Dog Days

by David Ullman

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in a 4-Panel Digipak with a 6-Panel lyric insert.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Dog Days via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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DOG DAYS, the much-anticipated first full-length album from Northeast Ohio singer/songwriter David Ullman, finally reached an eager audience in 2008. Most often cited for his poignant use of vocal dynamics and intimate portraits of love lost and (occasionally) found, Ullman delivered a debut that FREE TIMES music editor Jeff Niesel calls “exquisitely beautiful” and COOL CLEVELAND'S Peter Chakerian describes as “deep, dark and intensely rich.”

The 29-year-old Clevelander’s initial creative outlet was filmmaking, though pre-adolescent re-makes of biopics like LA BAMBA and THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY sparked his interest in music as well. “I started playing guitar at age eight by learning Buddy Holly songs—most of which are the same four chords,” he recalls. “Buddy Holly for me was what punk rock seems to have been for a lot of other musicians. You don’t have to be Eric Clapton to play along with The Ramones. That’s the way it was with me and Buddy Holly’s music. My dad taught me to play his songs, and I used to make tapes in my bathroom—overdubbing my voice like I’d seen in the movies. I also drew covers for the tapes based on other album sleeves that I’d seen, and gave them to my family for birthday gifts and such.”

In his early twenties, Ullman and a handful of friends formed a short-lived folk-rock quintet called “Steve.” Songs such as “Start Anew” and “Unspoken,” both of which appear on DOG DAYS, were written during this time, and Ullman’s long-time friend, collaborator, and former Steve member Matthew Jackson designed the disc’s cover. Other carryovers from the group include Steve bassist Nick Robinson, who features on the final (unlisted) track of DOG DAYS, key contributors Sean Kammer (piano) and Logan Ramsier (drums), as well as the engineering expertise of (brother) Brian Ullman, who also plays lead and bass guitar on the record.

Ullman’s insistence upon the inclusion of these valued individuals turned the making of DOG DAYS into a three-year-process—during which time he refined the songs on stage, performing over 90 shows in 2007. “Why would I hastily make a plain ol’ voice-and-guitar record when my brother is a terrific producer and electric guitar player? It wouldn’t make any sense,” he explains. “My friends and I may not be the best musicians ever; but for me, we were the right musicians to realize this material. In my mind, it had to be these people. Even down to the name of the label that I established to release the CD—Dreaming Out Loud Records. For ten years now, Dreaming Out Loud ventures have involved these people. It’s about making dreams reality, and I was committed to waiting for these people and what they could contribute to these songs.”

Not only do the tracks on DOG DAYS invite listeners into Ullman’s life and relationships, but also into the homes of his family and friends through intimate recording sessions that took place in bedrooms, bathrooms, and basements. Or perhaps, we as listeners invite him into our living rooms and lives—to play his guitar on our couches and hang out in our kitchens.

Hearing Ullman’s music feels less like listening to a recording or attending a concert and more like sitting down with an old friend on a Friday night to rehash the rough day at work or the latest lovers’ quarrel. His honest and confessional style brings him a special kind of rapport with his audience. He gives voice to those universal fears that most of us prefer not to examine—fears that our relationships may not be the safe haven we once believed them to be.

Still, the music of DOG DAYS goes beyond the traditional break-up record. A hopeful message persists and shines through the adversity, and there’s a struggle to maintain and repair the relationship that hangs in the balance. Ullman’s shift from smooth and gentle—at times pleading—lyrics, to the explosive and emotionally charged heights that characterize both his songwriting and live performances draw us into the conversation, assuring us all that we have friends with whom to share our everyday struggles, ambitions and disappointments.

Currently maintaining a consistent concert schedule in and around Northeastern Ohio, Ullman is eager to travel to new cities. In the months ahead, look for him to branch out into new territories in support of his debut album and its forthcoming second single, a radio remix of “Secondhand,” which will be released along side several outtakes from DOG DAYS.

