WXDU v​.​2

by Des Ark

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every few years i show up to my local radio station & fumble through a bunch of songs, live on-air, during my friend Ross Grady's radio show.
some of these will eventually end up on records, others don't...so you get to hear how my songs evolve from tiny beat up dumpstered whisper hymns to poshed-up studio recordings. or you get to hear songs that will never again see the light of day, in all of their naked half-assed glory. basically it's like going to a solo des ark show, without the 67 minutes of totally profane banter.

this batch of songs center around anger management issues, alcoholics, fucking your friends, failed marriages, sexual assault, letting go, going AWOL, junk, total lying sacks of shit & more...set to broke ass dumpstered banjo & tenor guitar.


released December 9, 2007

aired december 9, 2007
recorded by ross grady on WXDU 88.7fm in durham, nc



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Des Ark Pittsboro, North Carolina

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Track Name: i got a new dress, i can't wait to show it to you
darlin do you really want this war
to be honest, i don’t think you should invite it
i’ve been fighting off this anger all my life
& the truth is i ain’t got the will to hide it like i want

i can’t get out of bed
i’ve been plagued by all these voices
that done rally round my head
Track Name: last bastion of worthlessness
you don’t need to die for me to lose you forever
& i don’t need no misty eyes to tell that you been cryin
so unless you can gather up a line or two
that you can guarantee will bring my love back to you
dancer take my hand
& say goodbye to me

you was a sailor on my sea
with a key to unlock me
you know what it’s like to want to die
& so do i
& not cuz the weather don’t suit yr mood
it is a sadness you carry around with you
that’s been in us since the day that we was born

you don’t need to lie for me to love you forever
& i don’t need no fancy fare or fawn to make me smile
so unless you can guarantee a line or two
that will drag my love straight back to you
dancer take my hand
& say goodbye to me
Track Name: bonne chance, asshole
this town is a dirty dirty town
makes the back of my knees sweat
pulls the drawl out of my mouth
why you wanna leave for so long
just promise me
before you go
we will grab our bikes & ride tobacco road

we are lonely when we wake up
we are idling at best
at night we drug ourselves to sleep & dream of all the things we would miss
had we the good sense to leave this town
but we don’t
in case we change our minds
we oughta grab our bikes & ride tobacco road
Track Name: my saddle is waitin (c'mon jump on it)
i wanna die with a halo on my head for all my friends
i need to find a place to lie low
where i can learn to be good to them
i wanna saddle up at sunrise
after the death of a dusty night
in a cabin in the carolines where ain’t nobody gonna find me

oh to be perfect for the ones we love
i gave it a shot
but i am not
& i never was
if i keep dragging all these anchors across my scars
i ain’t never gonna heal at all

you know you died with a halo on your head for all your friends
if you had asked we would’ve said so
that you had learned to be good to them

i know i’m dying alone
i know that my drinking makes this hospice feel like a home
& i know i’m using drugs
every morning
when i wake up
to quiet the symphonies of lovers who will sing so sweetly to me
they will sing
oh this is what they said
'i’d love to keep on loving you my dear
but yr already dead'
Track Name: we R killing this town!!!
i’ll be the knife on yr plate
you don’t need me but i can make it easier on you
cut off a piece we can chew
you ain’t gotta lean on me & i won’t lean on you

& when we touch, we can really touch each other
instead of fumbling round
for something that’s familiar
that we will not find in one single night

we were marred by our ex-lovers
it is true
but i thought of one simple thing we can try & do:
i won’t look for him in you
& you won’t look for her in me
let’s make a promise
just to be

you’ll be my special friend
& i will be the girl who says 'i swear to you, it is safe to love again'

& i suppose
we could fall for each other in the end
but we won’t
tho even if we do
remember this remember this remember this...
you ain’t gotta lean on me & i won’t lean on you
Track Name: two hearts are better than one
i hope you come & stay with me
we can camp under the old fig tree
i’ll draw yr bath
& i will fix yr tea
all for the girl who said that she would marry me

baby, if we cut out what’s between us
all the miles & the mountain tops
i know that we could count on it
honey, we could live a life of cowardice
or we could build a little bower nest
something to believe in
besides this awful mess

i got this anchor on my finger now
i got yr blood pumping through my veins
& still somehow
when i am with you, dear, i cannot breathe
i gave my heart
but then you took my lungs from me

baby, get on an aeroplane to napoli
let’s buy some land & start a family
...whatever you ain’t never had
honey, we could stay in bed for hours
talkin shit & telling stupid jokes
& working on this garden
where we will sow all of our restless hope
Track Name: things will get worse before they get worse
can you say for serious
that you can’t tell the difference
in women who can’t understand that their skin ain’t the skin of just any man who asks for it

can you tell me son
what do you do with it
& is it any ease to know you got the cold press in yr hands

i am going to do my best not to desert you in the middle of this mess
i’ve got a map
but darling what good is that
if i couldn’t tell you where to point it at
if i couldn’t tell you how i’m gonna get back
to arkansas
or new orleans
or anywhere to make my bed in between
Track Name: girls get rough
let’s be swingers
let’s be brothers
let’s be lovers undercover at the bar tonight
buying drinks for one another
as we fall on top each other
in the back, under the light

you look beautiful in red
with yr hair piled heavy
in a halo on yr head
you don’t need to say it
no i knew it when i saw you
that you are one of us:
girls who get drunk as the best way we know how to open up

i will take him home
we’ll start making out before we make it to the front door
wait for it & i swear that it will come
now yr flashing back to the days when you were younger
woods behind my house
who’s that man covering up my mouth

when will you understand
as embarrassed as i am
when i look at the body of a man
what i see
is a stock piling of weaponry
Track Name: covert conspiracy of spanish speaking cats
if yr looking for a reason to freeze to death
mannie can you feel that
it’s yr father’s breath
& if yr scared as shit to talk about yr family truths
just know
that i believe & i always will
believe in you

if you lay another hand on yr son, sir
i swear to god i’m gonna waste you
you can holler
you can cry
sober up
but still what good are you
if i don’t give a fuck about the ties that bind a father to his son
if he’s just some deadweight

i can show you all the things he’s gonna steal
then sell
& still you hold him to yr ear just like a paper shell
i can take you on a tour of my old neighborhood
here it is
the bathtub where you’ll find the love of yr life
choking up his own blood

well a junkie’s got a fire that is burning hotter than the brightest star
& if he don’t put it out himself
it’s the needle
it’s the spoon
it’s the little white balloon

i wish i didn’t give a fuck about the ties that bind
the blood
the guts
even little paper cuts...
these are the ones we love