Last week Erin and I were in the front room of the Ark talking about the awkwardness of referencing someone else's band in your own songs. I tried to be encouraging - I mean, if we can salvage useful inspiration from the trickier pop of Superchunk's later records, then go for it. Come pick me up, indeed.
It's like using the declaratory "O!" Typically such openings are reserved for antiquated poetry, replaced by the more modern and informal "Oh." But what a treacherous move - away from such forthright sentiment (and honest desires) into a puratory of irony and distance? Will we lose the power of fable and storytelling, the elemental calls of wood and water? O, tell me no. Sing me a cleaving song.
Punk (and yes I'm daring to use the word here in a postive, reclamation way) demands such interplay. I like it when the shows are so small that you know most everyone in the room. And can guess that maybe even some of the songs are about the people in said room. It requires a different kind of courage than rock's macho posturing. Like the booklist at the end of Erin's lyric sheet - what will we do with all these books we read, all these records that we know and love? What can we give back? Can we add our own voices and how will they sound? Will they resonate the same?
Here's proof - 3 Gainesville bands (Erin included) were playing in Sarasota at the liberal New College. At some all-day end-of-the-semester blowout. We got there too late for the free Thai food (we'd stopped by the beach instead). Then we got rained out from playing outside. As the typically uptight soundguy started yelling at everyone and trying to cover his precious soundboard, Erin set up in the women's bathroom and played her songs. O, the acoustics. The trembling voice and bravery. I got chills then, and listening to the songs now, the current remains.
-Travis Magoo (Obscurist Press, America? zine)