-T.M.Göttl, Summer 2008


released February 23, 2008


All songs written by David Ullman (vocals & acoustic guitar)

Bass & Electric Guitars by Brian Ullman
Drums by Logan Ramsier
Keyboard Piano by Sean Kammer
"Vibes" & Electric guitars on "End" by "The Ro"
Lead Acoustic Guitar on "Unspoken" by Brian Ullman

"Secondhand" and "In Dreams" Produced by Brian Ullman

The rest were recorded and mixed in bedrooms, bathrooms and basements from Jan. '05 to Nov. '07 in Rittman, Kent, Columbus and Lakewood, Ohio.

Mastered by Sean Kammer in Lincoln, Nebraska



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David Ullman Northfield, Minnesota

"Too rock for folk" and "too folk for rock." Embracing both extremes.


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Track Name: Begin
I wanna know all that you are
I wanna know all that you’ll become
All alone you’ve come this far
But you and I we have just begun

Met in the shallow waters of
This tiny fishbowl
With no high tide or low
now I’m yours; be mine
Let this moment in time begin

I wanna know all that we are
I wanna know all that we’ll become
You and I we’ve come this far
But there’s still so much that we’ve not yet done

Swimming in the waters of
This tiny fishbowl
With no high tide or low
Now I’m yours and you’re mine
Let this moment in time begin

Could we suspend
Stop trying to comprehend
Could we redefine
Write a song without rhyme
I think it’s time we begin

I’m still trying to find out who I am
It’s been so long, but still I don’t understand
Just what it takes to be your man
Teach me, love, take me by the hand

Pull me outta the wreckage of
This shattered fishbowl
I’ve lost all control
I’m yours; you’re mine
Let this moment in time begin

Let’s begin again
Hope we never end
Let’s begin (if only to end again)
Track Name: Secondhand
I’ve been searching, can’t seem to find my way
Seems the nights get darker each and every day
This time I’ve wandered too far from home
Friends all around me, but I feel alone

I feel lost and broken, bent out of place
Shall I stay, or do you need some space
Different means all lead to the same end
How can we even try to pretend

I need a secondhand heart
Only slightly ripped apart
I need someone who will always be around
Unrequited from the start
Feel I was born to play the part
Give me someone who will never let me down

Sure I don’t miss what was missing
But oh how I miss kissing you (of course I do)
I miss your lips, your hips, your thighs
Miss the sparkle of your eyes
I know it’s gone now but I don’t know why
How did this become of me
How was I too blind to see
That the one you loved was no longer me
Was my heart in your hands just a pawn
Feelings faded like the night at dawn
Where was it that we went wrong
How am I supposed to heal
When I don’t know what it is I feel
Was it really ever real
I know kindness is contagious
So come on be courageous
Give your love away

With a secondhand heart
Only slightly ripped apart
Gotta somehow get my feet back on the ground
Unrequited from the start
No one’s born to play that part
Just find someone who will never let you down
Don’t let me down
Track Name: Half-light
What are we to do
Do you think we’ll make it through
All the mileage and misgivings
Just me and you
Are we falling too fast
Into a love that won’t last
This beautiful sunset
Too must pass

Into the half-light
With shining stars, bright
Dreaming out loud in the moonlight
Do you wish today
Do you wish tonight
To fall in love
Before daylight

Does greasy diner food
Get you in the mood
Is your heart already full
Can you still make room
Cause in the slow-burn of night
This feels so very right
As the space between us closes
Day conquers night

But in the half-light
We’ll stay all night
Making love by moonlight
I think we may
I think we might
Fall in love
Before daylight

Or are you already through with me
Is this not what you thought it would be
Are you thinking to hell with it all and
To hell with me

Are you tired
Are you torn
Do you feel like you’ve been dying
Since before you were born

Have you lost love
Have you found hope
Have you given up the guilt
You’ve held so close

