Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
There are severe weather warnings for here and surrounding areas this afternoon and tonight. You get used to them at this time of the year, living where we do. The cold and warm fronts start getting testy and arbitrary, refusing to just be one particular season and all hell sometimes breaks out, leaving small towns in tatters and toothpicks. There will probably be tornados here tonight, but for the time being, the air temperature is warm, not too humid, the wind is kicking up just enough and there are some clouds that could be something in a few hours shaping themselves like little, fluffy acrobats. But even with the threat of damaging and inclement weather activity, this is the time of the year that you find yourself falling back in love with things that you'd had to stop paying mind to for almost a quarter of a year or more. Who knows if it's the same kind of relationship with the season that the English - like Mr. Ed Laurie here - have, but there must be some kind of circumstantial translation between the salty Atlantic waters that applies. It's this sort of conflicting idea that potential danger and newly rediscovered sleeveless weather, along with green things popping out of the ground all over the place are interchangeable that Laurie makes a man or woman start to pay closer attention to. There are storm chasers, who live to attentively tune into forecasts and spring from their chairs, into a pickup truck when a funnel cloud of enough proportion is spotted within a certain mile radius. They need to be close to the fury, just to see it, to have some of that energy leak into their own bodies. Laurie doesn't necessary mainline these sorts of ambitions, but he finds those hidden pauses between the lines, where something could expose itself to be a direct correlation of another feeling, or just the rose bushes with stems covered in sharp as razorblades thorns, ready to puncture the palms of overzealous and forgetful admirers. The father and husband of very dapper beard growth and what sounds to be a very calm and reasonable soul, writes songs that are ideal for the same kinds of days that are perfect for bananafish - full of sun and then overcast, or a subtle mixture of both at the same time, when the world's just about ready for something dastardly to dig its claws in. He sounds romantic enough, as if he's letting the time just take him away, whispering all of the sweet nothings that it knows, but Laurie isn't about to just idly reciprocate the affair. He instead adds that dimension of soft, but twisted truth that makes for an interesting spread of delight and doom that could - if given the right amount of rope and slack - send a tree crashing down on your house or just make for an evening of steadily pouring rain, all to make for a lavish sleep. He sings, "He said, 'I'm feeling dirty, but also like a man,'" in the song "Albert," from his latest EP "Meanwhile In The Park" and it's the kind of admission that opens the door to more of the same. It's coming to terms with what's actually meant in the signs and the groans and in the looks and the aversions. It's an explanation of where heads are and where, valiantly, we all try to avoid, but find ourselves to be unsuccessful in never blurring the lines. So, it's a perfect day for those bananafish and there just may be a tornado tonight. Either way, it will be one interesting cluster of romanticism.