Power Down Devices

by Larry Hirshberg

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of The Stars of David, Secret Weapon (1997), Song Comes Back (Late 80's?), The Sky Again (ca.1992), LH 1998-2016, LIVE., Power Down Devices, Night Sky (single), and 9 more. , and , .

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1.
Katie was a wide-eyed traveler, she never missed anything. She'd listen in the valleys, was a part of what was happening. Separated from her power (whatever that may be) Katie kept right on walking, until she was redeemed. My buddy just took it easy, down into a world he fell. Tumbling, stumbling, falling - poison in his well. Somehow he drank that potion. He stood and played that scene. Did it every day for decades, until he was redeemed. Chorus: Cycle of redemption Cycle of relief All the way from trouble Back to breathing free Keep on moving forward It's really round and round Invest your sadness wisely Make your dark days count A woman sits dark and moody, under a broken sky. Half a world is threatening thunder, the other half is blue and white. I watch her slowly rise up, wondering what her movement means... Then I see her lightning smile, and I know she's been redeemed. Choruses
2.
03:44
Last time I saw it The mountain hadn’t moved The fleet it hadn’t sailed yet The sky was still blue The last time it happened I lifted off and flew The ground became distant The stars became new I have not been waiting I kept on pushing through Obstacles that blocked my way Now have been removed The last time you showed me That look so deep and clear Everything got dirty For the next few years Refrain: What I mean by dirt is Earth When you look at me that way The ground it opens and bursts forth Finally, today’s the day! Chorus: There it is there it is there it is there it is… etc.
3.
03:09
There's a line of red - the night is done Put the kettle on What the wind just said – you gotta walk, no run You put the kettle on You're alone at home and the house is old Put the kettle on Residue of a dream – it makes you cold So put the kettle on You have a problem, now you're hand to chin Put the kettle on Chairs, table, a friend and then begin You put the kettle on Grind it out - your nose is making sparks You are building Rome and this is how it starts... Room temperature you go nowhere In the dark you think you need some air Light a fire underneath your stairs (climbing's come and gone) Screaming, steaming finally you're there (cause you put the kettle on) Put the kettle on (repeats)
4.
Chorus: This buying and selling, it’s all too much It’s all about your coin in my cup This selling and buying’s got me screwed up Walk away if you must. I bought a roof and I bought a meal I thought that I was the king of that deal I sold an hour or two of my strength Hoping to keep what was real at arm’s length. Chorus I bought a morning when I was awake Mumbled some words and they rhymed with awake I sold a few, hey what a surprise 'Cause most of what people are buying is lies... Chorus (Bridge) Capitalism, it’s got a name But it’s bigger than that, it’s an old game Something for nothing might work once or twice But always and forever there’s the cost and the price… Chorus
5.
What you had you don’t have no more What you don’t have, man, you don’t need What you don’t need went out that door It’s a variation on a theme Help me help me someone said There’s someone’s hand on someone’s knee Sun came up in someone’s bed It’s a variation on the theme Kept you warm and kept you fed Decorated all your trees Sun went down in someone’s bed It’s a variation on a theme A child, children, one or two Took their shape and skinned their knees Work and sleep was all you knew Variations on a theme… BUT THEN… The opposite of light broke through The cracks that you had never seen Thought you’d fix it didn’t you Dark variations on a theme ... Variations variations…. Variations on a theme It’s the same old married thing we’ve all seen Trouble comes into the house Someone’s staying, someone’s getting out What you had, girl you don’t need It’s a variation on a theme The opposite of light broke through Thought you’d fix it, didn’t you?
6.
03:31
She wants a place, a simple space To close the door, and nothing more. Everything will be just so, Shut the door, away she goes…. She’ll go inside, it’ll coincide With all the things in her mind She’ll breathe the air, the patterns there Will stitch themselves into something rare… Chorus: But the problem with her little plan A little thing she calls her man The other noise within the dream Their little girl, the little queen The job she wakes for every day The house they bought, they have to pay Stuff is piled on the couch The floor, the counter, baby, she wants out… But in her room it’s all still there The door won’t hide what’s sewn inside The needles point to things undone The three of them, Earth, Moon and Sun…
7.
