Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Danny Reisch at Good Danny's, Austin, Texas
Could just be remembering this incorrectly, but when Brass Bed swung back through our parts last, they were out busting out the seams in crotches across the country and most certainly drinking any and all complimentary beer provided at the bars that were played in. The fuzzy memory is of something that I think they were talking about that afternoon. They'd just traveled north from the south and they'd played a place where they ran into a dude that was willing to put them up for the night and he just happened to be a tattoo artist. When everyone got drunk enough, the artist's needle came out and some tattoos were had. Now, some of this could be true or none of it, but the tattoos that I'd like to imagine being done that night were those of ripe apples and endearing phrases referring to their mothers. There would have been no barbed wire or idiocy permanently scrawled upon their skin for it seems like these four fellows from Lafayette, Louisiana, have pure impulses down. They seem as if they'd be unclouded, even when they're under the influence of a copious amount of alcohol and the tattoos are on the house. They might choose their favorite Beatle to have on their back. They could justify that. One could never find that to be a dishonorable subject or placement. Give Paul or George as much back as you have to give. Amen to that.
Brass Bed music veers into the poppiest sides of neo psychedelic music, that of the Athens, Georgia scene of the late 90s and early 2000s. They tend to explore the sweetest aches of their hearts and not those bewildering and darker corridors of them. Songs stay light and bouncy - always bouncy - but they tackle these issues of growing up and into men that rarely get too clear too quickly. Lead singer Christiaan Mader sings, "If I could be honest, I'd never be what I wanna be," and it seems like a tough thing to know for certain, but it's all that he can't help but feel. It's always easiest to take the lumps and be insulted or depressed by them, to get sarcastic and a little spiced with bitterness, waiting for the day that things will get different. There are always so many days to rue, but Brass Bed finds the days that - even if they're rainy - no one's ever without an umbrella and a warm place to get to. Shit happens, but that's part of the amusement.
*Essay originally published December, 2011