Ultraviolet Catastrophe

by joey small

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this is an album about death, the interpersonal, and god-complex. it contains ukulele, distorted melodica, hand percussion, revving synths, and double-bass. listen for free.


released November 9, 2018

Recorded by Thomas Draper and Sarah Berger at Madstop Records in Potsdam, NY
Additional recording by joey small, Aaron Rizzo, & Arthur Campbell IV
Mixed by joey small
Mastered by Dave Drago and joey small at 1809 Studios in Macedon, NY
Artwork by joey small

Performed by joey small except for:

Thom Avella: saxophone on Care Much
Brian Brancato: trumpet on Dayfare
Sadie Brock: piano on Care Much
Thomas Draper: guitars on Unarmed S0ldier, 4 Ways, & Sandbox List
Julian Eichholz: bass on Unarmed S0ldier, Care Much, & Sandbox List and guitar on 4 Ways
Aaron Rizzo: guitars on Unarmed S0ldier & Sandbox List
Sarah Taylor: double bass on Friend Crush




joey small Potsdam, New York

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Track Name: Unarmed S0ldier
[i wanna be selfish
i wanna be the only pretty little princess that you like
hm, ahh]

i only lie to my dentist
my personality's the human-born form of iceberg lettuce (what?)
but i still get up on that nuke stuff
killstreak of three conversations didn't go too rough (really?)

i promised myself i wouldn't like the bitter taste
and give in to the adulthood but i saw no other way
what a waste!

i can't go out tonight, i'm up in my room
i might find time to not do nothing but not now, maybe soon

i'm too busy cauterizing nonexistent wounds
a tomb is where my sense of pride fell some time after the womb
thought i was fine but then soon a fresh contusion on the leg of a friend
the self-imposed open-air scar scarred me to no end (to no end)

depression, anxiety a foreign concept
well you're studying abroad now boy
i booked the flight while you slept

as if it makes any difference when i work towards something
my path's peaked and plastered on pottery and it means nothing

i never text or call my old friends even though i miss 'em
live life according to my Idealistic Masochism
my only solace is my xbox 360
oh wait i'm sorry but i gotta get on stage or they'll miss me but i-

(now announcing: the school famous: joey small!)

i'm the greatest
i'm the smartest
and i'm nice
but it's the hardest
that i'm unarmed for

i used to stare at pretty people but now i only glance
i got the biggest piece of potential in the world in my pants (woo)
for now squandered on porn stars and amateurs
lie about your age in exchange for sexual favorers

the slight folds in the center of a t-shirt
too tight, will flatten out before my teeth hurt

i got a girlfriend and she's older than me
a fact i'd brag about to all my friends if i had any (hmm)

but i have fans and a band, got videos on the announcements
and it might make me sad being surrounded by accountants
but the economist in me knows better
implicitly put on a pedestal above table-setters

you got a free-ride, go to college in a year
but you can't even make eggs, live alone, do your laundry
whatcha fear?

i'm ill equipped for the world but i'm well equipped for mine
thought i'd surprise them all but i only shocked a flatline

i never text or call my old friends even though i miss 'em
live life according to my Idealistic Masochism
might be a waste, but i don't want to die since
my life is rather loud, but honestly i prefer si-


why did this happen to me?
i had the best of intentions
for this life i have affection
but if i'll feel like this
perhaps it was misplaced

i'm not sad
i'm not anything
but like temperature it might be the same

so if i'm uninvited
i'll go to from where i came

this is not your fault

it never was your fault

it's mine
Track Name: Friend Crush

i got a Friend Crush
a platonic crush
of that i am guilty of the first degree
ohh, but she's much too young for me
but i didn't know before i saw those eyes, you see

i wanna write a song that doesn't rhyme at all
and to not show up to my senior ball
just to take an hour-long bathroom break in the stall
wishing talking was less awkward in the halls

i need some one-on-one time with a pretty face
sometimes i think i'm desperate for a private place
where our only company's the stars
with no clouded vision given by spirits conjured by bars


i got a Friend Crush
a platonic crush
for once i actually asked for her name
even interrupted her iphone game
i see her glancing when i'm glancing i think she feels the same

