The Union Line

Nov 1, 2011 Daytrotter Studio, Rock Island, IL

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  1. Welcome to Daytrotter 00:05
  2. Time Is A Seed 03:41
  3. On The Run/California 04:47
  4. What It Is 04:21
The Union Line

Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry

It was a muggy night here the other night and, for a Saturday, it was mild for activity, where we ended up. The place was not packed. There are a few older folks, no young people and there were seven of us sitting out front, where the smoking was allowed. Four of us were from here, one of those four wasn't participating in the conversation, just taking a break from running sound for a fairly empty room. Three of the seven were from San Diego and one of those three brought up, as part of the discussion, that his mother had called him that day and told him that the water temperature back home there was 71-degrees that day. You would have though that he'd just put a slice of the most delicious chocolate cake in his mouth and savored. He was - in his mind - back there now, his own body surrounded by that warm-ish body of water, unconcerned about what anyone else's water temperature was reading. He was the luckiest, in theory or by association, and he couldn't wait to splurge on that water temperature. We told him that we never thought about water temps, just considered how muddy the water was. Warm waters are those things that we never really worry ourselves about. The Union Line reminds us that those waters are there and they can be quite nice. They make us think that we're missing out on those warm degrees, that we should be thinking about them the same way our friend from San Diego thought of them - with reverence and lust. These young Californians are masters of the feeling of lolling the day away, of looking down at your arms near dinnertime, under the glow of indoor lights and realizing that you got a lot of color that afternoon, without really realizing it. You were just out there, sunning yourself on the rocks and before you knew it, you were as tanned as you'd need to be all summer. You'd accomplished a coating of reddish bronze that seems to always be admirable until it turns cancerous. "Time Is A Seed," is a song that sounds like it's from a Midlake album that was recorded on the beach in Cancun or somewhere more native, even more wonderful to look at. It's salty and it's refreshing. It's that lime slice and you push with your thumb into the long neck of a Corona bottle. It's the accumulation of those lime slices, at a point in their existences when they're tossing around in the bottom of the bottle with two swigs of still-cold beer down there and the lime flavor and a little pulp concentrates even more. It's what leads to the next bottle. There's a considerable amount of roaming and soul-seeking on the group's latest EP, "Cernido Sonidos," and "On The Run/California," a song from the record, is a broken-hearted lament about being out and about lost and looking. It feels like an umbrella shade, with plenty of sand down at its feet. It's easy to feel hypnotized by the dreaminess of the forbidden fruits, or withheld fruits and comforts that are woven into these blue skies, warm waters and worn boots.

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