Coltrane Motion “They Can’t Mic The Deep End” (Influenza)
Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: Influenza, Music.
Approach Influenza as a series which serves to help give insight as to where music is born; these are the thoughts, influences and the inspirations directly from the mind of the artists. Michael Bond of Chicago’s Coltrane Motion steps in for this edition, describing “They Can’t Mic The Deep End,” a track from the band’s Songs About Music album. Contrasting the fear of mediocrity with the drive to create art, Bond concludes that the reward is well worth the risk. The band will be playing a show with First Communion After Party, Right From Rona and Dragons Power Up! at Big V’s tonight in St. Paul.
On “They Can’t Mic The Deep End”:
I’m beginning to like this track again. By the time our record came out, I had been working on it for over a year, and it had gone through at least a dozen frustrating permutations along the way. There’s a version with live drums double-tracked over a drum machine, a version with just ukulele, stomping & harmonica, and even one with a minute-long orchestral intro, complete with timpani rolls that sounded a little too much like the Muppet Show theme. But in the end, it’s a result of condensing and editing rather than adding things – a verse disappeared, the intro was folded into the bridge, and everything else either got dropped or fuzzed out. It turned into a 2:30 pop song rather than a four minute epic, and (hopefully) works a lot better that way.
Lyrically, you’re hearing my first or second take, on a cheap mini tape recorder’s built-in mic. I’m making it up as I go along, just riffing off of a few phrases I had jotted down, and was never able to quite recapture the same stuttering pauses and energy that I got the first time around, so that’s how it ended up. The song (and most of the album) revolves around the basic idea of being far too aware of what you’re doing, whether it be music or relationships or whatever – unable to escape the weight of history, whether it be personal, or cultural, or both mixed up together. Every song you write reminds you of a better one that someone else did forty years ago, and falling in love just reminds you of a thousand awful romantic movies. It’s really easy for over-educated twenty-somethings to be flat-out paralyzed by the fear that what they do will be unoriginal or banal in some way, and just end up doing nothing instead. This song is a sort of post-it note to myself, reminding me that it doesn’t really matter, so I might as well do it anyway. – Michael Bond