It started feeling like October…
Did you know The Glass Passenger came out 6 years ago on this day? To celebrate, here’s an interview Andrew did over the weekend explaining what Swim, arguably the most popular song off the album, means to him now. (Skip to 24 seconds in if you don’t want to watch the intro)
30 thousand feet of unstable air now separates the earth and me. This pillbox fuselage hurdling east does so on a tailwind of lost time. I, the reluctant yet complicit junkie of a new media culture now scramble for a signal in this once protected space. Coming up empty, I find myself alone with a screen, a keyboard and an opportunity. Moments before this flight departed, the renegade vessel I assembled to reconnect my creative wires to the masses loaded the catapult with new music once again. This drill has become something of a weekly terror for me. Under the cover of darkness I clawed my way through a mission; New sounds, new words, new truth all strung together by the tenuous threads of collaboration to reconstitute a new version of me. With each passing week I come closer to that mission’s unveiling and with each week I find another piece of my clothing stripped away. Does any of it really matter? In the grand scheme of things…No. So why? Why do it? Why do anything? I suppose, because I must. I’m hungry; hungry for the alchemy, hungry for the praise. Hungry for the feeling that I am not alone with these thoughts. Hungry to be a human in a universe that recognizes myself in my neighbors. I made a choice a lifetime ago; a choice to broadcast. To take everything I could confess in a quiet room, mold it with melodies and simple structures and turn it over to anyone who would listen. What a wild notion. Still, as with any object, form, thought, or idea this universe can conjure, what I do falls into two categories. It is at one moment a miracle and in another completely irrelevant and fleeting.
Yesterday I walked my sleepless, 7 month old daughter to the beach in a contraption that makes it possible for me to do so without the use of my arms. A device that effectively binds us together as a single mass in hopes that she might forget she is a lump of rapidly dividing cells in a world too expansive for either of us to comprehend. In doing so, she is able to synch to the rhythm of my gait and the rhythm of my hopeful calm. If the timing is right, she falls asleep and I become the ears and eyes for both of us. By the time we reached the bluffs she had given in. I was free to scan the beach below and the seas beyond, where young men, far braver than I, used the turning ocean tides as a playground for unthinkable feats. Despite this masterful display I was taken by the sight of two women occupying a blanket to the right of a lifeguard tower. Perhaps it was their shapes that drew me in but it was the motion of those shapes that caused me to linger. As my daughter dreamed, her nose and mouth pressed firmly against my chest, heaving humid breaths passed my shirt to my skin, I was reminded of the world she will grow up in. As the shapes below obsessively posed and reposed themselves before their own extended arms, hoping to construct the perfect image of their already perfect selves, I became aware of a game I have played for years. I too, have attempted to project an image of myself to the world, worthy of my own self image. The beauty of this game is that much like the culture I now count myself a part of, my construction is only evidence of my insecurity. The tailored images we edit, magnify and broadcast only prove our imperfection; Our weakness before the gods, our failings and successes in the face of a nature far greater than all of us combined. As I zeroed in on the sands below I paused. In one breath I was horrified for my little girl to grow up in this and in the next I was heartened that she would be gifted with such an opportunity. The next breath reminded me that as everything changes, everything remains exactly as it was. This is the reality I meet head on as I slingshot these songs and my kin into a new world.
The images fade and I take a sip of my cocktail. The simple, potent concoction reaches my lips and thinning blood as the flight attendant leans in to remind me, the wifi is now up and running.
He comes out after every show to sign/take pictures. Look for the giant group of fans herding by his bus post-show, that’s where he’ll be :)