Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
I've been so worked up over the last few weeks. It's been unnerving. There have been countless numbers of things that have taken the palpitations of my heart and my blood pressure to unhealthy levels. There have been saving graces - a jog along the coast of Rye, New Hampshire, with the salted air blowing the sleep out of my eyes and there was the pure power of a tropical storm slamming through Vermont, even as it caused plenty of stress along the way. There was homemade pizza in the basement kitchen of a lake house in Michigan, amongst friends old and new, after being eaten alive by the most aggressive mosquitoes this man's ever encountered. We think that they were simply attracted to the fresh and tart apples we'd just picked from the grove of trees, eaten and sent out into our bloodstream, making our working fluid almost completely a diluted form of sweet cider. We were bound to be feasted upon and we take full credit for the welts we have around our ankles and arms. So, the short story is that we're coming down from being totally fried and frayed, wired and beaten, chewed up and overjoyed. We are looking for something that will put us into a place where we can feel like normal human beings again. We're looking for some kind of music that is going to make us feel as if we aren't buzzing inside, like anxious hornets. We just want to sit on either side of a set of windowpanes and look out upon other people hurriedly working, briskly walking, frantically talking at people from the visible side of a cell phone. We would like to just rest for a while and have the dramas come to us, rather than us creating them ourselves. We'd just like to be a frozen bystander for a week or two and feel as if we're barely here. We need the time to recover and to recuperate. Trashcan Sinatras, the wonderfully calm and generous group from Scotland, give us what we need this week. Lead singer Francis Reader spins tales the way that we need to hear them - as if they were set under a dimming patch of sunlight, not overexposed, not glamorously displayed, just shown as people trying to get through their problems. We don't hear the problems as those that are all that detrimental though. The sound manageable and they sound as if they can be snuffed out over a bottle of fine wine, face-to-face with the person from the other end of that phone call, from the other side of a love. They can be worked out, easily, through good, old time elongating and through the ease of a salted wind. It's as if there's a mediator working to make sure that everyone wins this time and on certain days like these, it sure is nice to have that.