it started when she first laughed at my joke
a defense mechanism to help us cope
with the problems that we all have
that we try to wash out with lavender soap

i wanna talk to you about newton's laws
and the reasons that we have hands for claws
we could get real philosophical
i don't want to take off my double-monocle

these glasses help me to see straight
i wanna take you on a platonic date (night)
a PDN with no PDA
but a private display of open communication

i got a Friend Crush
i have a Friend Crush
it's hard not to be hypocritical
i get lonely when i have too much time to kill
yet i can't even give some simple conversation a whirl

i got a Friend Crush
that much is true
i tried to write around three songs for you
but none of them were turning out right
ohh, apprehension can put up quite a fight

every time i see you walking at rehearsal
i freeze up, both physically and verbally
i see why these people are always turning to booze
facebook showed me a picture of you

you're the only one in it with an open smile
you're the only one there without a facebook profile
i walk outside to see you running a mile
and i file that memory in the place where

i keep all the things that make me feel sad
not knowing if i could have known you had
we shared similar interests
but i just stayed in my room and wrote my wish-list

which of course included you
but only as a friend
if you want to meet after class i'll say yes fast
and we'll open up for as long as it lasts (yeah)

i got a Friend Crush
a platonic crush
when i make you smile you make me blush
we can stop at best friends
no need to start a fuss

i have a Friend Crush
oh guilty me
but i'm still willing to pay an entry fee
i'll be awkward if you'll be awkward too
i'll admit it. i got a platonic crush on you

i don't want you to hurt yourself
because of what i didn't do to help
i don't want you to be mine
i just want to be the reason why

i wanna be the reason you love yourself
i'll do whatever i have to do to help
i wanna have a PDN oh see why
why am i so bad at goodbye
Track Name: Dayfare
if you died
i’d probably try hypnotism
ponder digesting razors just to be with him
my own father
i sat with him where the only work was water
and protected from onlookers
you don’t like to be bothered

you hate the doctor
you hate therapy
you hate somber
but did you hate when i made that first appointment?
i swear i’m honestly feeling better
i ain’t hurt in a sec
and this whole past month i have been an absolute wreck

i saw you shaking
i saw your eyes turn away
the eyes that i inherited
you didn’t know what to say
so you said you loved me
and walked away
and hid your face
but now i hope that you found mother
and you cried with her
so my pain could bring you together
a price to pay

i’ve been handling this poorly
got too involved
a year later can’t say i’m absolved of blame
having the same name didn’t bring you together
but outside of that and biology how else are we the same?

(the similarities, they seem so far away)
yeah, we used to play catch
but i dropped out of baseball
and joined the marching band
and as soon as i left, you saw fit to join

i worry sometimes that i might be your favorite son
ironic considering that i am the worst one
'cause with every success i owe to you
my schedule allows for less time to be spent with you
i promise to
make time


when my parents divorced
guess i had nothing to say
but still said more than i did yesterday
yesterday a friend lost his mother
but i still have my grandparents
they live across the street
playing basketball, running errands

but ceremonies are in the future for both of us
where we’ll sing songs to corpses
and confide in memories
remember these visions of nice meals and clothes matching
but when i heard news of my friend’s mother’s passing

i sent one short text then called it a day
i didn’t feel that invested i never saw her face
i didn’t think nothing of it
until a family friend i wasn’t close with passed away
i felt my mother’s tears in my phone case

but my eyes dry
so dry they’re red in fact
blissfully ignorant to the feelings and the impact
that losing someone close to you has
‘cause at twenty years old
i’ve never had to flirt with the idea of death

i never had to dress up for a funeral
never had to make someone a speech
and write words that they’ll never know
i was never more than a text away from closure
was never desperate for time ‘cause i knew that someone’s life would be over

so this message is for you guys who live across the street
if i’m at college when you pass and you don’t hear a peep
if i’m in class and i follow the class’s policy
to keep my phone in my pocket then please listen to me

i’ll never forget
i’ll never replace your memory
and i won’t listen if following feels like a remedy
if it were up to me i’d keep your spice garden alive
and put all the meals that you ever made me in a cookbook

and every week make one of them for my nieces and nephews
and tell them stories about doing push-ups in the morning
instead of mourning i’ll travel
and then i’ll send you postcards
and i’ll think about the sled rides i had in your backyard
and i’ll


i wait for the day
when you see me
for who i really am
but if that day isn’t soon it may be never

the Dayfare gets to me
it eats at me right between the eyes
i can feel it an inch under my hairline
monotony's a common theme
causing me to prefer watching old TV episodes
streaming over seeing

my future forefathers
brothers sisters and fathers
of my brother, mother
my father lives too far away from home
i care deeply about all of you
and you made me who i am today
but i can't be fucked to find the time to visit you?

