Like a mix, my old computers serve as journals. Not by showing me, years after they’ve died and been relegated to a dusty spot under my bed, things I’ve written but by holding within their stagnated technology, my music. The Dell that I scrimped and saved $100 to buy just after Jude was born holds a lot of Iron & Wine, Dave Matthews, Simon & Garfunkel, and the Garden State soundtrack.
The old Toshiba with no working ports or drives, the one that runs slower than your grandma after she’s eaten 7 Ambien, holds a lot of Zeppelin, Beatles, Ryan Adams, Patty Griffin, Neko Case, Bon Iver, etc. It also holds Ongiara. If I pulled out that old sullen fellow, I’m sure that album would pop up in my ten most played…
In the years since 2007, Great Lake Swimmers had fallen off my radar. It’s odd to me now, reconsidering what that album did for me. I had just moved into our own place after struggling to get back on my feet and this time, there were high stakes. There was a human being depending on me now and that shit was real and intense. I can think real hard and remember sweeping the old wooden floor in the living room with ‘Your Rocky Spine’ playing out through the television speakers, bouncing off the walls and directly into my soul. I played that singular song over and over. And over again. It was the most organic thing I’d heard in years and I needed that in my life. I needed to breath and feel and hope for days that would no longer revolve around sweeping an ever-dusty floor. I don’t remember much else about those days long ago but upon hearing ‘Your Rocky Spine’ tonight, it was all there. Mountains and washboards, lakes and bodies (not of water), snow and banjo.
Last night, while I struggled to stay awake to catch Arcade Fire with The Jude (sidenote, Regine is my hero.), I stumbled upon Siskiyou. I listened and listening was just like riding a bike. Comprised of current and former members of Great Lake Swimmers, Siskiyou picked up where the one left off even though I had realized the former had left off at all. Alone, this band is wonderful. Coupled with my history with Great Lake Swimmers, this band is golden.
Colin Huebert and Erik Arnesen still have a penchant for making songs and hanging out in bands named after shit people cannot pronounce but I’m okay with that. It’s unusual and there’s a lot to be said for a band that puts meaning in the seemingly mundane things that dominate our lives without us noticing and paying homage to such things by naming other beautiful things after them. Ongiara was a ferry. Siskiyou is a national park. This is important shit, whether we allow ourselves to see it or not.
Siskiyou’s self titled is stunning. From the cover, a beautiful depiction of Sasquatch if there ever was one, to the covers I’ve heard this band throw down, it’s something you should be listening to. “Never ever, ever, ever again, will I go back out of my mind,” is the most uplifting thing I’ve heard put to song in months and if you’re of the same disposition as I, it’ll get all over you too. Also, singing saw. End of fucking story. Listen below (and I’ve thrown in some Great Lake Swimmers for good measure). Guarantee it’ll make your day…
Siskiyou :: Never Ever Ever Ever Again [MP3]
Siskiyou :: El Condor Pasa [MP3]
Great Lake Swimmers :: Your Rocky Spine [MP3]
BUY Siskiyou :: STREAM the entire album, courtesy of Constellation Records