Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
More often than not, I believe in randomness. I believe in unfathomable randomness. You can make two things that have nothing to do with one another sound reasonably compatible. With a little finesse, a band from Brooklyn can share a confounding moment with a passage thumbed through this evening, from a book about golf, written by George Plimpton, some 45 years ago. The setting for the passage is in a restaurant where the Golden Bear happens to be eating breakfast. It goes like this:
"Jack Nicklaus was seated at a corner table with his wife. I looked over and saw that he was dipping into a dish of dry cereal topped with strawberries. I lowered myself slowly into a chair.
A waiter came by.
'A grapefruit,' I said painstakingly.
Corn flakes and strawberries.' The speed of my delivery was that of group recitation in class.
'Scrambled…' I went on.
He made a mark on his order blank.
I considered. 'Yes,' I said."
Fuck if this has anything at all remotely to do with French Miami and I'll grant you that. It has nothing to do with the trio, with its newest record, "New Family," or the self-titled album that they were touring on years ago, when they stopped by to tape this long-lost session, but it struck something with me, as lead singer Jason Heiselmann sang the line, "I found an island here with you," on the song, "S.F.O." Both scenes feature awkward islands. Both are of smitten men, both of them trying to behave coolly, to stem the excitement or to feign excitement. For the character in the French Miami song, there's a question as to how healthy the island that's created might be. It sounds like trouble, mostly. For Plimpton, there's no doubt that the scene is going to fail on him -- the mimicry of a breakfast is a bit stupid and will result in nothing worthwhile. The isolation and the selling of oneself short is still mildly warming. And that goes for everyone.