Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Patrick Stolley
There was this one time, on the night that I met the Richie Kirkpatrick of RI¢HIE, when he walked into the bedroom that I share with my wife, drunk and sleepwalking, looking for the bathroom, -- which wasn't in our bedroom at all. I propped myself up just a little and gravelly mumbled that it was two doors the other way and to the drunken sleepwalker's credit, he was able to take direction and he wound up pissing exactly where he needed to and not on our bedspread. It wasn't his fault, the way he was that night. We were all to blame, having stood around in the backyard for three or four hours after a show finishing off something like two 18-packs of Budweiser between four of us.
Kirkpatrick and David Vandervelde would have kept going onto a third 18-pack had two of us not succumbed entirely to fatigue and inebriated exhaustion. The conversation, which pivoted on the involved and unspooling story of a patriotic and loyal hawk named Tristy, was a key culprit in the unsightly hour that we stayed up to blurrily see, with the exaggerated back story getting more and more far-fetched (as if it needed it) with every new tangential aside. Everything that happened that night was great because it was all such frivolous entertainment. It was haphazard and wild, but somehow it still resonates as one of the funniest nights ever, even all these years ago. There's something to a night like that - when nothing was planned or forced and wild shit just happens. There's something meaningful there, even if it's still insignificant.
The way that Kirkpatrick and Vandervelde write songs is in a style that reflects this leisureness, coupled with an awareness that not everything can or has to be a joke, but it's incredible when everything walks that fine line. The fine line here is what separates over-the-top randomness and just the way our crazy scatterbrains work. There are more smirks in these anthems than there are in other anthems and we tend to think that that makes them better than most anthems. They are tongue-in-cheek lives trying to be lived so that there's way less cheek and tons more tongue. It's probably a guiding light that - if followed - would make many more of us significantly happier.