Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley
What it pays to think about and to experience, are the littlest of things. They should be the slight and almost imperceptible burrs that we keep with us through our many years, stuck as they are to the roofs of our mouths, the canals of our ears, the sides of our legs and the halls of our heads. They should be the things that we drum up when we're at our lowest marks and in thinking of them, we're able to put some of the minutes back on our clocks. We should think about the small crack of a smile that we receive from a complete stranger or the innocent and harmless glance and a sparkle from the pretty girl across the room whom you'll never, ever speak with. We should carry with us the honest, heartfelt and deep way that our children tell us that they love us. We should allow ourselves to break down a bit in hearing that. We should never let that become a moment that we no longer are moved by. We should always well up at that. We should be able to look out and up at a still and graphic mountain range or a placid lake in the middle of a desolate part of the country and feel something like comfort in the thought that we really are mostly insignificant and that's not horrible. We leave very dinky, easily wiped away tracks in the short time that we're stuck here wandering around.
Chief, a young band from Los Angeles, California and made up of brothers Danny and Michael Fujikawa, Mike Moonves and Evan Koga, is a group of four men who are already aware of the necessity of holding onto these points of light and beauty. They are already knee-deep in capturing and communicating the times when we feel wholly overwhelmed with ourselves, everyone else and the world at-large in ways that are heartbreakingly real. Things get worse and things get better in an ebb and flow of pouring sadness and sipping delights. There is no immunity to these feeling befalling you. There is no chance of doing it another way. Homes turn into structures that are just houses and people drift apart in extravagant ways - in impossible ways, consequences to lives that seem unable to match their formerly golden shine. People are missed and longed for. Time becomes a race and there are penalties incurred for not finding ways to slow it the hell down, to get it to do tricks for you. It's a matter of having to train our swinging and drowning eyes into focusing on the beat of the plot. The words of Chief are the seasoned words of those who aren't about to waste it all away, but are able to separate themselves from the incinerator, from the churning blades and from the liquor to see everything clearly for its true worth. They sing about the certainty of the morning coming once again, even if, during the late hours of the night before - when all is distressed and a big fat disaster - it looks like the prediction of a mad person. The whole scene sounds like a weary bunch of philosophers getting into the other set of dress clothes and the hiking boots of The Walkmen, setting off for the hills, perhaps never to return and living the line, "My heart is aching and I am scared, but I don't care." And why should they. It's just living and the ache and the fear is all relative.