Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
It's interesting to consider the delicate balance that all of us encounter from one day to the next. It can make you dizzy and drunk too. It's essentially one of maximizing our feeble time with these faulty bodies of ours and how they're prone to crapping out on us at any time, or liable to crash headlong into a car driven by another body that's become too drunken and dizzy on the fine print of that delicate balance. We tend to think of our expirations in ways that are meant to justify all that we're doing in our mornings, nights and afternoons, all that we're doing with our hands, hearts and heads. What else is there that should weigh it but that, most would ask. So many insist upon seizing the day and making the most of everything, but then again, the seizure is to accumulate a bountiful pile of memories, monies, friends, gizmos and stuff that cannot, for the life of us, be taken with us when the lights are cut off for good. This life is one of hoarding, like it or not, and it's about gaining and gaining and property and finding the most blissful honey in our strivings for such things. All in the name of gain. We try to be good people or powerful people and we try to fill our bodies and portfolios up with streams of value all with the disbelieving notion that we won't be able to take it with us when we go. Though, we've all seen those caskets get lowered into the ground. They don't come back hours after the ceremony and pump those wooden boxes full of all of the things and intangibles we've acquired. Minneapolis band Dark Dark Dark, on this encore session of Daytrotter recordings, offer some very focused musings on this very subject, one that's draining and as important as any other. "All The Things" is a song that Marshall LaCount says is about "what (Nona Marie Invie) would choose to bring with her in the case that she had to leave everything behind, and take only what she could carry. I'm beginning to wonder if this is what all of our songs are about." Perhaps the object of the insatiable work ethic of our souls to not be shortchanged and of our hearts to be mothered and of our pockets/homes to be teeming with our collections is to make all of it so impenetrable, so vaporous and so vivid that they won't have to be carried with us. They will invite themselves into the darkened and tight quarters with our fleeing spirits and our embalmed carcasses with the rosary or whatever we clutch in our waxy fingered hands. It's as if, when Invie is singing and playing with LaCount, that there is no time for untruths or for lying, as if the very presence of the bending and fabrication of details would burn on the spot. Dark Dark Dark create these heartbreaking odes to what it will mean to be breathless and waving, but with the insistence that these moments are happening right now. When she sings that she sees straight through "your skin to your bones" and that she knows where "you're going oh" during "Robert," it's evident that she uses some kind of x-ray power that our insides, if they're rotten or sinful at all, may not appreciate. But it's those insides that won't make the transition, but what heartily fills them to their tops.