Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
The way we function, as if we didn't already know it, is as curious beasts who need to need to NEED to know what we're going to be going through, what we're going to be feeling. We don't want to be jumped. We don't want to be seized with any sorts of scary surprises and we try to make as many of the right moves to help us in this arduous endeavor. Doctors tell us that we're going to fell a little pressure and then a pinch before they administer vaccinations, no matter how old we get to be, or how many times we've had them done. Dentists do the same thing before they inject your gums with Novocain, telling you that they'll tap the mirror that's pressed against the roof of your mouth before sticking you, as if we needed the small preparation and the triggered countdown to feel alright about the situation. We can't stand to think that we're ever not in control, though we often allow ourselves to get out of control, so go figure. Sure, it might be what we desire - the warnings and the meticulous understanding of all things controllable or not - but it's not something that's at all attainable. It's a miracle if we should ever feel rightly in control. Erik Neave, the Wisconsin man who is Cedarwell, must fight with the urge to know how things are going to be and to have some kind of a grip on the frail and elusive tangibility of time, but he hides it well. He might look upon a threatening and eerie purple sky and wonder how far upward it actually stretches and what all that space conceals, but no matter how gruesome it might appear, he doesn't seem to worry about what those purple skies might ever do to him in the near future. He looks into the darkness of a night and doesn't care that it doesn't respond, that it just stares and looms. We're starting to believe that there really is something lurking over the grassy hills and slipping through the tree trunks and foliage of rural Wisconsin that unhinges a man's soul, just a little bit more than other hills, tree trunks and foliage. Up there in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where Neave lives, it must feel sorta safe, but unstable all the same. In his voice, we hear a vast calmness and a quivering that comes straight from the insides of a body when it knows not where to turn for its solace. Neave seems like a guy who, if a big old dog were to race over to him and put a good slobber to his hands, would wipe the spit off of them without any hurry in the action and not break conversation. While the cooling spit on his hands would start getting uncomfortable in a hurry, there are more important things to concern oneself with and he knows it. He acts it and he behaves accordingly. He seems to roll naturally with everything, despite almost everything having all kinds of unnatural asides to it. Neave sings, "I could sing the same thing in any state I'm in," and that really has nothing to do with Wisconsin.