Dry Days

by Dry Days

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about

recorded July 2016 in Oakland, California

Two cycles of three songs, written over the course of three years. The first cycle charts an autobiographical journey, the second a political-theoretical one.

None of these songs are meant as definitive statements, but as personal and communal explorations, attempts to move from isolation, difference, and despair towards collective struggle and liberation.

"I don't really fault people. Everybody can't be born at the same time, some people are born before, some people are born during, some people are born after. A lot of that's just circumstance. So what's really to be the question is, what is to be done, where you're at, and how you gonna do it." - Mike Watt

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released September 1, 2016

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about

Dry Days Oakland, California

commie folk faggot shit. not watching the world burn, but being the burning world.

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Track Name: Bright Light (Song for March)
This song is about my experience in Santa Cruz County Jail after being arrested as part of an action protesting tuition hikes in the UC system and police violence. This event marks the beginning of the narrative of this three song cycle, and its repercussions make themselves felt throughout.

Solidarity to all those imprisoned by the capitalist state.

Bright light / no windows
People outside might be singin’ and shoutin’ / but three foot cement walls make it quiet and cold
Take my fingerprints / take my jacket
Leave me the shirt on my back / and the dragonflies in my esophagus

Cold room / colder than the one you were raised in
And the people next door / can’t hear the words that you’re sayin’
Sing songs, try not to panic
Somehow end up on the floor, fitful sleep comes easy

And the bruises on my wrists, and the dust in my hair
And the number on my arm won’t get me anywhere
Florescent lights, toilet paper when I ask for it
I never expected to be so young

Harsh voices / top 40 radio with the volume turned down
And the people next door / are moving further away
They say they’re gonna get us on felony conspiracy
They say I’m gonna be in this cell all alone for at least 3 days

Yellow post-it note / with an 831 number
I want my phone call / and a cup of water
And hearing your voice right then / was way too much to handle
You said that you were with a whole bunch of people / and money for bail

And the bruises on my wrists, slowly healing birthmarks
And the number on my arm begins to fade away
Get my jacket back, wrap my bandana around my face
I never expected to be so young
Track Name: Market & Adeline (Song for June)
Market and Adeline
Corner store like church
Flagpole sticks straight up in the front yard
Overly rehearsed

Bike down to 32nd
House show my friends are playing
Find someone to take me home with them
Guess that’s where I’m staying tonight

In this town

In the morning bike back up to my parents house
Got some documents to scan
Change my name in every institution
That I can

Walk up to Ashby station
Check out the flea market just because
Don’t buy anything
Or say hello to anyone that I know

In this town

On the bus back down to Santa Cruz
I am biting my lip
Sometimes you have to leave the things
You know that you will miss

Court date on Thursday
Watch what I say
Be thankful that I’m not in jail
Today

In this town
Track Name: Black Mold (Song for a New March)
All landlords are slumlords, all judges are jailers.

The lord works in mysterious ways
But today he finally called us back
He said he’s sorry for the things he hasn’t done
He said he’s gonna make it up

He’s gonna come by tomorrow
Some time or other
Hide the mattresses, hide the evidence
Run for cover

And when he opens up the walls
He finds nothing inside
But the black mold grows in the cracks and in the spaces in between
In the corners of our lives

And there you go, running up the stairs
Trapped in the cages that you built
And here we are, lying on the roof
We feel the world begin to tilt

I wake up early, you just got in off the bus
I get dressed, you change and change and change
Meet downstairs, bike down to the courthouse
Some things stay the same

And when the judge walks in the room
Everybody stands
But the black mold grows in the cracks and in the spaces in between
And it takes us by the hand

In the kitchen, dishes piled high
We sit on the floor, handle pens like dynamite
Torn up magazines, hopes and fears and visions
In the waning light

And as it gets late we’re talkin’ politics again
Try to spill our hearts out of our mouths
We gotta find a way of building something better
We gotta find a way out

And when we fall into our beds
We dream of shapeless things
But the black mold grows in the cracks and the spaces in between
From where our visions spring
Track Name: Nighttime (Song for the Fall)
This song, the oldest in this release, was written in September 2014, a time marked for me by its proximity to the Israeli bombing of Gaza in Operation Protective Edge and the aftermath of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

It is an attempt to reconcile the profound loneliness, isolation, and despair that I felt with the sense that something was about to explode, that the time for action was immediate, a sense that would be borne out by the uprisings of the following months across the U.S.

