Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The older we get, the more we see the good in what we have, or in where we are. Well, it doesn't always happen that way, but for many it does. We find that we're okay with how things have worked out. We can't imagine how they would have been different. We are raising the children we always thought we'd raise, though they still find ways to surprise and amaze us to no end. We live where we thought we'd live, we're married to a person very much like the person we always thought we'd be with (or were bound to be with) and we're still into the things that we've been into for as long as we can remember. If, as teenage boys, we pored over the box scores in the newspaper every morning or read the funny pages - funny or not - we're still finding ourselves doing those things now. If we were messing around with guitars and writing songs, we're still up to that and it's hard to get away from it. We still have those various things we'd like to say, or need to say. We're becoming, or we've gotten to be the old men that we always thought we'd wind up. We crunch numbers. We wipe the kid snot running down from noses to lips and throw it onto the backside of our pants leg without even thinking about it. We are now out there seeking the quietest corner bar we can find, for all we're looking for is a beer, maybe with a friend or two, max. We don't need the scene and we don't need the hassle. We like living somewhere - specifically here in the Midwest - where there's relatively little concern for traffic congestion. We - and we're pretty sure our wives are with us - like the beards we're able to grow. We play Wiffle ball in our backyards. It can be a long list, but it takes a long time to get to this period of our lives when all of this makes us feel comfortable and not nervous or worried. Milwaukee band, Maritime, is of this mind. They are a band of dads, a band of men who have grown old together, gone through their formative years traversing the topography of indie rock clubdom and come out on the other side with commitments and responsibilities that they appreciate, that they prefer. They like crowds at their shows, but otherwise, they'd rather not have to deal with them so much, when it comes to other things. The songs on the group's newest album, and first on Dangerbird, "Human Hearts," seem to form an impression of the fading or trading of time. There's reminiscence and there's more construction of meaning for the absurd, everyday trials that we all go through everyday. Sooner or later, they become our entertainment, not our problems. Within Davey von Bohlen's lyrics seem to be nods to time moving, to people changing in very un-swift manners. Something is just taking over. On "It's Casual," he sings, "Envy turns the grass green in the spaces between the shaking and shaken/We try to shake it off so we dance all night/We were warriors in the moonlight/Was I right?/Was I wrong?/Do we fight fight, fight on?" The warriors could be wearing suits of armor like the fallen soldier, lying below a drooping rainbow of arrows on the album cover, or it could just be those men fighting different fights - those regular guys who are just trying to keep the beer weight off. It's kind of a fun fight. It's one that we accept.