I WAS DOWN AND DONE IN NOW I’M UP AND RUNNIN’ SOME FEELINGS NEVER GET OLD I WAS DOWN AND DONE IN NOW I’M UP AND RUNNIN’ QUICKSILVER, OXYGEN, GOLD QUICKSILVER RUNS AWAY OXYGEN’S HERE TO STAY GOLD PRETENDS TO MAKE IT WORTHWHILE QUICKSILVER FOR SPEED OXYGEN TO BREATHE GOLD FOR THE HONEY IN YOUR SMILE I WAS DOWN AND DONE IN NOW I’M UP AND RUNNIN’ IT’S HARD TO DO WHAT YOU’RE TOLD I WAS DOWN AND DONE IN NOW I’M UP AN’ RUNNIN’ QUICKSILVER, OXYGEN, GOLD QUICKSILVER KILLS YOU OXYGEN FILLS YOU GOLD IS THE WEIGHT IN YOUR CHEST RISIN’ AND FALLIN’ LISTEN: CLARITY’S CALLIN’ THAT OLD GENTLE FLAME IN THE WEST I WAS DOWN AND DONE IN NOW I’M UP AND RUNNIN’ SOME FEELINGS NEVER GET OLD I WAS DOWN AND DONE IN NOW I’M UP AND RUNNIN’ QUICKSILVER, OXYGEN, GOLD
8.
You chicks you sing about whiskey. I’ll drink your song about whiskey. Sing me a verse about sorrow. I’ll spike my coffee with it tomorrow. Write me a line about down and out. I swallowed all of what you’re singing about. Your half-pint chorus sounds like old Jim Beam. I sipped that chorus now I’m old and mean. It’s afternoon you’ve got another song. This one’s about some boy who’s come and gone. The bottle’s square, the cap is on the floor. Guitar is thirsty so she sings one more. I remember putting out that fire. I remember when the ground was higher. You’ve written all the broken lines again You girls are tempting me to descend. Young ladies write your lived-in whiskey songs. I’ll pour them down my throat, they're already gone.
9.
Before you were a child you were living in the dark Terrifying beauty on display – you had no part The war was being fought and the love was being made You were just floating there in your mother's shade... Chorus You can hear the birds and they're singing like dessert Your ear's against the door and you listen 'til it hurts. Rolling down the road, several years and several jobs Lovers were convenience stores you'd pull up and rob Looking out the window every night the light was gone Loading up the car you were always moving on Chorus Then you were attracted by surprise to you know who Everything blew open like a freight train passing through Breathing on a sunny afternoon was effortless Until you suffocated and you lost your consciousness Chorus Now it's up to you to sing your own next verse Are you gonna ride a pony or a hearse? You can hear the birds and they're singing like dessert Your ear's against the door and you listen 'til it hurts... Chorus Subtlety and cleverness don't always get you in But as long as you are nice you might get to try again...
10.
The dreamer talks The talker sings The singer plays The player dreams... So put your fingers under. Lay down your arms. Tell your legs to stop. The sheep are on the farm. Make your preparations. Fill your head with sky. It starts with sleep. Or your well runs dry. The dreamer talks The talker sings The singer plays The player dreams... So power down devices. Make safe the child's zone. Permission must be granted Butterflies are on the throne. Make your preparations. Fill your head with sky. It starts with sleep. Or your well runs dry. The dreamer talks The talker sings The singer plays The player dreams...
11.
YOU ARE ABOUT TO SLEEP, YOU’RE IN MY ARMS YOUR TENSION IS RELEASED NOTHING IS TOUCHING YOU, YOUR BODY’S OFF I THINK YOU’RE OUT TO SEA Chorus: DON’T SLEEP WITHOUT ME, MY LOVE I MARK THE TIME BETWEEN EACH BREATH DON’T SLEEP WITHOUT ME, MY LOVE AM I LYIN’ BY MYSELF WITH YOU AGAIN? YOU ARE ADRIFT NOW, OF THAT I’M SURE NO WORDS ARE IN YOUR HEAD I KNOW YOU’RE TIRED, BUT I MOVE AND MOVE AND MOVE AND MOVE AND MOVE AND I WHISPER TO THE BED CHORUS YOU ARE ABOUT TO SLEEP, YOU’RE IN MY ARMS YOUR TENSION IS RELEASED I KNOW YOU’RE TIRED BUT I MOVE AND MOVE AND MOVE AND MOVE AND MOVE AND I WHISPER TO THE SHEETS CHORUS

about

After years of recording records as if I were painting a canvas, or writing a novel, I sat down in the middle of a turn-of-the-20th-century ballroom in Butte, Montana late one night and had Clark Grant, of the Missoula studio House of Watts, record me playing and singing acoustic. The session resumed the following morning and Power Down Devices is the result. I've been performing strictly solo acoustic shows for the last five years or so, and this record is exactly what I sound like live. No overdubs!

credits

released September 1, 2013

Larry Hirshberg wrote and performed all the songs.
Clark Grant, of House of Watts, produced and engineered the recording.
Mastered by Headroom Mastering.
Graphics assistance by Mae Foresta of Night Owl Imagery.

Thanks to Clark Grant, Britt Arnesen, Laura Waters, Carey Eyer, Donna Mollica and Tom Catmull for helping me maintain this rickety house of songs, and to Judy and Debbie for dancing in it.

The image on the front cover is called Mesmerizing The Chair, and is from a book published in 1931 entitled The Book of Knowledge. It is public domain, and it is awesome! Thanks to Nancy Thornton for putting it in front of me.

Power Down Devices is dedicated to Dixie, on her way out.

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Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.

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Larry Hirshberg Missoula, montana

The years reveal what the moments are made to conceal.

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