Other Desert Cities

by Bay Station

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1.
Old hound barking behind a chain link fence Got me up a couple times but I mostly slept hard through the night By your side twitching and dreaming Equal parts wag and bite rain falling softly Dodged a leaf ‘cause it looked like a lizard Chased a rabbit ‘round the bend half hop and run Wind starting to blow which way did it go? Catch it can you? Sleeping hard waking slow Sleeping hard waking slow Sleeping hard waking slow, wake up, wake up In a dream you were saying you loved me I said we’re in love but that's a different thing an open sea of the heart not something that comes apart so easily something for eternity Sleeping hard waking slow Sleeping hard waking slow Sleeping hard waking slow, wake up, wake up Jumped over a pebble ‘cause it looked like a mountain Followed a turtle to its hole half shuffle and claw Sun breaking through how hot can it get between me and you? Sleeping hard waking slow Sleeping hard waking slow Sleeping hard waking slow, wake up, wake up
2.
Gal waving a sign for the triple-X store “Business is slow this year,” they say at the door Lost in the desert, of course you’ll look twice Found in the desert, you better play nice You can stay all night long You can look but don’t touch Yeah I like you, but don’t get me wrong I don’t want to like you too much Not everyone’s a friend, some have no time For a woman in charge, nothing is fine Lost in the desert with a bunch of snakes Found in the desert, what does that take? You can stay all night long You can look but don’t touch Yeah I like you, but don’t get me wrong I don’t want to like you too much Life drops you harder in this kind of place See those marks in the sand? Some things time won't ever erase Fiddle has no string, dog has no bark Talk all you want, it’s already dark Lost in the desert, the stars mean everything “Found” in the desert has a whole other ring You can stay all night long You can look but don’t touch Yeah I like you, but don’t get me wrong I don’t want to like you too much
3.
04:01
Fire ran through the attic like a rat chased by a dog Truck sirens blared a horn through the fog Of our disbelief at what we saw “Run!” you said Get up, get up, get up, get up out of bed Two stories, ten units, fifty years, lifetimes of history Gone up in smoke one night on a high desert street The neighbor has her daughter I grabbed a guitar and the cat You were wearing your pajamas and your favorite hat Everyone got out to safety as glass broke and smoke poured No one could utter a word or save any more Two stories, ten units, fifty years, lifetimes of history Gone up in smoke one night on a high desert street Now we're staying on the other side of town you borrowed your brother's truck I’m wearing my momma's dressing gown we're still counting on our luck In the sunset and the waxing moon the call of the mourning dove Trying to put it all behind us and save our love Two stories, ten units, fifty years, lifetimes of history Gone up in smoke one night on a high desert street
4.
Sand in my shoes now there’s sand by the door From walking in the desert with you Sand by the door now there’s sand on the floor Tracked in from the street on our bare feet Sands of time a drift on the floor I can’t really tell anymore What’s yours, or what’s mine That’s because of the sands of time It all adds up so many kinds of luck Of hidden treasures to find All this mining you gotta dig around To find the diamonds hidden in the ground Sands of time a drift on the floor I can’t really tell anymore What’s yours, what’s mine That’s because of the sands of time If it all breaks down into so much dust You might lose your money you might lose your sleep You might lose your place but my love My love is yours to keep Sands of time a drift on the floor I can’t really tell anymore What’s yours, what’s mine That’s because of the sands of time
5.
Alejandro and Rosalinda, Alex and Rosa to you my friend Opened up a Hacienda, a café off of Highway 10 Rosa’s at the register, Alex is baking bread Gives it another minute and laughs at what she said Local girl, her baby too, highway travelers, me and you Everybody come on in, there’s always room for more Everybody’s business coming through the door Everybody come on in On to Phoenix after Indio, stop for lunch stop just to stop Paper napkins paper plates, heading eastward through the Western states Check out early off the clock, other desert cities call Rosa says treat each other well, and wave’s her farewell All that knowing in her eyes, seen so many kisses so many goodbyes Everybody come on in there’s always room for more Everybody’s business coming through the door Everybody come on in Drive on from Mourning Dove to Swainson’s hawk Tap the wheel hit your knee no need to talk Arizona Red-tail, Mississippi blues Counting ones and fours, ones and fours and twos Adjust the mirror, watch out for snakes, ease back onto the interstate Everybody come on in there’s always room for more Everybody’s business coming through the door Everybody come on in there’s always room for more Everybody’s business coming through the door Everybody‘s business