i'll regret having you need to write notes for me
i'll regret not committing to memory all of your stories
regret spending time being depressed instead of calling you
and i’ll blame myself for it
wish you were here to say it wasn't true

i'll probably regret if i wait until a eulogy
to tell you all how much and such and what you really mean to me
my achievements are yours
that and my happiness too
i don't regret a second of the time we spent together
i promise you

that i'm trying

and i'm sorry if i'm not there enough

but you're always with me

in the form of letters



i keep them with me

in a box

i take everywhere i go

so that when i can't take care of myself

i'm falling

you're not four hours away

you're right here

with me

i just wish i could be there
Track Name: A Ballad about how one plus two can be equal to zero
i'm sure You're pretty
just believe me
it's easy
to think i care for You genuinely
behind these airwaves there's no anxiety

i'll make Your day when i say something nice
reek all the benefits with no sacrifice
my ignorance to the mortality of Yours
had me believing
that it's alright

You were at a party sending me a kiss
talking with Your best friend i was also flirting with
"hey look at this"
You showed her the message i sent to You
the mutual similarities shined through
it's copy and paste
it's copy and paste
it's copy and paste

it's copy and paste

You were not a fan of my indecisiveness
two people at once
i admit it's hit or miss
decisions need to be made
when there's more than one option on the list

but man i really got to Your roots
calling You baby and sending you ice cream cone hearts
with two scoops
so when she was crying
You were just getting angry at me
and i listened to You

and You said

"I'm a mess
I confess
I wish I couldn't care less
but I feel so low
and so
I know
you deceived us both"

then You said

"how dare he
I can't see
how he thought we could mean three
I'm done with this
taking a knee
if he were here
I bet he'd say"


You're susceptible to smiling
when i act all mushy and soft
how was i supposed to respond
when You said i wished You laughed Your pants off

that was an interesting way
to start acting flirtatious
with someone over the phone
as if that's anything
but a bunch of ones and zeros

You see all of me now
and You don't seem to like it
(it's) probably a bad idea if it's a secret

i couldn't cut off ties with her
so i don't serve You
and it hurts

i'm sure You're pretty
but i've just never seen Your face

so You can take me out of your equations
take me out of Your game
You're the same
You're no different
You're indifferent
i'm to blame
in vein
i'm trying to let myself through
but receive no response from You

we don't speak what's on our minds
what we get is what we find

nothing new

so You said

"I'm a mess
I confess
I wish I couldn't care less
but I feel so low
and so
I know
you deceived us both"

then You said

"how dare he
I can't see
how he thought we could mean three
I'm done with this
taking a knee
if he were here
I bet he'd say"

he'd say

i love You
love you too
i love both of you
at least that's how i feel
'cause it's so new
don't be blue
if only i knew
that no-one wants to be lonely
but sometimes we just want to be sad
what better way than to treat someone like a fad?
Track Name: Care Much
i break down and cry when You play those jazz chords
i'll never create something so beautiful
You didn't stick with it
i didn't stick with You either
so is it feasible for me to be one of two
including You
or are we just equal?

i say hi to Her
She says hi back
half of our conversations end like that
when they don't we seem to backtrack
i care too much

i call Her pretty
She's discussed
he calls Her pretty
he's exalted
i lose sleep over it
i'm exhausted
i care too much

You say You're thankful i was there for You
so we make plans to continue
but the next few days we don't follow through
it's a worldwide problem

it's something else at stake
we're not fake
there's no break
i'm just waiting for the day
when there's another way
to get close to You without resorting to parallel play

