Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Some people make those lists of places they'd like to go before they die. They sit down and in writing such a list, make it even more known to themselves that they have regrets coming out of their ears and it must burn them up from the inside. It's this kind of a list, a lengthy, vertical statement, that makes you realize just how few places you been and if you've come to this point, it seems logical that you're going to make the next leap and begin considering how few things you've done as well. You're going to start down a disgusting path of analysis that will leave you wondering what the hell you've been wasting all of your time on all of these years. You will start to think terrible things about your ambition and your accomplishments. The best thing that you can do for yourself, in such moments, is to focus on that second list, but make an alternative list, one that you can actually get to. You don't have to have a list that has you wanting to be an architect or to give birth - cause those things take some real doing, some cooperation. You can have a list of things that can be attained easily and even though they are attained easily, they are no less special or affirming. I was thinking about this the other night, wondering why I've never taken all of my clothes off and jumped into a secluded, fresh water lake, just swimming around with the frogs and the water beetles, in a collection of water full of the backwash from dozens of deer, raccoon and fox mouths. It must be invigorating and it must be something that stops your heart for just as second as the water will always feel 20 times colder than you thought it would be before jumping in. Anaheim, California band Dusty Rhodes and the River Band is a group that tends to make us think such odd things - such as - why the fuck haven't I skinny-dipped before? No one who's not done such a thing has a good enough answer to that question and that's a guarantee. It should just be done and the six men and women in this band make us feel the walls closing in a little, our impending departure, through their countrified splashing, their insistence on portraying emotions multi-dimensionally. The songs on the band's last album, "Palace and Stage," are arrows straight to our tender points, where we can feel their pulses as our pulses. We feel the caring and the attention to all of the sunsets that have transpired since the last time we've truly appreciated one. There's sorrow there and there's also this beautiful understanding that, yes, we've missed out on some things, but we are still here and able to make things right. We just have to stick around. We just have to try not to lose our minds. We have to try to live. Just try a little bit harder to live and not just act out the definition of breathing in and out and taking nourishment, but actually living, goddamn it.