Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley
Carson Daly is in Times Square right now. He's got his black Isotoner gloves, classy black trench coat and matching royal blue scarf and necktie ringing in the new year with Tim Russert's son and some of the bit players from the Today Show. They're busy hunting down all of those valuable quotes from repetitiously excited people and those thinking that there's no more romantic time or date to propose to their girlfriends than in Times Square on the last day of the year in front of the cameras.
All of those making up this sea of humanity as it's wont to be called by anyone with a microphone or tired notebook, no matter how much they decide to drink before the night's up, are completely in control and operating according to the various principles that have been stamped and approved as proper for this date every year. The reason to celebrate is simple: It's when we can do a kiss off to our shitty old year and prepare to welcome a new one that is surprisingly loaded with optimism and promise, like an apple tree in early fall, just ready to be shaken bare. We're ready to wait underneath this pregnant tree, patiently poised with our bushel baskets to collect all of the disoriented fruit. It does not matter one way or another if a year needs to be forgotten, if there's a reason to need something better in the coming 12 months, they'll act the same because it's just meant to be acted out this way, with a precise itinerary and a hope and a prayer. It's nothing but boring and follow the leader-ish.
Brandi Shearer, the Bay Area songwriter who was born and raised on a rural Oregon horse farm, is probably as far away from crowds and the systematic prediction and resolution makers as she can get. She makes her own luck and if she can't, she'd prefer to become completely blindsided by luck. She'd rather - if one can glean anything from her deep and brewing music, the kind of sensation that comes in the strong fumes that spring up within the first three minutes of a new pot of coffee grumbling into existence - be overtaken by translucent, kneejerk reactions, the ones that we're only ever partially lucid for. When the times come, they come in under the cover of clouds and then are gone like the lights. She wants to feel it in her skull and when you're using a word like skull in what is some sort of love song like "Animal" it's the strongest reference point. She doesn't, but she would use the words "piss" and "shit" and would talk about licking the corners of her mouth for any blood that might be there from the fray.
There wouldn't be any hesitation to discuss why she doesn't make resolutions because what would someone not fenced in by directed actions and premeditations to do with resolutions? They're about as interesting as it would be to skip forward two chapters in a book and then go back and fill in the blanks by reading those skipped chapters. Resolutions would predate actions. They would guide them, in a way, and make the promise of what was really to come less lively, less red and still a bit bloody. She wants for a full belly and then everything else after that is gravy. She wants for love, but there's something in her willowy and sunken treasure voice that lets us know that she'd prefer to not catch sight of any tracks in the snow, that love's not leaving any trail to her. She'd like the wind to be knocked out of her and vice versa, to knock all of the wind out of everything that gets in her way. It's a form of endearment. It's her form of endearment, that animal.
Brandi Shearer Official Site