Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley
Where we find our particular moments of epiphany are as diverse as an encyclopedia and they crop up here and there without much warning. There's a great new song on Mike Skinner's latest Streets album that is essentially a song that's supposed to talk someone set on jumping off a cliff to commit suicide. The person peering over the edge of the edge of the rocks, beyond which point there's no coming back, is confronted by an older gentleman who says that he can empathize with the distraught person and in fact was once in the very same shoes before a person just like himself took a second to share a story. The crux of the story is almost like a bizarre, Streets-twisted, pro-life-in-regards-to offing-oneself rally cry that involves really appreciating the complex thought that everyone who currently exists, only exists because every single one of their ancestors on both sides of their family survived long enough to pass life on.
With just one of them succeeding in suicide or some other form of death before reproduction, there could have been a kink in the chain and you might not be here. It's an epiphany that drew the potential jumper from the ledge and it's enough to shake your whole world, because it seems like an easy thing to grasp, but maybe it's the simple thoughts that are the most challenging when they're boiled down to their base properties. Those are the ones that just put the skid marks out and soon enough, your head is eating itself and talking to itself and hearing a mad box of simultaneous chattering to go along with some thundering echoes and remissions.
Little Brazil, the Nebraskan band that's been doing this rock and roll thing for an extremely long time considering their boyish charms and exteriors are still so boyish, get these mental struggles and lead singer Landon Hedges is constantly concerning himself with the checks and balances that need to be adhered to or at the very least examined and audited regularly to make sure that there isn't a lot of corruption happening when he's considering who he is as a person. And who he is as a person has a lot to do with what Little Brazil is as a band. There is a rampant struggle to find the person that will someday be looked at as the well-adjusted, got it all together sort that is the envy of cocktail parties. Hedges asks frequently - seemingly to himself, in his lyrics - what the hell he's doing. He comes up with spinning his wheels on occasion and that's just a sign of youth, really. He looks at the world like a Rubik's Cube and that's a puzzle best left to time, unless you're one of those freaks who can solve the mother blindfolded in 10 seconds and if that's the case, you're probably more confused about your day-to-day life than Hedges will ever be.
To build the band out as a scale model of itself, it would require cathedral ceilings, to allow some of the ringing guitars and swelling bursts of sound to fill their full robustness, to get close enough to outer space while staying indoors and away from too many of the expansive elements that would make the collected sound drown out and become one with the open-air chaos. The big swells must be horded, by any means necessary. The scale model would need video game consoles. It would require isolation rooms and spots in the model for confessions and some kind of lookout point. There would need to be mirrors everywhere as well - not for vane purposes, but just to be caught off guard and to distort some of the instilled depth-perception, only to make everything questionable and odd, like seeing oneself thirteen times overlapped in a daisy chain.
The members of Little Brazil would look into these mirrors and study the crow's feet and the soon-to-be-receding hairlines, look and look and come up with the conclusion that it's them alright, but they'd still have a hard time picking themselves out of a lineup. There are so many questions that they need to ask, but the directions aren't readily available. What am I doing is strictly a rhetorical question and hearing it from these young popsmiths is enjoyable. There's no gold in them, just what they were made of and that's all a matter of discussion as it tries to appear.