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Universary

by David First

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1.
How often I remember The weight of every heartache The wave of every hand that left me stranded for a time In moods to cool the embers They'd rot away the passion And level all the plans that I'd design Through logic of opinions The near collapse of reason And follow-up reporting that resorts to exposé For every blackened wish From overcooking all the anger There's part of me still needs to burn away When the Blue Sky divides I will be ready I must be ready to rise and face the light When the Blue Sky divides I will be ready I must get ready to rise against the tide Or catch a boat that's sinking Got a call on my receiver The message said come over Asking if our sacred theme could be revealed Said I can't go any deeper And still maintain sobriety But I'll try to work on ways to break the seal When the Blue Sky divides I will be ready I must be ready to rise and face the light When the Blue Sky divides I will be ready I must get ready to rise against the tide Or catch the boat that's sinking So welcome to my bookends Welcome to the dust between All the restless turning learning how to read The rings around the atmosphere A test of all defenses Gonna pack it up and move out of 3D
2.
All I Ask 05:54
All I Ask Some things lead to nothing Others feed on cuttings Over time frustration Moves to prime locations Supporter mentions Border tensions Up my spine All I need is you All I ask is you be happy Insects fear collectors Windswept near rejecters Objects seeming smaller Up the rear installer All I need is you All I'll be is true to love All I need is you All I ask is you be happy As can be Orbits in Alaska I'll be extra careful To unbutton Every morsel Every crime Open drink selections Snafu brings protection See you later Elevator Show me why All I need is you All I'll be is true to love All I need is you All I ask is you feel lucky Over me Shaky ceilings Bottom dealings Tell me why Escapades in Lover's shades The fault line eyes Where we're going I'm half knowing Most the time
3.
Baby Destiny 10:49
Ooh baby destiny You can smile at every surprise Or wander in misery So whatever happened to escaping wheels of pain And whatever happened to the still be still be still be still be And whatever happened to the ghost of choice improved occasions The comic illusions of our friendly foe the ego's needs Ooh baby destiny You can smile at every surprise Or wander in misery Ooh baby destiny Try controlling each roll of the dice Or ponder the mystery And sometimes it seems like there's only so much one can swallow Just walking around in this world can consume all belief When tremors and triggers and tumors decide The fate of so many with nowhere to hide till their time is due And sometimes it seems that there's nothing much else one can swallow Still thumbing your nose at the world seems to bring no relief When the boss of exhaustion is docking your pay Leaving you lost and abandoned Tomorrow is near and there's been no today And all Cinderellas are slipping away If you want to keep going you're gonna need all your strength 'cause The future's around every corner with instruments sharpened And whatever happens there's escaping wheel of pain decisions And whatever happens there is still be still be still be still And whatever happens there's the ghost of choice improved occasions A chance to defy the dance of our friendly foe the ego's needs Ooh baby destiny Ooh baby destiny Ooh baby destiny Ooh baby destiny
4.
Zoom 05:14
Relieving the weary Severe invitations Rejecting your place in the game A registered fragrance A snake in the grass dance Balloons out to cover your name Ridiculous ocean Fantastic revulsion Success on a plate yesterday Eclipse intervention Saloon uber mentions A desert dessert to survey How long can the reeds keep playing? How do all the naked songs survive? When will all the conga summers soften? Breathing offers with the morning tonight Zoom Zoom Let's pick up the heat in the tomb Zoom Zoom We'll fly like the Earth round the Moon Grotesque intimations A desk at the station To fetch the bull out by the corns Sue Louie the Ogre A clever impostor The creepiest TV reborn Where were all the real flirtations? I've been betting up beyond inside What becomes of all the broken and hardened? They set the sails with their saliva guides What caused all the confrontation? Smorgasbord all over One thought bought a potful of patience Til the answer was never And how long til the flunkies fade out? All antennae in a singular style What becomes simply came out before us We will leave with our believable smiles
5.
The Ladder 06:09
Ain't got no time for pleasure I've wasted too much treasure This is my last endeavor Things will not get much better I did my time I'll do my part The chains are gone It's in my chart The ladder will be coming I will climb on Add teasing mental throwdowns To seasoned temporal flow sounds These orders that I wrote out Have all been filled there's no doubt The bell has rung now Ting a ling It plays my song Feel fortune's swing The ladder will be coming I will climb on Who was the guilty army? Have they all said they're sorry? Full tanks and fear insured them One angry tear uncures them Call out the patient pieces Spit out the new releases Rerun the old request line That dares to still suggest I'm Caught in a dream That's not too smart And way past dawn The ladder will be coming I will climb on
