Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
A friend of mine texted me today and told me that, where he was in Montana, there was a foot of snow on the ground, thanks to an early October winter storm that rolled through there yesterday. He told me that people were skiing and it felt like, from the way that an exclamation point was used, that either he could see these people doing just that from his kitchen window or he was pulling on his snow pants right then and there to go join them. This sounded like miserable news to me, especially with temperatures hanging on in the 70s here. Things like snowfall and skiing needn't come around these parts for a good long while yet. It would be better if they never came, though then the fears of the Earth cooking itself to death would just ring louder, as it would be the second winter we've missed here in as many years and that's just not natural.
It's alright to hope for the unnatural sometimes though and when we listen to Raymond Raposa, the Castanets mastermind here reincarnated as Raymond Byron & The White Freighter, here, we feel like there's no better way to enjoy these melancholy, but somewhat happy songs than through a perverse desire to keep out running winter or to keep outliving our sins. To feel this Raymond Byron material fully, we need to do what Raposa does occasionally. He just untidies himself, cuts himself off from whatever might be holding onto him, lets his beard lose focus, takes his shoes off and goes up onto a roof somewhere in a summer state and just sits. There's no reason for it, but it gets you away and you can think about something for a change, rather than just hustling and bustling through the days worrying about it.
What we need is to just unlather, to get into the driver's seat, roll the window down and see if we can just keep driving, avoiding all semblance of adverse conditions, with thunderstorms not counting. It would be best to never have to answer that you're freezing your ass off, when someone asks you how you've been holding up. It would actually be better if we could just sick around and watch Jason Kidd play basketball, to thinking about rebounding statistics, old dogs, and really feel how our bodies are letting us down little by little. Raposa sings, "I woke up feeling bald as shit/A little sore/A little sick/Piecin' the month together/Bit by bit/I guess I recall/Can't make sense of it/I got God in my blood/Yes sir," here and it sounds more like a healthy discourse with oneself than some sober reality coming to strike a person down, or knock them off the roof.