6.
04:20
Thought I’d go down to Baja to forget you Try life the South of the Border way Street tacos and huaraches surfing every day Napping in a hammock 12 o’clock Corona Thoughts of you keep dogging me feeling so alone Lolling in the sand going to a burn from a tan Mexicali, Ensenada, anywhere I choose Still got a case of the Baja Blues Tried to lose myself in La Paz there was no peace for me to find Hitched a ride to Todos Santos looking for more of my kind How can you go wrong with All Saints? Found out from St. Cecilia Found me talking to the cows after one too many shots of tequila Lolling in the sand going to a burn from a tan Mexicali, Ensenada, anywhere I choose Still got a case of the Baja Blues Sailed out to Guadalupe Island went face to face with a white shark Found out what I was made of got an armful of bite marks Lolling in the sand going to a burn from a tan Mexicali, Ensenada, anywhere I choose Still gotta case of the Baja Blues
7.
04:27
I washed my hands but they’re still covered with paint Got all these walls I want to redo
 Try to replace the red with the blue Oh the blues are always purple to me Just you wait and see How years tumble up onto one another so fast People you know no longer show Sky pales from blue to a red glow oh the blues are always purple to me The blues are always purple So many stories to tell it's true, it's true the broken spoke, the open road, that time we kissed under a sky so new Or the star on my face, the glitter in bed, how the fog rolled in I didn't want to hear, I didn’t want to hear what you said The sun can't help but turn everything red
 I still want to paint these walls blue Try to replace the red with the blue Oh the blues are always purple to me The blues are always purple Night turns play me an upbeat song or a few, country picker, beatbox, some rock yeah yeah we’ll roll You might get older but some things never get old Like the sun can't help but turn everything red Oh time to paint these walls blue (The blues are always purple to me) Blues are always purple Different smiles might show up through the dark laughing I still want to paint these walls blue Oh even I'm not the person I once knew yeah the blues are always purple to me (The blues are always purple to me) The blues are always purple to me
8.
03:12
Hose off the pollen and the dust From the birds who made the fuss At the truck stop outside Vacaville Rinse the bumper of its insects The taillight and its slight defect Memory of a saloon near Cloverdale Clean up start again Put your feet up my friend Soon enough we’ll be up we’ll be going Clean up start again Who knows where or when We’ll be off we’ll be on our way The vacuum is next, how much time will it take To suck up the crumbs of those cookies you didn’t bake Packed up and eaten in the car Souvenirs of times spent playing at the Bazaar Café Clean up start again Put your feet up my friend Soon enough we’ll be up we’ll be going Clean up start again Who knows where or when We’ll be off we’ll be on our way Yeah, leaving is so easy It’s a little harder to stay a while You get to know how the numbers change The familiar becomes strange, You get used to things, then you turn around And it’s time to go Clean up start again Put your feet up my friend Soon enough we’ll be up we’ll be going Clean up start again Who knows where or when We’ll be off we’ll be on our way
9.
You didn't want salty you didn't want sweet You wanted the edge of that collision Where those two worlds meet Skin and sweat sugar all you could envision Made us all believe in the bright stars And that trickster moon Oh those bright stars and that trickster moon You didn't travel far still you chased long and hard Looking for some kind of redemption In every playing card aces high you were wild Killed everyone with your smile Made us all believe in the bright stars and that trickster moon Oh those bright stars and that trickster moon You didn't curse fate Though you were the first one to go Maybe you already knew What we still needed to know Here doves are flying over cactus and olive tree Back at the place it all started Friendship without question conquest adventure You ever open hearted Made us all believe in the bright stars and that trickster moon Oh those bright stars and that trickster moon Under the bright stars and that trickster moon
10.
I love the way you wiggle Just the right amount of jiggle Shake shake shake shake Shake and wiggle I don’t mean to pander I love the way you meander Sway sway sway, sway Sway and wiggle Oh the way you move Just the right amount of groove Boom shucka boom shucka boom Boom shucka boom and wiggle I don’t mean to gawk I think you really rock Rock rock and roll Rock and roll and wiggle Wiggle!

