Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
The restlessness in a man never drowns itself out. It just draws itself out so thinly that most people cease to sense it. They may have felt it throbbing inside them when they were younger, when they were more idealistic and sweaty for action, but then time and responsibilities dull them into place. They root themselves somewhere that they'll be able to make something of themselves, where they'll be best able to provide for themselves and for their families, whenever they make one. It's never not within them though, it just winds up further and further below the surface. When it creeps out again, when that agitation that time's either moving too quickly or not speeding along as fast as we'd like it to, we're not sure what to do with it. It's familiar enough though that we refuse to dismiss it as whimsy. We listen to it. We might dig into the corner of our closet and pull out those old flannels and see if they still fit. We take offense at things. We celebrate others. We feel the walls closing in on us and we're just not sure what to do about any of it.
Oakland's Tumbleweed Wanderers tap into this restlessness and let it drips out of their bark. They bring these issues of freedom - a term and an idea that once meant so many more and so many different things that it's slightly less powerful on the surface than it should be - and they make them into these hitchhiking beauties that feel fed on coffee and diner food and fresh air. They are thoughts that will never get pinned down for very long. They're going to stretch their arms and legs and they're going to get out there and shake some trees. They're going to kiss the people that they want to kiss, when they want to kiss them - love them and leave them when everything's played out, all of it because there's never a better time for any of it than right now. Lead singer Rob Fidel sings, "Oh, I've been trying to end this day/For I've been trying to get away/This day's been long and I am sure/That I can't take this anymore." This is what leads us to want to shatter our days, to empty what little we've got in our bank account and just throw it all to the wind and see what that actually means.