Like most people, I imagine, I go through serious phases where all I want to do is immerse myself in the Midwest. Living in Michigan and rarely traveling outside my area code makes this quite easy. And so, the landscape (flat), the language (flat), the food (fat), the culture (forlorn) all feel like home to me. Hayward Williams is from Milwaukee, hence he’s a Midwesterner, so it’s kind of like we’re related. That’s why these tracks below, from his albums Trenchfoot and Another Sailor’s Dream sound so right, to me at least. “Redwoods” is my jam for the day, even if we don’t have a tree a third of one’s height here.
So I have this scar that runs diagonally acroos the tip of my left index finger. I slammed the finger in the car door of my parent’s orange, ’73 Ford Pinto. I had locked the door so I couldn’t just open it again. I screamed at my mother to open the door for me, but it took awhile for her to figure out what was going on. Imagine that scene in A Christmas Story where Flick gets his tongue frozen to the flag pole; instead of his tongue it’s my finger; instead of the pole it’s the Pinto. This not so pleasant memory came rushing back when I heard “Electricity + Drums.” In the song they reference the Boy Scout Oath. See, that day I slammed my finger was a day my mother had been haranguing me all day about wearing my Scout uniform to school (because Scouts was immediately after school). I tried explaining to her that doing so guaranteed certain banishment from any group of friends who were halfway cool. She let me dress in civilian clothes that day, but she let me have it when inevitably we were late for Scouts. Things got really tense between us when we arrived at Scouts only to remember that it had been cancelled. We should’ve laughed it off, but I got on her for harrassing me for nothing! At home I tried to punctuate my comments with a good slam of the door. That’s what I get by not following the Scout Law, which encourages you to be, among other things, kind, obedient, and cheerful. Well these good fellows in The Apparations are brimming with cheer on “Electricity + Drums.” Sounds like southern-fried Pixies, or super-cheerful (early) R.E.M. And on “God Monkey Robot” you get their Kentucky version of de-evolution, or, depending on your point of view, evolution. Both tracks are from their forthcoming album, As This is Futuristic.