Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The spring came so much earlier here in the Midwest this year than it ever does. It's very unsettling and it kinda makes you nervous. The strange thing is that it's come early nearly everywhere. The grapes are behaving oddly out there in California and there are all kinds of people with the thought of a late frost or another snow yet. We've been given our shorts, sandals and sunblock weather a few too many months early and we think that there's supposed to be a catch. The turbulent and active weather systems that have been created have already flipped the switch on tornado season far too early. There has already been a lot of catastrophic damage done and there's nothing like seeing footage of the ruins of a town - houses strewn about into flattened rubble - thanks to a twister brewed up in steamy, unstable conditions, and then see those destroyed homes covered in a blanket of snow the next day. It's not natural, I tell ya. It's apocalyptic at the most extreme and it's just plain fucked up in laymen's terms.
Andre Perry and John Lindenbaum, the two men who originally started The Lonelyhearts in the California Bay Area, seem to remind me of the sounds that the kinds of nights that produce such violent storms force us to listen to. They tell tales about people that are often just as somber and heartbreaking as those of a Casiotone For the Painfully Alone song, but the people in them seem like they are less submissive to the circumstances and more willing to run through some walls. They're going to fight to not get sucked out of the window and into a certain death, or even just to get up one more day and see what kind of an expression you might be able to muster.
You see, The Lonelyhearts bring us to one of those days that's swollen with possibility - most of it is rotten. There's a cancer growing in the west and it darkens the sky abnormally. What starts as a far-off black eye that continues to spread and overtake us, turns into the kind of situation that sets off the sirens, popping off their dulls but eerie roars of warning. Sometimes they just sit there in the day or night's mix, with the winds either scarily calm through that uneasy and weird auburn glow or beating the trees furiously and trying to break and enter every house standing. So, there's that hum and that hissing of wind as it's catching odd angles, making it think that it's found its opening. The electricity has been lost and there's nothing that anyone can do but sit by the table with the lone yellow candle or go to bed early and ride the storm out - assume that it's nothing more than rain and a little hail. It's never wise to do that. Like these kinds of storms, Lonelyhearts songs have to be seen through. They've got to be understood as warnings and as recaps. They've happened and they soon will again. There's a fading into history, as they sing about on one song, but there's a thin film to the fade that keeps it still apparent long after the fade is essentially completed. The faint hum of the siren remains as the days grow less eventful and more sad.