Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
What we spend too much and too little time on are the causes and effects that led to something happening to us. We can feel that some things came about because of plans and determination, but so many others were the result of nothing in particular happening, just odd randomness that we're unable to define properly. We can't figure it out and so we ponder away. We get lost in the thoughts of what it's all good for. We get lost in thinking that we were instruments at all, rather than something more like a lawn that gets rained on when the clouds want, trimmed and prettied up when people with machines decide it looks shabby, seeded and patched when it looks really bad and shit on and torn up by dogs and other varmints whenever pleases them.
We're likely more like lawns, for sure. It's hard to argue with it, though we do make plenty of choices that are neither here nor there. We might claim a few of them, but we're getting used much more often. Those in Sheridan Riley's Peg songs deal with these kinds of scenarios where it's clear that not many things are clear. There are identity issues and there is plenty of happenstance and arbitrary activity to keep idle minds wondering about what's going on.
The drummer for the California band Avi Buffalo takes up a guitar and a microphone in this outfit and she writes songs that explore those strange ordeals that we find for ourselves and along the way, we convince ourselves that they're happening to someone else. We get convinced that the person that flashes across a mirror is actually someone other than the person we feel we are. She sings, "I never knew my eyes were so dark," but it should be easy to figure such a plain and simple appearance question out. It wouldn't take much deduction at all to quantify that darkness.
She takes on issues of circumstance in "Predictable Chances," finding that there are all sorts of things to be weirded out by, "Not least of which was ending up with you/In the most anti-climactic way." It should have probably been the one thing - after all that's been learned and gleaned from the foggy years - that could have been expected to play out like a script's final edit.