A lot has happened since the summer started. Tyler was away from home for a month, Chris had his first son, two of us went on a road trip to see Explosions in the Sky and I got a real person job teaching science to 9th graders at Milford High School. But before we let you all in on those wonderful details of our lives, we wanted to pick up with where we left off, the Crawford house show.
If you weren’t aware, we were presented with the interesting prospect of playing a stripped down house show for our good friends Ben Crawford and his family. If you’re interested in the story of how that came about, we have it well documented here.
Here’s a short performance of Gene from the show:
To us, the idea of the show was incredibly interesting; it availed us the rare opportunity of being able to answer questions about our music while forcing us into an uncomfortable situation, playing quiet enough to hear me sing without a microphone. Intentionally, we went into the show without a set list or any real rehearsal. We got together the day before to figure out how we could play quiet enough and left it at that. Our personal hope in all of this was that we’d be able to play our songs with sincerity, which is always our biggest battle.
Guy Picciotto of Fugazi once explained this struggle for sincerity well, “I want the sound to always be moving. When things start to get static, that’s when I get uncomfortable. Like what happened to hardcore, things get so ritualized they lose their power and aren’t dangerous anymore, they don’t excite or move people; they just become a tradition. For me it’s a life thing and if it’s going to be a life thing it’s got to be always moving forward.”
Neil Young has always expressed this same sentiment by asking the question “Has your band begun to rust?”
That’s what this show was for us, a de-ritualized performance to fight off the static; to shake of the rust.
The show went more than well. It was an intimate, impulsive performance that left us and our friends vulnerable and more able to empathize and be moved with each song. The best part of the night was watching the Crawford kids on the edge of their seats (rug) right up front singing every song with us. It was awesome; they asked questions and gave us incredible insight into the active mind of a kid listening to our songs.
In the end, this show has inspired us to seek out more ways to share our music with our listeners. To not just structure our performances in the context of: you come, you pay, you sit & you are entertained. It’s hard to figure out how exactly we’ll do this but it’s becoming more and more evident to us that it’s the next logical step in what we do. For the last three years we’ve learned how to be a band. Now it’s time for us to really figure out how to share that in the best way with others.