modern merchant

Mar 14, 2013 Daytrotter Studio, Rock Island, IL

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  1. Welcome to Daytrotter 00:05
  2. Necessary Evil 03:03
  3. Unending Afterthought 04:13
  4. Marry Me, Annie 04:12
  5. Like-Minded 04:26
  6. Traditional 02:02
modern merchant

Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry

This is the way that you can step onto the porch of a house and already smell the breakfast being cooked. This is pulling the screen door open and pushing in the heavy door, to be met with an intense rush of animal fat turning into the air we breathe. You're struck with the hissing of bacon on the skillet, just left to its own hot devices. There are the pancakes golden-ing themselves next door to the bacon. The whole place is filled with that smell that will rest in your clothing for a few days, if you stay in the same stuff, which happens pretty often if you're not too picky. This is that morning, where all of this is possible, when we're not just throwing ourselves into the bathroom, back into the bedroom and closet and then tearing out through the garage or front door to take the car backing out of the driveway and off to another whatever day. It's all what you make of it on most days, but on the ones that we can fill with these smells and sounds, it's all different. The coffee is gurgling off in the corner, plugged into the wall and diligent.

It might not be the exact setting that the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Connecticut band modern merchant, but it's the one that keeps knocking at me tonight. It's the one where you're staring down into that pan and you're watching the eggs turn from their clear state to that white flop of a solid, with no other sounds around you. You're simply engrossed in the method of watching and of hearing and smelling, taking it all in and feeling whatever that makes you feel.

Lead singer, John Parson, strings us right into these ashed out mornings, where the feel is mellow, but still a bit passive aggressive. There are plenty of things that still need to be worked out. There are hearts that are beating no less hard. These are moments that are never going to be stuck in time, but they're good while you're in them. They feel temporarily memorable. They are meaningful, but just slightly. They feel important, but not dependable. Parson sings, "I don't care if you're deaf or dumb, there is only one thing left that is right," and it's something of a call to honest feeling, even for those who are all mushed up, all detatched from it all, just with that sense that there's something else out there. It might just be that sizzling bacon.

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