Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound Engineering by Patrick Stolley
You"ll notice, as you grow older (a phrase I can use now as I turned one year away from being 30 last week), that you need less to survive on. Junk becomes what it is - junk - not collectible or valuable. You pitch it. You find yourself not needing as many bathing sessions because you don"t sweat the same as you used to. You realize that all of the stuff that you stomped your feet for and demanded with pleas and tantrums was a waste of breath.
The simplest things in life and that which can be easily attained or retrieved through even easier daily tasks often take up little space. They occupy the mind caves that we buzz eagerly and often, but they don"t pile up on the coffee table or require any closet space. You realize that wanting and needing really are exclusive and so you start clearing your path some.
You"ve always remarked to yourself - and occasionally to others within whispering distance - that clutter is your greatest enemy, but as the years pack on and the bellies get thicker, you start living the talk and evacuating with zestfulness. Willingly things are gone, things you don"t need or never needed. You become a man who enjoys a cup of coffee and something throwaway impressioned onto newsprint in the morning before work or not work.
Then a walk, then some more cleaning and then another meal and some thinking time, wherein you contemplate the benefits of hardwood floors over carpeting and get a unanimous internal response saying, "Carpet will always lose. It"s too much. It would be a messy cluster. The walls would feel as if they were caving in on us, to make us into carpet-burned pancakes. We"d smell like hot shag, with the red marking to prove it." You need fewer friends even. You need less help. When you start thinking about less, it"s easy to drift into feeling that too often songs think exactly the opposite way, or their creators do. They opt for something extravagant, something more, something big and muscular, something sly and deceitful - but something extra.
A song"s not done until it sinks like lead. You realize that the truly honorable trait of a song is the respect it can show to the intelligence of a listener. A song shouldn"t be easily digestible in the sense that they should be chewed, processed and then tossed. It should take some doing. It should be so very complicated as to understand when withdrawal actually occurs, the mind gets wrapped and re-wrapped and heavenly. Temperance makes the heart grow fonder.
There"s something to be said in defense of songs like "Where Did Our Love Go" by The Supremes and "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys as being two of the best ways of doing just enough in a song and not over producing. The best songs are always the ones that leave your mouth cottony because you can"t salivate - everything"s already in the song - and it"s still light as a dusting of powdery snow. Aqueduct trims the fat and they cut the bullshit in everything they do.
The band - a Seattle band that is the outlet for David Terry - a man who formerly ran red with Sooner blood, is a group that stabilizes the joyful direction of a tuneful melody and the valuable urge to put the top down on the idea and just drive until there"s no more light out or in. Terry never destroys the essence of a pop song - maybe it"s because he"s been making them so keenly since he formed the underappreciated Tulsa band, Epperly. He"s navigated and thought about all of the ways to victory in a song and determined that what it takes to do so shouldn"t be compromised.
He writes songs the way The Supremes and The Temptations do - with a few more layers - but it"s in the lyrical department, where he sings of love and life the way it"s felt by the layman, the way it"s discovered by the layman, as he does in "Just the Way I Are," where he dreams of being unknowingly stuck together by the forces of moonlight. The hands just melt into one happily clasped hand, sealed by fate. It"s bewildering when you can come upon an honest to goodness alchemist. You want him to sign something and to use your pen, for selfish reasons. Terry can make a million men and women blind from all the shine he makes.