First Storm​/​Second Storm

by Maya Kuper & Paul McComas

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1.
2.
04:10

about

In UNPLUGGED, Dayna weathers two dust storms. "Second Storm" is a metaphor for her struggle to overcome her depression and step back from the edge of suicide.

credits

released August 22, 2014

FIRST STORM:
Written by Paul McComas © 2014
Maya Kuper: narration, synth
Paul McComas: guitar, bass
Produced and mixed by Maya Kuper

SECOND STORM:
Music & lyrics by Maya Kuper and Paul McComas © 2014
Maya Kuper: vocals, piano
Paul McComas: guitar, background vocals
Produced and mixed by Seth Johnson
Mastered by Joe Dilillo at Solid Sound Recording

Badlands cover photo by Paul McComas

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all rights reserved

about

Maya Kuper & Paul McComas Chicago, Illinois

"Dayna Clay" is a 27-year-old rocker and rape survivor, battling PTS and depression. She's the heroine of Paul McComas' acclaimed 2002 novel, UNPLUGGED.

As the Dayna Clay Band, Maya Kuper & McComas bring UNPLUGGED to life on stage in an alt-rock musical.

Proceeds support RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotline + The Kennedy Forum.

Fictional character. Real band. Vital cause.

#RockAgainstRape
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Track Name: First Storm (Intro)
"The first one hit me on the eastern Dakota plains, before I'd even reached the Badlands.

I was in the lowest place of my life, speeding westward, my vision blurred by a constant stream of tears...when, all at once, a dense, swirling ground-cloud of dirt and dust came sweeping toward me. It was like the very air just above that desolate, flat land had somehow sprung to malevolent, earth-rending life.

By the time I'd regained enough of my wits to stop and shift into PARK, the dust storm was blotting out all sight and sound and light. It was above me and around me and on top of me: pushing down, pressing in, bellowing into my ears. demanding entry. It was...an assault. I should know.
.
I shut my eyes tight. I grabbed onto that steering wheel so hard that my nails cut into my palms. And I thought: The Hell inside me has escaped; now it's expanding to destroy the world...and it's starting with me!

Then it moved away, past me, became just a hovering swath of gray in the rear-view mirror, growing smaller by the moment as it continued to recede. Yet it left me shaking and aching, curled up, sobbing into the passenger seat.

* * *

But the second storm, a few months later? Totally different. For starters, the second one was bigger. Plus, I wasn't on the highway, but out on the land, two miles west of Drake's, with no car: unprotected; exposed. What's more, I was riding one of his horses: a usually calm but now spooked and quaking Appaloosa who himself needed protection -- which I knew I was gonna have to provide.

But that wasn't the main difference. No; the main difference was that, unlike with that first storm, the second time -- I was me."
Track Name: Second Storm
Nobody returns
No one recovers
Nobody quite goes back

On the day the first storm hit me, I was headed for a fall
I was driving down the thoroughfare of dread
I had no road map to guide me, just the writing on the wall
And "Abandon ye all hope" is what it said.
I was searching for an exit, I was reaching for the brakes
When the air itself exploded like a mine
There was nothing to hold onto but the sorrow and the ache
And the me I'd tried and failed to leave behind

My second storm, this is my proving ground
My second storm, 'cause there's no turning 'round
My second storm, yeah I've been here before
This is -- my second storm

Didn't know there'd be a sequel, never gave it any thought
Because lightning's not supposed to strike you twice
But then, all things being equal, that's a battle that I've fought
All my life without considering the price.
Well, the second one took longer, I was so much more exposed
Than I'd been when I was hiding in that hole
But by now I'd gotten stronger, so my wounded heart arose
And for the first time since my youth, I had a soul.

My second storm, this is my proving ground
My second storm, where I am lost, then found
My second storm, yeah I've been here before
This is -- my second storm, my second storm

No, no, nobody returns, no one recovers
Nobody quite goes back they way they were before
But the storm helps us learn, the storm uncovers
How the "writing on the wall" becomes a door

My second storm, this is my proving ground
My second storm, and there's no turning 'round
My second storm, yeah I've been here before
This is -- my second storm
My second storm, this is my proving ground
My second storm, where I am lost, then found
My second storm, where I am killed, then born
This is -- my second storm, my second storm