Water From The Moon

by Greg Segal

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about

Remixed and sounding spiffier than ever, April 2014.

I was going through a rough time when most of this was written, and my dreams were very vivid, emotional and symbolic. The lyrics are primarily based on them, and I wanted the music to reflect that. In imagining what I should shoot for before recording started, I thought of what to some might seem 3 very incongruous influences: the Syd Barrett solo records, the Bee Gees "First" and "Horizontal" albums, and the third Peter Gabriel record. All of them seemed to me to have a kind of quiet, weird, haunted quality, and that's what I wanted for this; unexpected access to some private world.

The end result is often a lot more dark-edged and sinister than these influences, with the possible exception of Gabriel, might at first suggest.

Following on my disillusion with shopping around "A Man Who Was Here", and the fact that Paper Bag appeared to be getting successful- we got signed to SST, for example- I decided I didn't have to worry quite so much about accessibility.

I couldn't use my drum kit because of the circumstances of recording- I couldn't get loud. I figured there were a lot of types of music to try that didn't involve drums- acoustic music, electronic music. So I went with electric and acoustic percussion instead. I was very interested in doing some more stripped-down sounding pieces, especially based around acoustic guitar.

Lyrically, I feel this one's a personal landmark, as though I took a big leap forward over my previous efforts. Something must have clicked because I found my voice as a writer- I was no longer swimming in my influences and experimenting with popular styles.The first song here with lyrics, "Nothing in the Dark", is the most straight ahead. After that it's a whole 'nuther ball game.

credits

released April 13, 2014

Recorded 12/86 - 4/87 at Phantom Airship 1. The music was all written in the same period; a lot of the lyrics precede it and some go as far back as '84. (The oldest one of them is the title track. Confused Celine Dion fans please take note. This is not a cover tune.)

Remixed and remastered April 2014.

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Track Name: Nothing In The Dark
Time to wake up and see what's around
Time to learn without a sound
Time to understand without second sight
Nothing in the dark that's not there in the light

Don't criticize me, you can't understand
What looking at life can do to a man
Don't try to deny or claim perfection
There's problems with us that surpass detection

Can't you understand, it's still all right

Nothing in the dark that's not there in the light

There's something to learn in every disease
I'll take my knowledge and do as I please
See the blood on the hands of those angels in white
Nothing in the dark that's not there in the light

G.S., 2/19/87
Track Name: The Invasion
Young boy and grandfather walking in the street
Crowded summertime city street
Toughs walking down the street
Strutting their stuff
Tension in the street
The toughs pass, it's just another day
But the tensions is high
The invasion is here

Someone walking with us
A man I have seen before and think I know (my father?)
There is a splash and screaming metal
as his guts hit the ground
For a moment he stands with half a body
Then he falls back
and his head breaks the glass of a store window
Blood runs to the black velvet display case
and pools around his head
Staring up with lifeless eyes,
Haloed with broken glass and blood on tan tile
Things move fast and my grandfather takes me......

We are up in an apartment, hiding
Once I think there was more here
Things of comfort before the fear
Claimed lives and property gone
Don't know who will survive but the end looks near

"These are bad days" says the old man to the boy
Who rises and looks out the second story window
to suburbia below
He can remember how it used to be
Change came suddenly, inexplicably

The streets are quiet now,
with a few people moving around
Grandfather summons him to sit and starts to explain
"Just close your eyes and put your head in my lap."
Grandfather has a ceremonial knife

The boy knows what will happen now
And with his eyes closed he listens for the sound
Will it be slick like a razor
Or rough like the tearing of cloth?

The throat is cut, a soft wet ripping sound
No different than that of an animal
And the deed is done

The boy rises and looks at the old man's second mouth
The unnatural gash self inflicted
The old man's lifeless eyes staring up at the ceiling.
Now he was alone.

