Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Patrick Stolley
I can see what the people are doing. I can see what they - okay, we - have been doing for hundreds of years. We just keep spreading ourselves out. We built and build near water because that makes the most sense, but we never stop there. We have felt the need to keep procreating and hence the need to continue advancing out from those original outposts along the mighty rivers. Now, we just keep throwing down parking lots and building more buildings, turning parks, fields and grassy slopes into retail and domestic destinations. We can't help ourselves. We've got to turn it all into spots that only resemble the hands of people, not any other kinds of hands. It's a shame that we can just get lost in that kind of foolishness, of being driven by the wrong things. There's little stopping and even less thinking going on about the need of it. Kevin and Anita Robinson, the two principle players in the Portland, Oregon, band Blue Giant, give us sparkling antidotes for these feelings of uncontrollable spreading. The Robinsons make us feel as if they live somewhere - sure Portland, but it's gotta be some place in a hidden part of that city - that hasn't seen the poison. It's a place where the sunshine's different. It's a sunshine that would never give you cancer, no matter how many hours you spent in it. You can just swim in that yellowness, just drink it all day long. It's a place where nothing and everything rusts out. You just don't worry about it, as if it's perfectly okay to see the aging process work the way it's going to work. It's a place where you'd go to raise your kids more barefoot than not. It's a place that allows you to take deep, thrilling breaths of air that has parts of oceans, parts of souls and parts of this year's hay crop in them. They taste like meals and you appreciate every one of them. Blue Giant, as a band, seems to relish the open road and the places alongside the two-lane highways, far out of the reach of the urban sprawl and well within the grasp of the sprawl that claimed everything not all that long ago, where you can just lie down in a patch of grass and sleep away the afternoon after a simple picnic lunch. The sky and the land are whatever versions of them that they prefer. They just go with it and their jam-heavy, country psychedelia is the best friend that they give the passenger's seat on every drive, with the window down enough so that the ears and the tongue can flap in the breeze and they escape the expansion together.