Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Jon Ashley
There's a good chance that my impression of how the following businesses and people work is nothing close to reality, but it's what television and wild stretches of the imagination have given me. I imagine a bail bondsman, with his shitty little office, downtown in any old big or medium-sized sitting, located across the street or right next door to the police precinct. Within his windows are the perma-glowing, neon signs advertising to one and all that his establishment is open 24 hours of the day, every day of the week, you know, to better serve his customers. He's there to provide a service to those in need, when they need it the most and most of the time, he's busiest when the night's doing nothing but being no good to people. Those hours dance with the devil and the wolves, prowling through the darkness, with their beady little eyes and short tempers. We imagine the bartenders who are forced to man that flat, wooden shelf, the taps and the wells, serving drinks to the fuck-ups, the absentees and those who are desperately alone most nights. They serve drinks to the din of the night, to the average hand and to the blank faces who open up and guzzle within a room filled with murmurs and mutters. We think about pawn brokers taking in a watch or a wedding ring so someone sorry to be doing it can get the money they need to get something they'd be better off without, but feel as if they're being recklessly led. We think about these people, none of whom are doing anything wrong, working in dusty, poorly lit places, thinking things that they choose not to express, for there's no one to express them to or there's no appropriate time to do so. The music that
The Budos Band makes seems like it could accompany these kinds of men. It attaches itself to a kind of prowling or lurking that comes from those on the shadier side of the light. It's the theme music for the seedier district in town, though it plays with the gentlemen in fancy suits, expensive cars and with expensive tastes come into the picture. There's a reason that the Daptone band has chosen to have scorpions, vipers and active volcanoes represent it on its album covers. The songs strike and they unfurl the deep temptations of a man, without saying a thing. They portray murky waters as warm baths, good enough to relax in if one was sore and tired enough. It's soul music and funk music that makes you feel as if - just by listening to it - that you're rolling with some folks from the wrong crowd, whatever that means. It might just mean that your nights wind up longer than you thought they'd be at the beginning of the night and it might just mean that you're rolling with the snakes.