Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Grant Johnson at Good Danny's, Austin, Texas
There's a thought scuttling through my dusty head right now that there might be an activity for the children here. Listening to The Chain Gang of 1974, and the soaring, slope the mountains, chop the land vocals of Kam Mohager, I'm drawn to conducting an experiment, though they're so insufficient and leave you with an empty drumming sound most of the time -- under-performing and tedious. What I'd like to do is put these four songs on repeat, sit the children down with paper and markers and have them draw what they're hearing. What would be even better, it seems, would be to demand that they listening to what's being played and telling them that they must now construct something with significant utility and relevance to the music, using household items that they find around them. There's a part of me that believes so much in the interpretive and cognizant abilities of my young children that I feel as if they might snap their fingers and collectively tell me that they've got this, while quietly and feverishly setting to work on the rigid, but still pliable skeletal undercarriage that will be needed to start. After that, they'll begin cutting and then layering what about to feathers and flaps over this skeleton. After many hours of effort, they will finally be satisfied with a pair of large-scale wings that could be slipped onto human arms and used to fly over a sun-speckled gorge and ribbon of a river below, coasting into and above a wind coating them securely, but loosely. Then again, it might be asking a lot for them to reach these conclusions at their ages.
The Chain Gang of 1974 Official Site