will.

I will.
Track Name: The Chorus
There are those moments when you're breaking down, just breaking down on a shoulder.
There are those moments when you're crying out, just crying for a savior.

Someone's explaining all the theories I can't grasp, to some children on the grass,
in the evening at the park near my old house.

Someone's egging on the choir; someone's luring on the fall.
And someone's splaying out the splendor for us all.

Someone's flat against the pavement sorting pebbles from his teeth,
Someone's posting up the poster they've kept hidden now for weeks.

There are those moments when you're finding out, you're finding now what the war is.
There are those moments when you're hiding out, you're hiding now in the chorus.

Someone's been holding all the answers I can't find; they're always standing just behind me.
Am I blind, or can I see and just don't mind?

Someone's been picking on the pastor's kid, he's crazy in the tower,
He's been throwing down his money now for hours.

Someone's broken in the gutter; someone's just a silhouette,
Someone's trying to remember while she's trying to forget.

Someone's sawing through his heartstrings, someone's sawing through her heart.
Someone's using up the tape he bought but he keeps coming apart.

Sometimes it gets so
cold that you can tell that this home's a hotel,
That the rose by the road is a liberty bell.

Someone's been stealing all the letters I can't send, I think I'll write them all again,
to feel the quoting of the thoughts I've never said.

Someone's clipping all the angels' wings, they're praying at the zoo.
Someone has no fucking idea what to do.

Someone's rising in the forest still insisting he's not lost,
Someone's dancing through the sewers with the ghost of Robert Frost.

Someone tries to say I love you, someone's learning how to crawl.
Someone hates the way you turned out, someone's bathing in the chorus with us all.

Sometimes it gets so
cold you can tell that this home's a hotel
That the rose by the road is a liberty bell.
Track Name: This Age
I think we're ready for something to change before
you try to love me too hard and break something.

This isn't working, this ice is just hurting,
The sweat on your heart is a little concerning.

I've waited right here for as long as I could
but I guess I must change, like you promised I would.

The minute it was over, I cried on your shoulder,
Forgetting we shrug so much more when we're older.
I think we're ready for something to change before
I can convince you we're not.

I think you once promised, when this age ended us
I would crack at the seams or grow up and be honest
I think you once told me when I was feeling cold,
That was you in my spine shivering for old time's sake.

Wasting away we were wasting away
In my head and my heart and our every day.

And we both grew up in a safe on the shelf,
So we only know how to grow up by ourselves.

I think this age is ending, ending fast, scrape my heart against the mast,
I think this age is on it's knees, growing up is a disease.
I think I'm breaking at the neck, under everything I think,
over everything my body wants to do with you and me.
Growing up is a disease.

I think my feet are in the tide,
save yourself, get back inside.
Please tell my mom I'll be home after five.
I think I'm ready for something to change before
This age cannot be forgot.

Remember that day when we whispered we're gay?
Back when we were an Us and the world was some They.
But the world broke us down with some stutter she found,
And you slipped through the air in our whispers, away.

Please don't forget me
I'm still only resting
My plan is to find you in
ten years or something.

Cause I think we're ready for something to change before
I try to move on too fast and break something.

This isn't working, the bandage still hurting
I'm running in squares like the sheep we were herding.

Please don't forget me.
Wasting away, we were wasting away.

And oh please don't forget me.
My head or my heart or my everything.

And ah when it was over, held fast to your shoulder,
I forget that we shrug so much more now that we're older.
I think we're ready for something to change before
This age is all that I've got.

I think you once said, when I was feeling dead
You would hold my head and count to ten.
But here I am blue writing letters to you
and my head is rolling over too.

This sorry age,
Between the world we had, and the world we tried to save.
Track Name: Ice Storm
It's late in the evening, you'll be just get getting home
You'll see the slip of paper that I taped to your door.

I know you are broken like a birch at her base
You must've known I was never meant for this place.

When traveling alone, you've got to strip to the bone
And leave your memories locked up at home.
I don't even know who I am on these roads.

I forgot where my home was, as the nights were growing warm,
And I slept in the dirt until my jacket was torn.

I was somewhere up north where the sky never smiles,
I recall that I haven't seen tracks in awhile.

Or when traveling alone, you've got just one song to own,
To sing over and out through your throat.
You've got to speak with somebody to stay afloat.

We all fall down heavy
Under just another day
And we've grown calloused hands and feet
And there are blisters on our brains.
Like branches, in an ice storm, we pray.

Oh I wish I could've been there when the birches let down light
When fools with aces in their sleeves are quoted in the bible
But now it's all wrapped in plastic and I'm searching for air,
God knows I was never gonna find it in there.

Or when traveling alone, you hide your secrets in your coat.
And you wander 'till you wander astray.
Duck your head and shut your eyes
Cause all we can do is pray.

Or like branches, in an ice storm, we wait.