It was the night time but you weren’t sleeping
I came knocking on your door cause I wasn’t either
You let me in, and we couldn’t sleep together
‘Til we woke up in the morning curled around each other’s bodies
That’s the dream

In real life, it’s 4 in the morning
You’re at your place, I’m at mine, you’re asleep and I’m up worrying
‘Bout everything we stand for, and everyone who’s dying
And I wish someone would hold me so that I could finally start to cry
Yeah, I need to cry
Cause there’s something trying to claw its way out of my eyes

It was the night time but you weren’t sleeping
I came knocking on your door cause I wasn’t either
But this time there were people in the streets, the streets were filled up
And we went out to join them, and burn this fucking world down
That's the dream

And that’s why I stay up late at night
I’m just waiting for the revolution at 4 in the morning
Cause I can’t bear to think that I would be asleep when we take it over
And I can’t bear to think that I would be just another civilian,
A casualty, I wanna smash everything they’ve built out of concrete
I wanna kill every cop that I see on the street
I wanna love you ‘til the words come easily
I want something more than I can see
More than I can see
Track Name: Song for the Dead and the Living (Song for No Future)
This song was written after Leelah Alcorn's death, and was an attempt to find, in the heart of despair at the incredible violence faced by so many male-assigned trans people, some kind of liberatory impulse. At the time this came in the form of queer insurrectionary nihilism (a la Baedan vol. 1 and the essay "Dysphoria Means Total Destroy"), an ideology which does a powerful job of turning nihilism against itself but, in writing off any concept of strategy or futurity, becomes totally inadequate to the question of practice.

Also, "queer and trans resilience" is a neoliberal joke, an attempt to enforce the self-reproduction of populations made surplus by the laws of capitalist production.

This song's for the dead, and for the living
For the ones who haven't finished dying and the ones who have
This song's for the girls, and for the not-quite-girls I know
Taller than we ever thought we'd be

This song's for the ones up at night crying
And this song's for the one's who try to spend all our days asleep
This song's for the girls, this song's for lying to you parents about everything
This song's for the promises we make but never keep

And so we throw ourselves into walls, we sleep on busses
Walk into bathroom stalls and oncoming traffic
A knife to the chest, a skirt lit on fire
300 pounds of Neo Nazi into outstretched sewing scissors

Is this what resiliance looks like, burning up and falling apart of reentry
What else is there to do, we shine so brightly
Kerosene

This song's for the dead, and for the living
For all of the elders and for the one's who will never get there
This song's for the motherfuckin' trans girls fuckin' eating each other to survive
This song's for all the songs we'll sing the day after you die

So if we gotta go out, then we're taking them all with us
So if we gotta run off the cliff then we're burning all of the bridges
So when we set ourselves on fire we'll be lighting a fuse
Burn this whole world down 'cause we got nothing left to lose

And so we'll burn, like the witches we come from
Burn like the faggots we are
We'll burn like the pinecones split open
Burn, like we remember we come from stars
Track Name: California (Song for Potential)
The smoke rose high in the sky this morning
And the smoke came down
The sky turned lots of awful beautiful colors
Red, purple and brown

The smoke made it hard to breathe outside
But I guess you knew that
Were you trying to grab hold and choke us out
Did you know that you could do that

And I am burning for you
And you are burning too
California

Up in San Quentin prison
Everybody’s getting restless
But then again I don’t know that anyone’s ever not felt restless
In San Quentin prison

You’re lying there in your solitary cell
Taut muscle dull ache
Sierra backbone, rolling hills
Hot earth quiver and quake

And I am burning for you
And you are burning too
California

Hills of gold
Turned dead-grass brown
Cities raging, drunk on fumes
Feeling pretty ready, to burn down around now

And I hope Marin county
Is the first to go
And San Quentin bursts from the pressure
And begins to overflow

And you will take to the highway
And I will take to the street
And we will meet each other halfway
Yeah, we will meet

And I am burning for you
And you are burning too
California

And the sky will well up and the sky will split open
And come thundering down
Hissing spitting on the embers
Pooling smoky on the ground

And you open yourself up to the heavens
And quench your thirst
California
In my heart, you were always the first

And I am burning for sheer will
And you are burning still
California