Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
We all get exhausted by different things. We're all worn out by such interesting things that it's hard to keep track of it all. We're wiped out all the time. There's never any good way to reverse the course of it so you just dig in a bit more, occupying your position, surveying what you're stuck with. Some of it you might be okay with being stuck with. Some of it you might not, but it all hits you the same, most of the time. It's easy to get consumed, swallowed up by the wilderness, by all that scraggily civilization and its mutations.
For no other reason than "it happens," the band The Young Rapids made me think about such things this morning. We see people in our lives and if they look fatigued, we tend to point it out to them - "You look really tired today." Then, they're given an opportunity, something they're likely happy about, to tell you exactly why they look so tired. I read the other day in a magazine, an interview that some famous Hollywood type gave where he groused on this, when someone uses their busy life to try to make themselves look tireless and therefore better, saying, "I have been working so much, I haven't even had time to eat." But I digress.
With The Young Rapids, there is this wonderfully intriguing factor of its music that leads us into these areas where one can feel arrested by time and ambition. They take us to these ports of leisure, but all the while we can't help but notice that our bones and muscles ache like crazy. They sing about rough times and a squall in the mind. They sing about being tired, but they wouldn't even need to. We can already feel it. There are limbs being pulled in directions that they cannot bend. There are parts that need to be elevated, parts that one should stay off of. Tops should be popped - the beer streaming down the tense throat. They sing, "I'm a part of it all, isn't that strange, but I'm not so cool/I think I'm so cool," and it sounds like a tiny quibble. It sounds like nothing to be worried about, but there it is, a stand-off between immersion and an inclination to push away, to exclude one's self from everything. It's the desire to TRY to be an oasis, but there's that lingering feeling - in these calm and collected songs - that it will all be for naught. They sing, "All my wasted time, like the man who has gone before me," and it's when you can be sure you're one of many, always a part of it all, worn down by it.