Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Patrick Stolley
There's very little net positive in the lives of the characters that show themselves in Larry and the Flask songs. They'll get their little bits, their tiny snatchings of glory, of hope, of something less than a disappointment. They keep enough spirit going in themselves so that they never become sunken pits of people, but they feel as if they're against the ropes most of the time, as if they've been burning on both ends and they've got much less to burn these days. They encounter lonely streets and they walk themselves into empty rooms, filled with the faint echoes of what once was. There are undying fears of things going fully bad, while maintaining some kind of hope that they're already gone through the worst of it and that there might be some kind of good out there to fall into sometime soon-ish.
It could very well be the attitude of most people - those of us slumped some in our chairs, but still able to accept the bottle or glass to the lips for a good warming session. There's much to be anxious about, and there always will be. There's nothing that's going to help us bypass any of that, so we chug along the best that we know how, leaving much to chance, much to just linger.
These men who make up this Oregon group are interested in the shortness of days and the length that's in the nights of people who do their best to keep on, who find the struggle and the loneliness to be admirable, something they've seen their father and granddaddies go through. It's been passed down somehow - the cold rooms, the spare thoughts and the unforgiving winds. Lead singer, Ian Cook, sings, "Tonight seems heavy of its yearning," but what he doesn't say is that he and the rest of the band feel that tonight's no different than most nights and together, as a body of work, these nights form an unabridged appreciation of all things bittersweet.