Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Rob Ahlers at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
There always seems to be an easy way to snap out of your malaise. These are the days of the year, for most of us, when we're getting that cabin fever and we want to bust our heads through the walls and just get outside, doing something, anything. The messed up part about this year is that everything is thrown off. Most of us haven't even received our winters yet and it's getting kind of disconcerting. We all know that if we were locked into the dead of the winter right now, like we should be, we'd be extremely whiny and desperate to end ourselves. We'd be considering jumping off a bridge or drinking a mug of Drano, anything so that we wouldn't have to go back out into the obnoxious cold, with the wind chills and the hateful, blustery wind. We would completely hate everything about everything - the cold fingers, the frozen toes and nose hairs, the drafts and the slush. Creepily, it's the first day of February today and most of the country (sorry, 40-below-zero Alaska, but it's still hard to consider you part of the conversation when you're way the fuck up there) has been treated to record high temperatures. It's 50 degrees again today and it's supposed to barely be out of the single digits - even with the sun blazing and pouring down on us. Long story short, this is all very, very fucked up and all this warm winter weather is driving us a little crazy in and of itself. We're just waiting for the bottom to drop out, for the blizzards and the bite to roll in and put us into our places, to wipe these self-righteous smirks off our still tan faces. We'd rather have to turn to other methods of warming ourselves up during these shortest days of the year, when the sun's setting hours before dinnertime.
We would love to just listen to the music of San Diego band Cuckoo Chaos, as that slap across the face to shake us from the doldrums. It's one of the best things that we've come across to do such a thing. We wouldn't have to worry about what's wrong with the environment, when the season never changes from autumn to winter, in listening to these songs with a beach feel and a carefree attitude. Lead singer Scott Wheeler and the rest of the boys take us out on the sand or weaving along the Pacific Coast Highway, as visitors who don't get to do these things all the time. No matter where you live, even if the scenery is breathtaking and envied, you take it for granted. Cuckoo Chaos songs tend to speak to us the way beautiful sunny places, along gorgeous strips of ocean water, in tropical climates or those just not god-forsaken for three months out of the normal kinds of years, the way they do to the land-locked and frozen masses. They remind us of the amazing feeling of stepping off a plane somewhere, very far away from where you live, and feeling air touch your skin that is hotter than a bath, when you've been held prisoner by air that makes cars not start and your cheeks feel like it's been sand-papered. We couldn't live somewhere so like the sensation in a Cuckoo Chaos song because then we'd never feel it again. We like the way it is and we like where we are, waiting to be bedeviled by a harsh winter, if only to be rescued from it.
*Essay originally published February, 2012