about

For their third studio recording Other Desert Cities (April 27, 2018), Bay Station sought inspiration amid the stark, natural beauty of the Mojave Desert. While their first two releases, Your Own Reaction (2014 under their former name, KCDC) and Go Out and Make Some (2016) reflected the coastal landscape of their home in Alameda, California, the 10 songs on Other Desert Cities were written by Bay Station co-founders Deborah Crooks and Kwame Copeland during several week-long writing retreats in Joshua Tree. Their experiences and impressions of the desert town adjacent to its namesake National Park inform the recording, which details the strange, poetic, and distinctly American stories of desert denizens, both animal and human.
As they did on their previous two releases, Deborah Crooks (vocals, principal lyricist) and Kwame Copeland (guitar, dobro, vocals, harmonica) co-produced Other Desert Cities with Mike Stevens. Stevens (Sun Kil Moon, The Uptones) also played drums, mixed the record, and recorded three of the tracks at his Lost Monkey studio in Hayward, CA. Along with Ben Bernstein (bass) and Steve Waters (guitar, backing vocals), they recorded most of the album at Gatos Trail studio in the Mojave, among the Joshua trees and creosote, with engineer Dan Joeright. Ben Bernstein also recorded and engineered “Fire Song” and “Trickster Moon” at Petting Zoo Studio in Oakland, CA. Upon joining the band in late 2017, bass player Chris Veenstra contributed to several songs on the record, as did guest musicians Michael McNevin (electric and slide guitar), and Joan Reuter (fiddle). The album was mastered by Ken Lee (JJ Grey & Mofro, Bill Frisell) in Oakland.
Many of the album’s tracks depict the imagined lives of desert dwellers; from wild coyotes and survivors of a building fire to road-tripping visitors. “Sleeping Hard Waking Slow” explores aspects of unconditional and timeless love, sung from an unconventional point of view. “Look but Don’t Touch” is a straight-ahead rock song depicting the life of a stripper working at an adult entertainment store, while “Sands of Time” doubles down on a recurring theme of timelessness over a dance-worthy, samba-inspired beat. Crooks assumes the narrative voice, in turns affectionate ("Sands of Time”) inclusive and communal (“Everybody’s Business”) and mournful (“Trickster Moon”). “Bay Station Wiggle” displays the band’s penchant for cutting loose, skirting the edges of surf music in a guitar-driven romp evocative of Chuck Berry.

credits

released April 27, 2018

Produced by Kwame Copeland, Deborah Crooks, and Mike Stevens
Mixed by Mike Stevens at Lost Monkey Studio, Hayward, CA
Mastered by Ken Lee at Ken Lee Mastering

Design by Alicia Buelow

All songs words and music ©Kwame Copeland and Deborah Crooks (ASCAP)

Kwame Copeland: acoustic & electric guitar, harmonica, dobro, backing vocals
Deborah Crooks: vocals
Steve Waters: electric guitar, backing vocals
Mike Stevens: drums, percussion
Ben Bernstein: electric & upright bass
Chris Veenstra: bass
Michael McNevin: electric and slide guitar
Joan Rueter: violin

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Bay Station Alameda, California

Bay Station finds Kwame Copeland and Deborah Crooks combining their talents with several musical friends to create a diverse form of Americana.
"Bay Station delivers its own unique style, incorporating the best parts of Americana, Alt-Country, and just plain good storytelling." — Bob Leggett LA Music Critic
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