Dam the Night

by Badwater Sound

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      $5 USD  or more




All songs written and performed by Badwater Sound


released June 6, 2017

Recorded at IV Lab Studios in Chicago, IL
Mixed by Mike Sportiello
Mastered by Rollin Weary
Produced by Mike Sportiello

Artwork by Brian Pace



all rights reserved


Badwater Sound Chicago, Illinois

Americana Rock n Roll for punks, misfits, givers, takers, leaners, and shakers, for dancing, deliberating, fornicating, and burning things down.

Badwater Sound is
Zach Nelson: Guitars, Vocals
Zach Babbe:
... more

contact / help

Contact Badwater Sound

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: City Lights
now the sun sets down on America across her hundred sprawling timezones
do you got a place to sleep tonite are you sleeping there alone?
lay down and don't you worry when the daylight's in retreat
we'll make our way into the darkness and bring this city to her knees
I can't paint a portrait of her streets cuz I can't see
just how they live in the balances of a million different things
trade your hours trade your pay trade your name and trade your age
but when the daylight loosens up her vice
you and me darling are going dancing under them city lights

things been looking good for you doll ain't been looking good for me
I started off with good intentions but the fires I lit they caught to other things
I got blood on my hands on this guitar his blood and mine both at the scene
blood running down the steering wheel in the ignition on the keys
but I'm puling up on State St before I leave there's just this one thing to throw down tonight
you and me darling are going dancing under them city lights

your folks are staying in
you'd get awful tired after 50 years out in
them Midwest winter winds
working all day until the night
working for their whole damn lives
to keep that furnace blowing
to keep your dreams alive but at night

under the calm cool darkness of the night

they're dancing to that Memphis soul
sliding across that kitchen floor
even their gods get down to rock n roll
take their time all sweet n slow
sweaty asses smacking up on heaven's walls
you can hear it if you listen in the night
so tonight
you and me darling are going dancing under them city lights

now the sun sets down on America and makes room for our desire
so I lit a little fire caught to this river and these tires
when the morning breaks it could mean the end of you and me
and yours and mine
so tonight
you and me darling are going dancing under them city lights
Track Name: Don't Tell Ma
skippin town in a borrowed coat
you were right when you said i'd never make it out alone
but if our demons could see me now they'd be shocked to find
that they got no one left to haunt
no mind no soul no bones
it's just ghosts and their favorite sounds
filling up the space between my death and shrinking towns
none of the living said a word aloud
to keep me dumb when I was dull when I was sitting on the ground
heat lightning in the air and in the fluid of my spine
licks the dust off of my bones and kisses me goodnight

thunder pushes me to song
and now my heart is cold to all except the sound
of engines firing through the night
and voices raging against the dying of the light

it's hard to take I know you were trying
were you dying to be here or were you just dying
fighting with the words that you were told
did your words touch bone did your tongue for lightning?
me, i fell complacent in that long calm before the storm
until i felt the hair rise on my neck and went diving to the earth
of water or wine or that fluid from my spine
ocean brine or blood or the rain turned dirt to mud
if I'm lost or newly found or just given up to the clouds
her masterpiece the sound the fury and I'm gone
between my soul and the science of this thunder raging up above
everything i'll come to love is undiscovered to me now

thunder pushes me to song
i picked me up out of myself out of the mud
my engine fires through the night
my voice is raging against the dying of the light
thunder pushes me to song
and don't tell ma but I ain't ever coming home
but if you listen in the night
you'll hear me raging against the dying of the light
Track Name: Young Thoughts
walking down this block this withered kingdom before i twist and turn to salt my last thoughts of when we played here and you grabbed my stupid heart with your hands strong like your father's and your mother's gentle touch

over the years we slowly built our analects and weighed them in these streetlights when other boys were dreaming we stared harder at the night and we never cared about fitting in once we gave our names up to the stars even when we've died we won't have left them.

