Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
Do you feel like you just got beat up today - like you were spit on and tossed in a dumpster out back? Actually, does it feel like you've been taking body shots - good, stiff body shots - for weeks now, that everyone's been drawing blood from you, much more than they should ever be drawing? You've been working around the clock, doing all of the things they're paying you to do and then some, just so they'll hopefully want to or be forced to pay you more soon? Have you been spending less time with your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, kids, dog or cat than you'd like to? Even when you have spent time with them, are you constantly sliding on your iPhone, checking your gmail and Twitter, trying to get more done during the time that you're supposed to be present there, during the time that you're supposed to be working for, that precious time that will never come back to you? Do you feel like you've become something of a piece of shit, just crazed all the time, feeling as if you can't control your own actions, feeling as if you have no choice? You're just worn down and worn out. It's gotten to be too much. No one's supposed to be working so hard to make ends meet, yet here we all are, doing that exact thing because we see no other way. It would be different if you were having fun, if there was some kind of a respite, but you haven't seen one in a long, long time.
Austin band My Jerusalem's song, "Proposition," puts us in the mood to feel all of those contusions that we've accrued over time. It makes everything feel like pointed, collateral damage. We get sucked right in to our sadness, into the malaise. We start to understand it a little more. We begin to really feel the need to slow everything down. We just need a break. Could we just get a day for ourselves? Could we just be ourselves once again. The song spills out on us with a wounded quality that lets us know that we really are dealing with all of this on our own. We're here by ourselves, all of our friends have left and the lights have been turned off. We can linger, if we want to, but there's not much that is going to come of it, we're afraid. Lead singer Jeff Klein reminds us that "every night leaves us cold and gray," and the days are bringing some of the same feelings it seems. The characters in this song are gaunt and cold. They can barely be heard and they wonder about the people who supposedly love them, or they're curious about the people who one day will, finding them to be as mysterious as they could ever be. They make you choke on so many realities that it hurts a little. It hurts more than a little sometimes as well.