Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound Engineering by Patrick Stolley and Brad Kopplin
People, in general, pay way too much attention to weather forecasts, as if their attentiveness could intervene with the warm and cold fronts, mentally redirect them and their storming buddies and they themselves could affect the patterns and meteorologically make a difference as amateurs with gumption. Their temperaments and attitudes get sour when they're dealt the hard to swallow news about a prolonged summer heat wave or the very real possibility of driving hail or blizzard conditions in some parts of the viewing area. They chatter to the talking head with the clicker and the Doppler as if they were talking to their pooch or fluffy cat - as if they could hear and really understand that rain would be (sarcastically) just great for next Monday, when the roof's supposed to get fixed. They use phrases like, "They say it's supposed to be 93 tomorrow with some scattered thunderstorms around 3 o'clock" and allow their unwavering interest in the 10-day outlooks to take on a contiguous life force within them. Weather men and women are only needed for the bad reveals. If the temperature was 73 and sunny every day, those weather men would have to take jobs in bowling alleys or video rental places like all the other wannabe meteorologists.
Jared Van Fleet of Sparrow House, he also of Voxtrot key duties, is such a man who wouldn't need a weather prognostication - good, bad or indifferent; win, lose or draw - as far as he could throw one. Those spouting them in front of green screens everywhere may as well be mutes, for Van Fleet must take what happens from the sky with the utmost laze and leisure, confronting the sun so hot you freeze to death or want to sleep all day temps, the rainy upstarts, the steady drizzlers, the downpours, the gusts and the trembling snows with a fitting howdy do, you're welcome to sit down and stay a while. His songs of striking coyness and heartbreaking purity are accomplices to every manner of calamitous or calm weather, beacons to the other side of the offering. They are complementary pieces for variant moods - circa Elvis Costello's "Good Year For The Roses," etc. - circumspect and credible for their comforting vulnerability. He seems to write songs that the steam from a mug of hot cocoa would take as friends, making them breathy haunts by default. A weather person could never forecast those.