Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Aldous Huxley wrote a new foreword for the 1960, Bantam Classic reissue of his classic novel, "Brave New World," with the opening paragraph offering a firm belief in how one should digest and rid one's self of the dirty parts of their lives. He had a strong feeling, backed by those he felt were experts on the matter, about how to cleanse the soul of the shitty stuff you'd done.
He wrote, "Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean."
The boys in the Minneapolis bluegrass band Pert Near Sandstone can see the logic in those lines. They throw the same kind of perception at the people they write about in their mostly aftermath-like stories of bumps and bruises. These are songs that come in after things have been slept off and after people have been knocked about one too many times. They can feel it in their joints that they've taken more than their share of abuse, but they're sharp enough to recognize that they probably had most of it coming. They've been chasing too much tail and they've found themselves drinking until dawn too many times to even remember and they know that they're older men for it. They've earned all of their aches. They can place them all.
They're way past remaining caught up in the netting of what they've done and who they might have once been. If time and all of their errors haven't sanded down their many rough edges, nothing will. They feel as if they've been bettered by getting battered, but to hell with staying battered.