Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The day could be an unremarkable one, but as long as the blood is pumping and keeps those hot roads filled with the good stuff, there are good reasons to bother with the blessings that could still be. There should be a rush felt and taken when the sun rises again for you. The frost that coats your windows should be photographed. It should be examined and licked. It should be touched and melted with the fingertips. Any of those too early mornings should be looked as differently, not as inconveniences, but as minor victories that, for a while, are assured. They come like the newspaper, thumping upon your stoop, skittering to a stop until you're ready for it. The Spirits of the Red City, while sounding like they should be the funeral band, those folks called upon to play for the newly buried, after the last rites and the sinking tears, they also play for those who would like to top their glasses off a few more times. They sing for those amazed that they're still here. They sing for those who can't believe that they're gone, listening to these songs from various parts of their newfound darkness. They play for the ghosts that we know, that we're aware of, and they are singing for those whose actions are of phantoms or those just halfway here, considering the demise that's sure to come. Will Garrison gives voice to those rattling bones that still have something they want to get out. He sings in a squirming and nervous, but passionate way, making his words sound as if they might be coming from someone who needs to speak or just needs to hear himself speak. It's a de-cluttering, a cleansing or a fog burn. The person needs to say certain things or needs to make amends, needs to find that peace that's always been dangled, but stifled for much of his life. The way he sings makes you feel like there's something imminent about to happen and it could turn out to be good or bad. It's something luminous. We're just here because the guy needs someone to talk all this stuff through with. The Minneapolis band makes you think about what you want out of yourself before there's nothing more you can do, before there's no return. It makes you think of a cemetery and a lonely man making what he deems to be a personal requirement, visiting the grave of a deceased loved one. He brings his car to a halt, just off to the side of the road, the gravel scrape the last thing heard before the first shoe swings from the door and touches down. It's a slow walk in the weedy, slightly long grass. It's the unbearable silence and then it's the conversation - as much for himself as it is for the spirit that he thinks resides there, a few feet down. The music comes from those gusty eyes and those aging teeth, from that sad place, but also from that place that always lives.