6.
Midnight In the Re-painted Zone Who will masquerade, parade in these shoes? Cigarette drama stained fetchers Misspell all the passwords here Honor is saved in the nick If your offer's refused Still I am sitting here waiting for someone To speak to me here in the room I told her Yes I told her Please to meet you maybe Don't refrain 'Cause I will be there by the gate Another passenger to train We left out the premise of love With hardly a moment's despair Our meters both running alarmed by the business at hand Begging for strength that was ordered A thousand mistakes ago But thrilled at the prospect of promises filled on demand When suddenly everything spins on a corner And everyone starts to collide I told her Yes I told her Pleased to meet you maybe Don't complain 'Cause I will be there by the gate Another passenger to train She told me the saddest of stories I believed almost every line Left on the bounce by a mother Who couldn't remain Still searching for Someone to recreate stages she might have missed And raging to shake off the emptiness - some of the blame It was all up to me I could save what was left If I felt it was worth all the pain Chorus
7.
Was nothing too bold or obscene? We froze as all good was withdrawn The agencies waging their faith Claimed they knew God alone Was God even home? Meanwhile provoked sides conduct Furtive mutual strikes in the sand A madness that spills fire over the hopeless To stop them And how is it likely so few will succeed When there is a chance for redemption? Is life just a fever that lifts as we rage Over sufferers hung up on heaven? Alive on our piece of the ball Surviving the scourge we installed The doctors performed the most drastic of surgeries Bounced by the tragic His movements on trial The Selected One fought off contentions Approved but now striving to strangle the laws He is prone to believing in heaven When somebody cries, "won't our liberties die?" Indignation deflects every question The crossed over lines weigh on everyone's mind Is justice belied until heaven? "How dare infidels criticize? If only you saw through our eyes Your lack of all decency comes through quite clearly Our virtue's discreet in disguise". While single cell evils invade every shore And shift their campaigns of ascension Pursuing the use of an excellent ruse They are all on the hoof into heaven As global insurgencies rise Our stars crave a shield in the sky And mocking the evidence Out past the purview their brains can't Resist the Calypso of elderly harms In their deep need to seize all dimensions So they vie for a prize surely buried inside The big box that we boast is called heaven Can secular tourniquets bind us in peace When the conscience of nations is threatened? Demented traditions of hatred must cease Or impossibly block us from heaven Though lonely sure voices arose Insisting we all have to grow And yes, we must fight the most righteous of battles To see all disparities close Now everyday warning horns blow And every nerve's overexposed The tangled convictions still tend to flow downward But may reason and tact? Heaven knows
8.
Enough 10:41
Got a long post from a former friend for life Saying sorry sounding scared How'd we ever drift so far apart? With all the languages we shared Was it me or was it something more divine? What was it pulled him everywhere? It pulled him everywhere We hold for proof of any kind We search for signs of any kind That if one who dials a code unloads the other will forgive him Took a dive in city pool at broker light It was travesty surreal Everywhere I looked the angels disappeared Only cold men's wicked deals Was it nothing but a sudden disarray? Or all holiness repealed? All our holiness repealed We pose for beauty in our lives We stand for duty in our lives But for all our screeds and messed up deeds we'll surely need forgiving Is there anybody here who sees a better way to stumble? (I really want to know) Is there any other place where we can rest relieved? (I need to understand) Why does it seem like every dreamer helps make someone else's crumble? Is there a way to scream? Or somehow move beyond this I have had enough Caught a wake-up through the steady roar below Lost a darkness hard to find I bless the beast that roams the wild jester's road Inside my child's mind The distance left to travel til the void Is less than what's behind It's less than what's behind I've pursued the truth through music all my life It's led me to abuses once or twice At the final call when curtains fall I hope my soul's forgiven Out shine the numbers Out class the numbers Out grow the numbers Out last the numbers Out fake the numbers Out play the numbers Out leap the numbers Out run the numbers Out shout the numbers Gimmee one more ride before it's over Gimmee one more ride then I'll cross over Gimmee one more ride before it's over Gimmee one more ride then I'll pass over Gimmee one more ride before it's over

