Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound Engineering by Patrick Stolley
People look at other people and say things to compare the one to any particular animal/beast that fits the description. They'll say that some lanky, long-striding dude or lady moves like a gazelle. Other people are fish because they like the water and can move about it quickly and easily, maybe without moving a lot. If someone has a halfway decent set of brains on them, some old rusty fart may liken them to an owl. All of those examples are just means to suggest that the person commented upon is a natural. It's not thought about, it's not learned, it's just the innate ability to pull the covers back from the bedspread, swing the legs out from the gathered warmth and do things that it usually takes beady eyes, night vision, fur or feathers and a head scrambled by sights, sounds, smells and fears that there's nothing left to do but to act, off the cuff and pressingly.
There's not a thought that really goes into a flinch or a robin out tromping around a big lawn after a rain and knowing, hearing the precise moment when it might be advantageous to slam its beak into the sloppy soil and to snatch a worm from the earth to chew up, mash and regurgitate so its babies can eat. There's no learning process or a teacher for most of it. These behaviors come right along with our digestion and respiratory systems as far as their involuntariness goes. They find those worms, the birds do, they chew them up and expend a beak to the hungry and blind little ones that need the nourishment.
The Magic Numbers don't chew with their mouths open just to show us what they've got in there and they've never forced the nasty mess on our gullet before. They're kind and they're gentle - a flattering piece of English gentility that is likely an even greater reflection of the way that human nature is supposed to be - aside from the natural tendencies for all little boys to turn everything they can pick up in their hands into a weapon - a peaceful and loving understanding of all things that applies to all. If real human nature were to be carried out, wars would be tough to come by and we'd just have to go back to our SpikeTV coverage of ultimate fighting and those tree-loving protestors hanging around in trees (no longer?) in Berkley, Calif., trying to save four trees from being lumbered at the hands of a college that just wants a new building on campus.
The Magic Numbers, who have been the support act of U2, The Who, The Flaming Lips, Sonic Youth and most recent Rufus Wainwright (the tour during which this particular session was recorded back in the last spring)...to be continued...