we learned that youth should be like prairie fires raging with the wind

our young thoughts written in the sidewalk weren't enough so i packed my shit and headed out to test my words out in the world.

until somewhere in this fanfare of getting older i abdicated home and found these things they taught exceptional being crushed into a mold
and though we never cared about fitting in I see them pushing buildings down and the wars we left to find are right here for our taking

we learned that youth was just like thunder
chasing just behind the light until the storm is overhead
and i'm left with what you said
'the earth will bring us bread. I'll bring home the rest.'

our young thoughts written in the sidewalk are all gone, covered by a strip mall and this is what we choose to be. In a backyard all around America we learn to talk and fill our mouths with alcohol, if this is what we choose to be then gun me down to silence me

when our prairied lots and our parents' shops have been ripped apart by a fucking Walmart did you rustle in your deep deep sleep? I'll take up arms, I'll head into the sprawl, armored up with these memories of your hands around my heart and our young thoughts
Track Name: Dreamboats, Darling
are ya sick and tired of Wednesday nights at the bar?
Let's go chasin smoke and firetrucks
see who's dancing by the river and watching this city burn
we've seen her dabble with fire a couple times
and pork and guns and skin and crack and vice
but she's going up tonight tonight she's really coming down

I wanna be your dreamboat darling we'll sing these ancient songs
cruise down the river and hope that water don't burn

if that ain't enough to get you off there's a brownstone just a corner up
the boys inside will give you a real hard time but they'll send you on your way
the hospital's been sending people back
you're coming off that oxy booze and smack
or clamber up in back baby we can make it right

step into my dreamboat darling I'll dance with you against the night
cruise down this river and hope that water don't light

I guess a Southside barn caught to fire
a couple kids got shot down by guns for hire
the city's closing schools and slapping fines
even ma and dad have joined the fight
stock up on leathers weed and beer
do your wrecking with me out past the pier
bring your dancing shoes and hold on tight
under the moon and the firelight

I wanna be your dreamboat darling we'll sing these ancient songs
cruise down the river and hope that water don't burn
Track Name: New Mexico
pick me up with all your other friends and we'll course out this old city
find our youth and find her scars under her lights
cut me open count my rings dress my wounds and take me in
just don't send me back into that awful night
darling do you gotta look so blue?
the smell of sex ain't even left the room
we'll step back into the street
smoke these stolen camel blues
behind the walgreens or the LA tan and
pretend like we're living in a fabled version
of our native promised land
and in the morning
we're going to New Mexico baby
I hear that they still live that way
we're going to New Mexico baby
or we're going up in flames
gimme gin and piss indifference
i'll give you buckshot teeth pride and grief
gimme your contact high and pain
when i'm out and raising cain
gimme your hand and all its spells
watch me turn it all to hell for you
these sprawling cities aint for me
this insincerity it ain't for you
so pack the car up to the roof and
meet me in New Mexico baby
or meet me in hell
if we ain't going to New Mexico baby
we ain't going nowhere at all
Track Name: Coyotes
button up your blouse doll
we're leaving this city behind
you hear them gunshots down the alley
they're shooting havenots down on site
they don't need a reason gonna hang my ass for treason
so i'm singing with coyotes tonight
keep pulling on that cigarette
keep hanging on that radio dial
the highway ain't got answers but
it's the only way we're staying alive
I got this cordite and a melody
you got them legs and all the money honey
you and me are singing with coyotes tonight
Track Name: Dead Man's Coat
now that night has finally settled down across this never ending town
gather round and hear this sound i'm slinging
i've walked past anger hate and flames past six million unmarked graves
to spin sweat and thread into potatoes meat and gold
settle in this sinking city nothing but my coat to keep mecarrying the words from all the books and oil burned
but they'll be back with tanks and rage when i'm fed and half asleep to burn this city down to dust before my feet get to the street

drag me all the way down can't touch my awful screaming soul
my heart wrapped up in my bones my bones held up in this
dead man's coat