G.S., 12/86
Track Name: My Soul Wants To Move South
My soul wants to move south
Up to the boulevard to reclaim some pride

I live in a condo
An air conditioned dream palace in which I can hide
Until the landlord comes by
with unwanted intrusions upon my time

My room is big with walls like tissue
Overhanging the living room
And when I play my organ I'm much too loud

But at night when the room is black
In adventure and air-conditioned coolness
In sheets cleaner than a hospital's I pursue my incest

In the morning I'm going south
South to the boulevard to work in the theater
And I'm already there and I'm working in the basement

When a man comes rushing in who knows me
And is screaming with violence and hysteria in his voice

Blissful thoughts of condo heaven fade
and I am slapped awake
As he screams about blueprints in his hand
Apparently I drew them and there's a problem
(go away I want to sleep)
Apparently I'm an architect and there's a big problem
(am I in trouble?)

The whole place is coming down
And as this guy goes to grab my throat the wall rumbles
It's going to come down
Blue paint and plaster and mortar crumbles
I'm up like a shot and running like hell

The angry man and disaster are chasing me
I'm running from both and I must escape

The theater crumbles and dies below me

Up stairs ramps and ladders to the roof I escape
And I'm almost to the top and I'll make it there soon

And when I get there I'll look down
At the street I love, at the prestigious boulevard

So full of life and decay and magic
And for a moment I'll be on top of the world

And with sadness and joy and abandon
I will move south.

G.S., 12/15/86
Track Name: The Taker
I walk the streets alone at night
Beneath the silent neon lights
There is no order
Chaos rules
And violence reigns supreme

My conscience left me long ago
I don't care
And I don't know just where it's gone
I'm happy now
There's nothing in my way

I live to take your life tonight
I'd love to take your life tonight
As screams and terror fills your heart
Your death makes me a star

Now I'm on the nightly news
With your blood I've paid my dues
Your innocence and all your dreams
are buried in the grave

I'm killing you because it's fun
It could be you or anyone
I don't owe the world respect
And this is all I crave

I live to take your life tonight
I'd love to take your life tonight
As screams and terror fill your heart
Your death makes me a star

Now it's time to face the facts
Time to play the final act
This world is a catastrophe and order is a joke

If you live free you live with me
Brush shoulders with insanity
I suffer you to come to me
Or live under the yoke

Take one last look before you fall
You've seen my face in mirrored halls
To you the world is made of glass
To me it's made of stone

G.S., 3/87
Track Name: The Rogue's Adventures In Dreamland
(STOP! WARNING! ADULT CONTENT! FOUL LANGUAGE AND I DON'T MEAN CHICKENS! you may continue......)

It was rush hour in the night club cafeteria
High atop the social tower
High above a thousand glittering impersonal lights

In the towering club
The elite danced the night away
To the pulse of the latest rage
Blood red was the light

It was a few hours before dawn
And night was not yet gone
When the chase began

As an emissary of the Dragon force
A policeman-assassin of sorts
Was pursuing The Interloper

He who was not of the club
The rogue of many faces
He who owes no allegiance
And schemes only to escape
And serve himself

The night was full of dying possibilities

Full of changing air and excitement
Full of life, however dangerous and foul
The force of life crackled like static in the wind

The rogue pushed through the unseeing mass
Drugging themselves on the red-lit dance floor
Shoving the unaware aside
in his attempt to escape the law
The oriental agent followed, doing the same
Until the rogue pushed through at last

To the brightly lit hallway
Where the elevators led to offices,
The street,
New adventures,
Freedom

But his pursuer was right behind
Dragon man could not cuff the rogue
But was pushed off balance

The elevator was called
And as the rogue disappeared towards freedom inside it
The agent assassin laughed in desperate triumph
"I've tricked you", he called as the doors shut:
"That elevator is going down!"

But as the doors shut and the elevator roared up
Throwing him to the floor
He knew he had won anyway.