about

Originally released 2002

Songs, Drones, and Refrains of Life

Special guests: Jane Scarpantoni, Michael Blake, Ulrich Krieger, Shelley Hirsch, Roy Campbell, Gerald Fried, Jody Prusan, Shyam Yodh, Bob Hoffnar, Zeena Parkins, Tom Chiu, Kenji Bunch, Darrett Adkins

All music and lyrics © D. First 2002
Produced by David First and Joshua Fried
Mixed by Joshua Fried and David First
Mastered by Joseph M. Palmaccio at Sony Music Studios

Recorded at Higher Office & Track Factory (Yianni Papadopoulos – engineer)

Cover design – Patricia Smith

credits

released July 30, 2018

Splendid E-zine
"Enough", (is) a gorgeous ballad reminiscent of Robyn Hitchcock. When a drum machine and synthesizers take over for acoustic guitar and strings about three minutes into the song, it's enough to give you goosebumps. Like Brian Eno, First seems to find experimental music projects of varying levels of inaccessibility more compelling than pop, even though, also like Eno, he excels at the latter. Songs like "Enough" and "Baby Destiny" make one hope he'll find the time and inspiration to revisit more immediately satisfying, song-based music. (Scott Jacobson)

Jump Arts Journal
The subtitle tells you most of it, and with clever allusions to Wm Blake and George Crumb. The title tells more, and First mostly succeeds in being a master of all...the ten-minute opener "When the Blue Sky Divides", rivets me...In a better world, this is the kind of music that would be included on pop radio. (Steve Koenig)

Village Voice
First's upcoming CD, Universary, is full of dance beats imposed over impressively complex-looking tuning charts. (From the other side, the repetitive chord progression from "Pyramid Song" on Radioheadís new disc, Amnesiac, reminds me enough of Arvo Part to spark hopes for a bilateral rapprochement.) If there is a point of success in that direction, First, the master of the unnoticeable transition may reach it before any of us are aware he's there. (Kyle Gann)

New York Times
The guitarist and composer David First has been working with patterns and drones for decades, from his minimalist rock with the Notekillers to extended guitar pieces that make the atmosphere buzz with overtones. On his new album, "Universary" (Analysand), he applies his mathematical bent to pop-song structures, topping his layered guitars and kinetic dance rhythms with thoughtful lyrics. (Jon Pareles)


New York Power Pop
It knocked me speechless and took me to a distant place. I had to recover my senses - it was quite an education for me in a way no other music listed on this site has been. I heard varying moods of layer upon layer of sound. David used a classic structure of pop song and created something new yet familiar. This is an album that begs to be heard with headphones or an elaborate sound system. It was meticulously crafted with live and synthesized parts, and the result is a brainwave manipulation of its own, perhaps stimulating the pleasure center? (Sherman Boim)

All Music Guide
As a singer, First underplays in the manner of Andy Partridge, with a similar jazzy bounce; his lyrics are comparable as well, in their intelligence and elusive imagery. (Robert L. Doerschuk)

Time Out New York
*David First is a guitarist with a flair for melody and a neat way of intertwining themes and stories, as proved by his new CD Universary. (Jay Ruttenberg)
*= recommended or notable

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David First New York

David’s bands/projects include his psychedelic punk band, Notekillers, SWATi - a drone collaboration with acupuncturist Isobeau Trybula, The Western Enisphere - an audio/visual exploration of psycho-perception, and the AM Radio Band – a solo project for vintage signal generators, oscillators and transistor radios. He is also the proprietor of “Dave’s Waves" – a sonic restaurant A/V installation. ... more

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