But in the half-light
Maybe we two wrongs might get it right
I think we may
I think we might
Have fallen in love
In the half-light
Two shining stars, bright
Living out loud in the moonlight
I think we may
I think we might
Have fallen in love tonight
Track Name: Start Anew
Come on make me feel like I believe
A blind man once, but now I see
Oh you set me free
Won’t you set me free

Come on make me feel like I belong
To feel like this just can’t be wrong

And if you say you want me to
I’ll spend my life with you
Oh to be with you
With you I’ll start anew

Together forever and a day
For you I’ll find a way

Carry on my wayward one
From behind the clouds bring forth the sun
And with you I’ll start again
Both my love and my best friend

You make me feel like I’m alive
And for you I’ll take the dive
Oh to be with you
With you I’ll start anew

And if you just say the word
Sweetest voice I’ve heard
It cuts right to my heart
We will never part

And after all is said and done
My dear, my only one

Come aboard my sweetest friend
On this trip that never ends
Ocean of love strong and true
Rolling waves brought me to you

You make me feel like I believe
Once a blind man now I see
What you’ve done for me
And how you’ve set me free

Now I know where I belong
And to you I sing this song
How happy we will be
Come away with me

And if you say you want me to
I’ll spend my life with you
Oh to be with you
With you I’ll start anew
Track Name: Déjà Vu
I feel I’ve been here before
Staring calmly at the open door
I knew you’d be back this way
You spoke softly, said you couldn’t stay

You’d hoped to find me a changed man
I know I haven’t; please understand
It’s in the way you move me
Running in circles, and I can’t break free

I can feel it coming ‘round again
Love begins just to end again
Around and around, here we go again
Love begins just to end again

In every path there comes a time
When past and present meet and roads divide
Which way are you gonna go
Left or right, high or low

When did you know
That this was the end
And how can I go
When we were just beginning
To end …again

I can feel it comin’ down again
Love begins just to end again
Against the tide it’s sink or swim again
Love begins just to end again
Begins …to end …(here we go) again
Track Name: If You Can
Failed by the foolproof
Trying to face the truth
Can’t cope or relate
Consumed by anger, hurt and hate
Shrouded in shame
In the wind I hear your name
Crouching coward
Crippled Christ
Meet me in paradise
Help me make it right

Dream with the dreamers
Bleed with the bleeders
Dry as stone
Hard as bone
Shattered and split
2x4 buy six
Get one free
To be who i am
Not who you want me to be
Can’t you see

I’m in and out of time
In and out of mind
The break must be made
The one who lost his way
Pity the password
Pain is the key
Change the lock love
Just don’t forget me
If you can
If you can
Be the woman and
I’ll be the man

Is it in your skirt
Is it in your shirt
Is in what you do for work
Is it in the eyes
Is it in the thighs
Or is in what between there lies

Is it in the hands
Is it in the feet
Is it in the space between your teeth
Is it in the arms
Is it in the stance
Is it the size of what’s in your pants

Is it in knowing nature
Is it in knowing cars
Spending hard-earned money at the bar
Is it being strong
Is it being tough
Is it never wanting to grow up

Is it in the glance
Is it in the stare
Is in the way you wear your hair
Is in fashion
Is it in style
Give you an inch and you take a mile

Is this about money
Is this about love
Is this the bottom line or above
Is this about guilt
Is this about sex
Don’t wanna be like all of the rest
So tell me if you can
If you can
Be a woman and
I’ll be a man
Track Name: Coming To
Fear that I’m unwanted here
Losing all I’ve held so dear
Wanna face this world head-on
Don’t wanna be weak; I must be strong
Just wanna stay a part of you
I’ll do whatever it is that you want me to do
Just tell me what we are coming to

Feel ruined, like damaged goods
Foolish, I can’t see the trees for the woods
Wish I could change the part I play
Wish I wouldn’t wish your love away
Is there the courage in contradiction
Is there truth in all my fiction
Tell me what are we coming to

Don’t want you to cry
Because of something I
Did or said
Is it over yet
Can I open up my eyes
When will we realize
What we are coming to

