Thursday, May 19, 2005


Juno- This is the way it goes and goes and goes

If I hadn’t been so affected by ‘A Future Lived In Past Tense,’ I wouldn’t have had the patience to wade through ‘this is the way it goes and goes and goes,’ Juno’s debut CD. On both records, the band plays this dense, swirling three-guitar rock that is sometimes hard to listen to because of the lack of an obvious place to focus- so much is going on that it’s tough to figure out where to get in. I’ve just sat back and kinda let everything wash over me, allowing stuff to lodge in my mind for later review. These are long songs, dynamic and tidal, that require a large initial investment. If you can afford the time, though, the payback is huge. ‘Leave A Clean Camp And A Dead Fire’ makes you think it’s an instrumental, then the lyrics come, totally punch you in the stomach, and are gone just like that (snap fingers here). Then the band picks up a thread that you thought was discarded and everything is, all of the sudden, tied up. Just a shadow of what’s to come.

Juno- A Future Lived In Past Tense

My one attempt at cohabitation was an unmitigated disaster that left me deeply distrustful of most everyone for far longer than I thought possible (This coming from a confirmed misanthrope, albeit a social one.) There was a while where I didn’t have the energy to do anything except go and wait on asshole posers at my lucrative table restaurant job, then come home and watch baseball. No creative energy, no outlet for my frustrations. No one I felt I could talk to about anything. I was cut off.

Right before things imploded, I had flown to Seattle to hang out with Shelly for a few days. I picked up ‘Future’ at the little record store down at the end of Broadway where one of Hope’s umpteen ex-boyfriends worked. I got home, played it a few times, thought it was good, put it back on the shelf.

After I moved out, the days got longer. I could feel the weight of them, the stretch that time goes through in the summer like pulling on a piece of taffy. The hours, minutes drag on, yawn into sweltering eons as the dull heat thuds down. Nights of coming home sweaty on packed trains to cold bottles of Sierra and the humid press of time and nothing to fill it.

I can’t pinpoint what it was that made me go back to the Juno record. The empty hours, probably. But the stars aligned in such a way so that my particular circumstances made every word, every fucking note on ‘Future’ more resonant than any record in the past five years. I’m serious.

Sprawling, fuzzed-out guitar epics, gentle ruminations on old age, complex, evolving five-minute post-punk blazers. Whatever. Bear with me while I sound totally high school for a sec: this record got me through a time where I felt like I was closed, sealed up and numb against everyone, friends included. Arlie Carstens’ vocals and lyrics had this duality about them that managed to echo everything I was feeling while encouraging me at the same time, prodding me to get on with it, to heal up and move onto the next thing, what and whenever it was. Musical compositions that were cauterizing torches or icepacks, depending on how fucked I was that day. I just can’t say enough.

MIX TAPE: When I Was In _____________


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