Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
I'm pretty sure that last night, at some point when I was walking back to my writing room from the place in the kitchen where the wine bottle was sitting, my ears caught a line from the episode of "Glee" that my wife was watching. Some kid on the show was laying it out straight for one of the prissy chicks, telling her that what she had were "rich, white girl problems" and that he just didn't have much sympathy for her. I walked off at the exact second that he walked off, leaving the prissy girl stunned and silent. It's not that that particular line has any bearing on the music of Chicago band The Laureates, but it can lead us into thinking about other problems that can be had that others might not have too much sympathy for. We're talking mostly about the problems that are so universally felt. They're widespread and there's nothing all that novel or special about them. They exist and they get to just about everyone, kind of like the flu bug. When you hear folks moaning about not having any money to play with, most of the time we humor them and say things like, "Tell me about it," and use it as a chance to talk about yourself a little bit, but really, the proper response should just be, "Join the club." It goes for a number of those highest rated of concerns, top heavy on the list are those that have to do with all of the Bermuda Triangles, rabbit holes and tangles that we all let ourselves get caught up into. We fall prey to littering our heads with overwrought analyzing and detailed study of all the angles surrounding what we try to rationalize in our behavior and in that of everyone else. We are bothered by so much and so is everyone else. It makes us all freakishly disturbed, yet still fundamentally normal and functioning as if we hadn't a care in the bloody, blue world. Laureates lead singer, Chad Preston, has a way of singing that can remind us of classic UK pop and the amber color of a day going down. He sings about an inaccurate language and it could just be that he's singing about an inaccurate species as well. Oh, we bumble, quite a lot and we're owed all the credit for it. We do ourselves in. We think ourselves into our stupors and our gawkiness. On "Oh, Delusion," Preston sings, "I know it's hard to tell yourself the truth/Your natural history tells all about you/But you can't see all that you do/Wouldn't you know if bad decisions and first impressions you told/You're a fool/The best intentions/Oh, delusion." It's just another case - and he gives so many on the band's record "Spells" - of a well-meaning, philosophical brain breaking a lot of eggs. And only sometimes do they amount to anything scrambled that's edible. It makes for good theater and great pop songs though - all of us smart dummies.