You care much
i think not
You got brain snot
i got a hunch
that You're not too hot on eating lunch
i care much to much about the small things
like Your blue eyes with the black wings
so i cry when i am not king
i care much too much

we only embark
when You are falling apart

i like it when You clench my arms in frustration
i like it when You're the source of inspiration
for my master class
in not being an ass
i gotta think fast
before i castrate my chances by staying silent

that'll make this the last time we talk in a while
i saw You running a mile
while bill nye was talking about protons and biology
i know that Your least favorite class is probably biology
but i'm a fan as long as it'll get You to talk to me

i couldn't tell You that i found your crazy eyes entrancing
i didn't tell You that i really loved our crazy dancing
and over the top jokes
You said that we're the same
the next day
we seized contact
only one of us doing so with no shame

i'll play in a band
i hope You like that
i'll gladly eat off of the graduated senior's placemat
i'll gladly mooch off of Your unconsciousness on Your bad days
and i'll savor every single moment during Your stays

however brief
bad business
no briefcase

i wanna nonviolently rip the makeup off Your face

and solve any remaining insecurities

and convince You that i enjoy Your absurdities

Your Facebook picture’s heavily edited
got it on reddit
did You even get it
i drew it in with some white marker
so when my phone didn't light up
my life seemed darker

You say we fit together like puzzle pieces
ain't that funny
i remember that time a girl asked me for an arm drawing of the playboy bunny
just like SAT prompts
at least i knew how to respond
however when You become distant
i become despondent and long-winded

the long silence of four years
and suddenly since there's no-one better
and no-one older
You're suddenly all ears?
my fear is anything You say to me in a claimed emotional state
is just some pity crafted to prevent some heartbreak

You care much
i think not
You got brain snot?
i got a hunch
that You're not too hot on eating lunch
i care much too much about the small things
like Your big eyes with the black wings
so i cry when i am not king

i care much too much
about imaginary problems that i hope You have

You care much
i think so
You show it differently
so i don't know
why i would convince myself that you don't
i care much too much about what's not true
(Your eyes aren't even fucking blue)
so i blew it
i guess that's part two

i've never been so angry at someone for an irrational reason
i'm pretty sure i hope Your new boyfriend doesn't last past the season
You switch on and off with no remorse for reasons that no-one can foresee
do You care for me?
do You feel any sense of loyalty?
i guess if you didn't
then that would work out
because i did not when we were younger
if only You let me speak the words that
i could make up for it with
You wrote me a nice birthday message for facebook on december fifth
a myth is us
a figment of imagination
ruled by lust for a better friendship

an unrealistic idea of companionship

You break down this time
and beg me to please stand by
i begrudgingly heed to Your request
maybe i can enjoy our mediocre discourse that never cuts through the surface
maybe our silly screamo songs don't need to serve a purpose
Track Name: 4 Ways
my life could go one of these four ways from here
hold on desperately to those whom i hold dear
i could give up on them
or find new kinds of time to give her
or i could end it all
and overdose on that which i deliver

it started when i got a job offer from a friend
put my education to use
deliver pills across the country
getting paid to travel
an opportunity to lock up the noose

but my wife told me i was away for too long
said our children found a father in her
so to make it easier for them
she cut me off
and my break lights made room for a family to occur

but my three kids
they might be my one saving grace
if they loved me back
maybe i could save face
at family dinners
taking all-too-frequent bathroom breaks
and i wipe my tears with tissues
right next to my favorite kind of toothpaste

i've heavily considered driving this truck of mine into a river
i'm sure our customers can wait
'cause no matter what diseases pieces of chemicals can cure
they don't compare to the damage my actions have made

and when the 4 way lights are the only conversation
that you get to have
perhaps the world wouldn't really mind at all
if you were replaced by a better man
who read your children stories
and sent your wife a daily call when he was out

i wish that this truck weighed less than it does now
seatbelt sign blinking
i've learned to tune it out
too anxious to go outside
take weeks to prepare for family meetings
i only continue to live
because it is my default state of being


there's a four way light inside of you
that someone will see
in the future i assume
is where you will meet
on the road to somewhere
it starts with four beams
it won't be too long before
you're bursting at the seams

oh, you're in love
and i know somewhere up above
that seat

is someone who once considered crashing in the grass
your medicine has been delivered
it's in Her grasp

