This episode was the third and final shoot for the day on Saturday, February 15. After our session with Eric Kuhn and Robin Landy from Silian Rail in their Oakland practice space, Robin took off as singer/guitarist Jonny Latimer and bassist Andrew Macy arrived. Kuhn was ready for a second round, and I was ready to finally talk to a band I had been admiring from afar for half a year.
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I didn’t plan it this way, but the way it happened was such a freaky coincidence that it almost appeared that way. It was almost exactly one year ago (August 6, 2008) that my esteemed colleague Katherine Hoffert presented me with the opportunity to profile The Aimless Never Miss for a spotlight feature in West Coast Performer Magazine. Alas, I was too busy to take it on, and really felt bummed about it. I loved what I was hearing and wanted to learn more.
Finally meeting the band in the practice space they share with Silian Rail and Built for the Sea in Oakland turned out to be way more fun than the philosophical bent of the band’s lyrics would have suggested. Take, for instance, the song “Bound.” It opens with this provocative verse questioning the worth of grief:
I heard someone talkin’ how their mother died
But what is all the grieving good for
Still millions of people much worse off than we are
So what is all the crying good for?
…and goes on to reason about mortality and its positive side (“if we really were immortal, we’d feel fucking horrible”).
Then there’s “The Bright Side,” a song which the band hasn’t been playing much since losing its keyboard player. Any song that aims to reveal the cold emptiness of our increasingly interconnected, wired (technologically and otherwise) lives is going to resonate with lots of folks, and singer/guitarist Jonny Latimer admitted to me that people are always asking to hear that song after I requested that the band play it for this episode’s performance shoot.
What we got instead was just as cool — an as-yet unreleased tune called “ID” that features a switch-off at the end as Latimer assumes drum duties, handing off his guitar to drummer Eric Kuhn.
Latimer and bassist Andrew Macy were the big mouths of the band, usually following the pattern of Latimer doing most of the talking, followed by a hilarious quip from Macy in response. The session was quick and to the point, very light-hearted and full of laughter. Kuhn was less talkative, but then again, he had just talked a whole lot in the hour before Macy and Latimer showed up, during our shoot with Silian Rail. Kuhn’s stamina amazes me, and his good-natured demeanor is a natural foil to the more bubbly faction of the band. Plus he’s a big Prince fan, the kind who’s enough of a geek to get into the nuts and bolts of which disc of Emancipation is the best (for the record, we agree that the honor goes to disc 2).
In the end, putting together this particular episode validated my initial gut feeling on Aimless when the Performer spotlight was offered to me last August. And I’m glad I waited till I had the bandwidth to handle it. The wait was more than worth it.
The Aimless Never Miss — “ID”
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