On the ground above
A strange sight awaited him

Naked, sprawled on the floor
Wall to wall on brightly colored bean bags
The elderly corpses lay sprawled in a naked orgy
Groping without motion
The fresh dead had been positioned obscenely
In a last fling at wild passion

He picked his way through gingerly
Hoping to avoid stepping on anyone

In his head he heard their voices
And became convinced
they would feel pain if stepped upon

He had no wish to anger them
Though they seemed dead
Their social grope was important

They must go undisturbed
As it was the easiest way
to avoid arguments and confrontations

And he passed through the glass doors
to the condo project beyond

It was almost dawn but people treated it as dusk
Perhaps to some there was no difference
He roamed the empty facades
Conscious of the presence of the force of life
In so much empty space

The people were all in
But there was more life because of it
The way the empty night feels alive
to those weary of their kind

Ahead in an upstairs window a light shined
In a typical middle class bedroom
Of a typical middle class girl
Some businessman's daughter
Just waiting for sex

Ready to fuck and suck for the sake of rebellion
Ready to try anything once
Ripe for perversion
A fellow searcher for the force of life

She snuck back in her room with her friend
Less attractive and somewhat more cynical than she
Perhaps they both were looking for a good time
Young girls often liked to play games

He climbed up to her window
Scaling the rustic facade into teenage suburbia
The Interloper once again

They did not seem surprised
They did not want to fuck

He had to get somewhere and he needed directions
From up here he could see better
They took him to the window and pointed

It was a club on the street shrouded in mist
from the damp morning
In the gray light it looked like a chateau

And he knew it was a chance, a battle in the war
Perhaps tonight he'd win

And as he stared from her window
He grew excited
Sensing that victory could be near

Get ready for another adventure
Get ready for another fight
Tonight.......

G.S., '86
Track Name: I Was Back In School Again
I was back in school again
Getting ready to graduate

It wasn't my school
But if it was
I probably wouldn't go back
(It never is)

But very often if not always I feel I have returned home
To people I never knew who are my close friends

To girls who I really did use to know
Who didn't like me then
But want the chance to know me all over again

Friends and community
Always there in the back of my mind
And on waking I find

I am saddened that only in dreams
were these things truly real for me.

And every year around June
When it's time for some new class to graduate
I dream and I leave once again

Or I'm just back
Back with friends more real than those I left behind
Back in times more fun than the truth
What was the truth?

Moments out of time, we were as one
But imprisoned, unity was in cynicism
If the authorities didn't hound us,
we often hounded each other
It was no paradise

Even if I could go back, there's not much left behind
Just dreams of what we could have been
Had we not been so blind

I was back in school again
It was graduation day
Father was speaking on the phone, so many miles away

And as he spoke, a shower broke
and rain came pouring down
The room turned gray and the light grew dim
and my soul wore a frown

He spoke to me from the land of night,
where I was soon to go
To plunge full time into the night
to wrap my dreams in snow

He spoke of payments to be made,
appointments to be kept
Smalltimes coming down so hard,
was it he or I who slept?

I comforted him and said,
"Don't worry, for I will join you soon".
Hung up the phone and I walked to the edge
And I looked down through the gloom

There in summer rain so warm
my friends lay on the ground
Drunken by the party, real escape unfound
And the girl I had come so far to reclaim was gone
along with my chances

The day will turn sunny and warm,
a day of pompousness and circumstances
And an audience of previous generations
who wish to share their blight

Goodbyes will be said and the inmates released
To work out their lifetimes in night.

G.S., summer '86
Track Name: Water From The Moon
An end to war and hatred,
An end to need and want
A perfect life while living,
No memories that haunt
A span of years with no regrets
Or ways to fill them all
A world of spring and summertime,
An end to winter and fall
A time when all love is returned
And every promise true
A time when old age is a myth
And everyone is new
A time when everyone has food
And no one needs a car
A time when everyone is loved
For what they really are

And the world will change
With words and a tune

Water from the moon.

G.S., '84