so crash
Track Name: Sandbox List
i don't want to live forever
i'd rather die when i'm at my best
the rest is a waste of time
when i'm kind i'm in my prime
and i might find that life is so serine when i'm older
but living behind
the curve
yeah, the curve
i'd rather sit behind a mirror as my most precious memories occur

i'm not the type of man to ask for what is needed
mine was preceded by that of my friend whose brain was heated
overheated by none other than class and lack of medical treatment
sequences of memories
lying on her shoulder
at her funeral
she was a boulder
i was her rock
how should i outlive someone better than me
i'm still in shock

and anyone who would take that right away from her can go catch this sock
if you're the reason
maybe your death could be worth mine
it's for this reason i hope my life follows the pattern of serpentine
'cause when i was younger i said i'd give my life for that of anyone else
maybe i wasn't a coward then
maybe i wasn't a coward then
i was not a coward then

there are a lot of things i'd like to not do before i die
most of them having to do with people that i love
and not hurting them
making them ask or wonder why
i'd like to die being able to take care of myself on my own
i'd rather grow old not knowing what growing old feels like
i'm grown

but i've not lived this life preparing to die on my own
but yet i fizzle out while talking on the phone
i used to mutter the word "Love"
every night before i fell asleep
i wanted to be in control of what my last words would always be

but now i'm worried about white supremacists
and my queer friends
i'm worried about when hypothetical ends
i'm worried that college drug culture will encapsulate and destroy the life of my dearest love
i'm worried that worrying will woefully turn concern into fucking us up
i'm worried that all my attempts at redemption are reasons for future redemptions
with brad armstrong style, i’m wildly flailing in every direction

“you hurt me the most” i’m hosting knowledge of what remains unsaid
it hurts to know this
it hurts to know that my friend will always be dead
and she said that she wanted to go to germany
she still just might if her final thought was there
that's the closest we get to an after life
but lack of after life is probable
so hospitality
on earth is where it's supposed to be
undoubtedly it's all over me

there are a lot of things i'd like to not do before i die
most of them having to do with people that i love
and not hurting them
making them ask or wonder why
i'd like to die being able to take care of myself on my own
i'd rather grow old not knowing what growing old feels like
i'm grown

i had a dream i could play tic-tact-toe on your legs
you being half of two but zero when the morning sags
don't want to see your bare chest
but i want to converse with bare knuckles
getting suckled on
swallowed faster than a truck driver's belt buckle
so i try my best not to listen to that voice that says it can't hurt
to criticize people privately
or obsess about those t-shirts

i still hurt a lot of people on my way to becoming oh-so-slightly more than mediocre
i stayed sober for twenty years then i glazed over
recovered from the high
and forgot names
and wished i died
i don't know why
i didn't care much then
but caring less means more now
i want to make the world better
can't pretend i know how

that's why when you're filling buckets
i'm playing in these sandboxes
in colorful socks
i flock
to wherever the next faux is
so colorful candy is fastened to the curb
while handy and crafty gentlemen stomp it down with a verb
or two
i feel like whoever i am is entirely inconsequential
but people surrounding me disagree
potentially i could come to see that but

there are a lot of things i'd like to not do before i die
most of them having to do with people that i love
and not hurting them
making them ask or wonder why
i'd like to die being able to take care of myself on my own
i'd rather grow old not knowing what growing old feels like
i just want to be in charge of the last sound i ever heard
is that absurd?

and i know
i want that sound
to be your voice
whispering in my ear
knowing that this was our choice

i want to do all that i can
but i want to go before the night ends
i want to go before the night ends
i'd like to leave before the night ends
depart prior to when the night ends
i need to go before the night ends
Track Name: Let Me Die Like This
it's true
when I say I care about you
something I struggle with a lot

and I'm proud of you
you've done so well
not because of me
but not in spite of

I believe
you made me believe
that the world could use someone like me
even though I can't be more than


we've had two years
and you've seen me at my worst
you drove to our home
to my bedside

and you cried
I cried for the first time that day
I need help
I need someone to be myself around

someone to be myself around
I think you could use someone to be yourself around too
'cause I think I've found someone
I want to be that someone for you

you'll be yours
and I'll be mine
and we can be ourselves together
until we die.

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