Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
We're not sure if we hear much merriment in the music of Paul Cary, but there's no need to require such a thing, just because today is Christmas Day. You go ahead and listen to the tail-end of "Coyote" and though what we're hearing is a man mimicking a beast, it's just as easy to hear those fuzzy emissions as portrayals of some dark caroling being done between a lost man and a night or day during which nothing is open. It's the one day of the year when, if you're alone or just lonely, there's really nothing that you can do to get around it. You will have no one this day. You can't force yourself into a picture, into a fake gathering, onto a sad riverboat to squeeze some senior citizens out of their pension funds or even into a bar to commune with all of your bark-colored, drinkable friends. Today, Christmas Day is the day for unprecedented depression if you want it. Take it. Cary doesn't give us despair, but he gives us the choice. The songs here are mostly short and crunchy vignettes of garage rock and roll that make us feel like loners out here in the prairie lands. The aforementioned "Coyote" and the moody "Goner" are two keen examples of a man teetering and tottering on the edge of a springboard, looking down at an empty pool and wondering if something is going to make him dive head-first into the concrete basin. He's a man worried that there definitely IS something sneaking around his interiors that will make him do such a thing - even though the greatest part of him thinks that this would be a goddamned mistake. There's too much to live for. There's a man heading west - a place he's never been before - with the moon promising to be his roof and another person promising to be underneath him. It sounds as if this is going to be a new chapter for him, albeit one with unpredictable results. There's a man commenting on the creases that are plowed east to west across his forehead and how they're both deep and extremely long - a recognition, perhaps, of knowledge or consternation, or both. It feels stressful, but no matter how any of it comes out, these characters will likely be spending today with someone tender.