Over the two-plus years that we've gotten to know the band and the people who make up Springfield, Missouri's Someone Still Loves You Boris, they've helped us understand ourselves as people and this thing that we're doing, which Philip Dickey so profoundly and expertly called an art project, much, much more. They were the second band of people that we met on this crazy embarking of ours, but they still felt like our first guinea pigs and lab rats.
They were out on the road, traveling around on their first tour with Catfish Haven, whom they'd met through an e-mail, playing in bars and clubs that they had a cursory knowledge of through a knowledge of rock and roll history that can only come from geeking out about it. Dickey knew of all the places where Kurt Cobain had pissed in his short life and the names of these places were hallowed grounds that deserved observance and admiration just like the office mailroom in the middle of the yard at Graceland, where Elvis once held a press conference upon returning home from the war. They've always taught us that there's a right way to appreciate music and that's in an exasperating inhale. They've taught us that it's good to get swept away by passion, to fall head over heels into the cauldron of pop music and just go wobbly for melodic interventions. They escape into these bubbles happily - daydreaming their ways into The White Album and every once in a while just thinking off the cuff and to no one in particular, "I wonder what Jeff Lynne and Paul Simon are doing right now. I'll bet they're great dudes and I'll bet they're having good times." You can probably see their eyes glass over when certain songs come on unexpectedly, either in their heads or outside of themselves. It likely takes three and a half minutes to bring them back from that halfway house as they just get drunk on the exciting repose. They find sexiness in choruses and can't take their swooning ears off of a harmony or a tiny, tiny inconsequential nugget of wordplay wrapped in a blanket of sweets where you'd least expect it.
A betting man would never wager on such a silly thing, but there's a good chance that Dickey, John Robert Cardwell, Will Knauer and Jonathan James might tell you that their favorite part in the movie "That Thing You Do!" is when Liv Tyler and Chris Isaak are providing the claps to The Wonders' first record record in a church. It's got the right kind of purity, it's got the standard pop clapping and a syncopation with their overall attitude toward making the music that they make and made for their latest album Pershing. They do it for the enrichment, because it's unquestionably not an option not to make it. The songs - of glittery jangles, of girls, of harsh unrequited love, of expressions that have no name, of collectible lushness, of confection, of youth and laze and of ease - are of spontaneous diligence, of slow-churned bursts, of a band following a destiny into the woods with optimistic forecasts. They give us these honey-flavored pieces to suckle and chew upon as quaint remembrances - left for themselves too for the winds and time move fast. Cardwell sings in "Heers," the official album closer, "In my shoulder she says/Oh oh oh, now that I'm older/The distances on maps got smaller/And promises of happiness stalled/I want to see you again," and it's a weird sort of depth that comes strictly from extensive experience, but can also come to kids when they're looking close enough. They are people, not kids, but they enjoy life more than we do - though there's no way to prove that huge mouthful of a statement. They enjoy heated pools and water beds. They enjoy being good to their friends, sticking up for their town and getting the fuck out of it too. They enjoy hearing someone say, "Sorry if that's sweet." They enjoy the entire pantheon of rock and roll. They enjoy the goose bumps. They enjoy a good rainstorm, but feel the bummer if it washes out a Whiffle ball game or a ride or a skate. They find highs in the mundane and in the mountainous and through all of it, they teach us that we can let that same magnetic and affirming ether get in us as well.
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