Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Some madness is madness and other madness is just a ruse. It's a bellyache. It's a tumble. It's the start of something swell. It just doesn't feel like it when it's happening. It feels like a really bad cold, as if your equilibrium were busted, cracked and spewing its sticky hydraulic fluid out everywhere. It can be debilitating or it can do its dance and entertain you some, even as you're trying your best to tune it the hell out, wishing to sweep it out onto the porch with the other critters, to fend off the possums and stray cats for any dinner it might think it has coming.
This Frontier Needs Heroes hands us its madness, or what it's claiming as madness today. They traffic in rustic paranoia that's partially there, living within them and partially elsewhere - out there in the trees and darkness cracking branches and stepping in muddy patches in the yard as it creeps closer to the yellow glow coming from the windows and the separation between the doors and the frames. These stories are grounded in these explorations of when does a person feel normally crazy and when has it gone too far? When is the madness a muse and when is it a leper?
Brad Lauretti (who makes up the band with Jessica Lauretti) sings, "Many a dear stranger has told me I'm nuts," and he seems to wonder if he's ever going to be able to rid himself of the stuff, or if it's just going to survive in him forever. The thing is, he lets the madness live with the songbirds and the black bears and he's submitted himself to the discipline of divine placement: if the madness is there, it's his and it was given to him by a higher authority. He shouldn't try to give it back and if he does, it might be at a high cost.
*Essay originally published April, 2013