I'm sending out my smoke signals across this taillight vigil glowing
pouring in and out of this neglected ancient city
so they might send me refugees I'll split my wallet split my feed
with deserters homeless killers saints and punks and skins and whores and thieves
or lead me to their water wave their guns until I drink
put a bullet in my head and leave me facedown in the sink
this life ain't like they say at all some people rise some people fall
but if you wait here long enough you'll end up with the latter ones

drag me all the way down until I'm bleeding out in the middle of this grave paved road
my heart bursting out my bones my bones bursting out this
dead man's coat
Track Name: Meet Me In the Desert
come over after work drink this coffee drink this wine
unravel sing me up and down pound the sweat out of our bloodlines
nine to five eight to six nights and weekends christmases
I'll pull your mind down off your struggle and bathe you in the night
hopscotch with me on down the alley over soggy pizza boxes dodging
dead rats raccoons possums kids don't ever let me home again
I'll pull your call out of the puddle pull my head out of the rubble
dust me off until I'm someone you can bear to share the ride
forty days of daylight turned to forty years of night
push on out this heartland save your life
meet me in the desert

all the life that you were taught that you never could imbibe
paid for on a credit card you used to cut up lines between your
enemies and family your hustle and some peace at night and
all the sons of gunfire raging through the night
step out of the wasteland away from all the yes men
pinching pennies faking fire wrapped in concertina wire
step on out this heartland save your life
and baby if I fall behind
meet me in the desert

a bloodied doorway ain't gonna save me from this noose around my neck
I ain't guilty I ain't sick
no burning bush or engine gonna talk me down the right side of this cliff
I ain't coming down for shit
until I've seen our wagons circling up again
Track Name: Strip Malls and God
round up your fears
dry them for kindling
get braced for the night
got nowhere to sleep since
they sent ya out looking for Jesus
found him burned into a boxspring
next to bedbugs and cumstains
moved out on our families and into the night
built our new lives in the shadows
of the big city lights

we shared good love and bad luck
platitudes and drunk fucks
wrecked our bodies and filled them up with
communion wine and gasoline
cigarettes and sacrament
spent years of our lives finding out
how little it meant

chalk it up to strip malls and God
young bucks with blind faith in nothing much at all
chalk it up to strip malls and God

wearing their clothes and singing their songs
even grandmama's radio taught us nothing much at all
about roofers fisherman and dealers
teamsters and heathens metalheads and Jesus
starbucks rehab oilfields and badlands
or a roof that we could share over your head and my head
I don't care how can we just make it there
I'll sing Jesus blood in country songs or hardcore bands in parking lots
just keep my ass out of the daylight
keep me in the night

I've had enough of these strip malls and God
the reasons we had weren't reasons at all
I'm burning down strip malls I'm burying all my gods
We'll settle down anywhere else
Track Name: Dam the Night
night falls on you and me and yours and mine my darling
we're all out of luck
come crawling out your basement after three days on that wine
get ready for the roll call
to be gagged and cast aside
they'll make a couple bucks a head selling bodies pumping lead
into your mind into your hive into your water supply
get going on your parents' drugs
coffee booze and fucking
or get burning out instead
smoking cigarettes in bed

or take the road or take my hand
settle down or make new plans
everyone you know is going up in flames tonight
you got all the money honey you got all the soul
so leave your demons far behind
ditch your dreams and
dam the night

I'll stick around
there's some heads round here I gotta crack and
I'm still working on that sound
that I heard in empty parking lots
all these sprawling strip malls
soaring over deserts
and huddled up against the mountains
in slums and sordid suburbs
in all these buildings burning down
and every single high school in our country and beyond
if you think that you're too old for this
if that horizon line can get you high
go on honey skip this town
I'm here to find my sound inside the night

dam the river
dam the whole damn lake
flood this city til she breaks
or make a new deal with your demons
go fuck off on your way
to feed your monsters
change your name
dam the river
dam the night
feed the fires
stand and fight
dam the river
dam the night
keep the darkness in our sight