Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
When you're looking for excuses to be loose, to be someone you're never, the band that you might want to consider calling on is the San Francisco troupe, Still Flyin'. Every time that we encounter these merrymakers, they've grown even more funky, even more like folks who still would prefer that it were the time and place to walk around with a boombox the size of a 32-inch television and the weight of medium-sized box full of desk calculators and staplers (you know, anything roughly 30-to-40 pounds total), just bobbing heads and strutting. You can call on them and they will refuse to fail you. You can call on them anytime, but we recommend that you do so during the graveyard shift hours, for it's when you'll likely find them at their best, feeling like they've not yet had enough alcohol and feeling like you haven't either. You will encourage each other to get slightly sloppy and then you all will ride that out for a good long while, until the cab service is called on and your transportation home has been dispatched. Still Flyin' is marked by a need, or a desire to thrust its rhythm section on you and it feels great when it does so. It's this backbone, along with a tropical bent - and not just in a way that some people claim tropical, but in a way that lets you actually taste the salt or sugar around the rims of anything, along with a distinctive citrus-y sensation coming from somewhere - that give the band, which includes the two main architects of the late, great, but rising again Athens, Georgia, band Masters of the Hemisphere, its warm soul. It is R&B music that tends to get labeled differently - as something more to do with psychedelic music, art that needs to reference how much weed its makers smoke on a daily or hourly basis to arrive at such spaced out conclusions. However much weed Still Flyin' might or might not take into their many bodies isn't really of consequence here as they have such bangin' chops to never have to get swallowed up by the purple haze and drugged out fuzz of experimental-length psych jams and drowsy interludes. The songs on the group's latest full-length, "Never Gonna Touch The Ground," and the couple new songs that they're debuting recorded versions of here, are bounding with such delightful moments of smiling and being smiled at. They're essentially expressions of good feelings and somehow a promise that this one, or this night, is not going to be end of these good feelings. We might as well get used to them as the band has even coined its own genre - hammjamm - which it defines as "when a good time gets better," and even if that might read as wishful bullshit, it's nothing close to that. It is authentic and when the time comes to sing our heads off, to dance our asses off, to shake all over as if we were trying to get a thousand snakes or spiders off of our body, to rejoice a little bit, we will call on the joyriders named above and they will know what to do. We trust in them to fight our battles so we can shimmy.