Memory is like a loaded gun
We’re fighting battles we know can’t be won
Trying to make some sense of it all
Counting on pride to break our fall
But I’m finding that there is no shame
In saying that I’m also to blame
I think that I’m coming to

A heart is like a hollow fist
And yours I can’t seem to resist
When the night starts to breathe
Will you finally concede
That this trouble need not be
The end of you and me
I need you to open up your mouth
Whatever it is just let it out
Throw caution to the wind
It doesn’t matter where it is we begin
I know that we’ll find our way through
This mess just me and you
I think that we’re finally coming to
Track Name: Let Go
You broke the rules
You crossed the line
But there was nobody to warn you off this time
I loved you for it
How could I not
You wanted my all, and that’s what you got
But now you want to let go

You took the blame
You shouldered the cost
But what you thought you’d gained you’d really lost
If you weren’t you
And I weren’t me
Do think that still together we’d be
Would we have let go

Tree of dreams aflame
Stars falling from the sky
The bend need not break
It’s the beauty of compromise
Help me comprehend
In you I will confide
What I can’t defend
No secrets left to hide

Please don’t let go

If we defy the odds
Throw away the past
Maybe we could forever last
What’s done is done
We can’t go back
But you and I could make a pact
To not let go
Track Name: Unpsoken
She’s weighed down by the colors of the wind
A bird so afraid to fly, regretful of her sins
She thinks of what she’s done, all she can’t undo
“I can’t say these things (she says), not to you”

Words… without eyes to illustrate
Words… nor voice to communicate
Words… telling a story she’s told a thousand times in silence

Her fingers are stained with unspoken fears
She struggles to see the page through the falling tears
Unformed thoughts dance upon her tongue
The hurt’s not over yet, the healing has just begun in

Words… without eyes to illustrate
Words… nor voice to communicate
Words… telling a story she’s told a thousand times…

Words… without eyes to illustrate
Words… why can’t you communicate in
Words… a story you’ve told a thousand times
Track Name: In Dreams
Still clinging to a past
Now called into question
Rejection (of affection)
More times than I care to mention

I’m so tired of this loneliness
This aching need that is never met
It’s been so long and I’ve hurt so much
Feel small and ugly and out of touch

Will I know
When it’s really happening again
Will it show
If it is real or just pretend

Wounds are weeping
Beneath a bruised and blackened sky
Like a broken bone (never set right)
A broken heart lingers like an endless night

Seems by now there should be a cure
A better way to endure
To put together what’s been torn apart
How I wish I could change your heart

You know I don’t believe in regret
Just trying to remember to forget
Taking each day as it comes
No looking back, now I’m moving on

But will I know
When it’s really happening
Will it show
Might I mistake it for a dream

Will I know
When it’s really happening again
Will It show
If it is real or just pretend
Track Name: You and I
It used to be so simple so sweet
I loved you and you loved me
Dancing beneath the stars and the moon
We fell too fast; it was too soon
From bright shooting stars to blackened sky
How did we get here, you and I

Through billowing clouds of tobacco smoke
We used to laugh, smile and joke
A place to which I cannot return
Streets whose names I must unlearn
Where fair-weather friends shout silent goodbyes
How did we get here, you and I

Groom awaiting, bride debating
Two heats anxiously anticipating
Weighing the future against the past
We said forever but it didn’t last
Right foot before the left, your hand in mine
How did we get here, you and I

No time for love; push pull shove me away
Save me from myself today
Two hearts set adrift on this sea of time
Life without love is a song without rhyme
Am I so different now, please tell me why
Why didn’t we survive these changing tides
Surrounded in secrets, steeped in lies
Your constant hellos now a casual goodbye
Forever was too long; tomorrow’s too late
I need a new heart that’ll bend but never break
God, help me relate to these hardened times
How did we get here, you and I

Though I can’t change you, I can change me
Perception is reality
And if what we perceive is what we believe
Then truth is just a formality
Sadly, I know what lives must die
But how did we get here, you and I