Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
We should never discount the thoughts of a younger man or woman, just because they're younger. It probably doesn't even need to be said, but consider the cutting and sharp brilliance that often comes out of the mouths of children and they don't even know any better. It's just intuitive. It just came to them, like a stroke. What we're talking about here are those deep and agonizing insights about the tougher parts of life that someone who's barely legal to drink shouldn't have any grip on yet. They might think that they know something that they don't, but, well, we've already completed the thought - they don't, or they shouldn't yet. They should still be incapable of figuring it out, of concluding much of anything and yet, time and again, some of the more interesting thoughts about personal struggle and the tangles of love come from those younger men and women who are just getting going at it all. It could just be the fresh eyes and hearts that are being put to the task, as they're able to analyze without blocks or criteria. They're able to look at things with disregard to anything that should or shouldn't make any sense and just see it as it is - mostly sad, but interesting and worthwhile all the same.
The legendary New York emo/post-hardcore band Texas Is The Reason were up to their necks in these matters - in contemplating it all, in working out the riddles - as much younger men. The group's first and only full-length album, "Do You Know Who You Are?" - the title taken from an account of what were the alleged last words of John Lennon, is an album that is reflective and mature beyond its years. When Garret Klahn sings, "You're allowed to stay for awhile/I'm gonna use your time to slow down/To waste some time again/Oh, let's waste some time again," on "Johnny On The Spot," you want to think about people at the ends of their lines, people who have been divorced once or twice and are still picking up the pieces - though now, they seem to believe that there really might be less riding on picking them up than they originally believed.
Everything just keeps turning and time is always going to be there to kill. There will always be that choice of who to kill it with, but the fondness for that one particular person is almost impossible to destroy. It's what leads us up onto the roof to just look out at the stars, throwing those empty beer cans down to skitter over the shingles and over the edge to the ground. We'll climb back down right after we've solved a few things and right before we're too wobbly to make it.