Saturday, October 2, 2010

Cold War Kids-We Used To Vacation

It's a celebration people. Amitch, one of our best buddies and creator of the upcoming Jamandahalf shirts, comes by with a true gem. After almost a year of giving him shit for his first post, Mitch comes through with his trademark wit, humor, and great taste in music. We hope the jams keep coming. Enjoy.

I first heard the Cold War Kids in a hospital bed in Memphis, Tennessee. I traded CDs with the nurses, attempting to spread indie rock through the South via cute 24 year-olds with fat diamonds already sitting on their ring fingers. I felt like God, or an American in a small Brazilian village handing out technology that would revolutionize their way of life. I didn’t always get good music in return - that was until I met Stacie. Nurse Stacie has a husband who was/is on point with new indie tunes. He probably writes a music blog and torrents b-sides and live shows, sucking all that a song offers out in couple plays, like they are otter pops in a never-ending Costco box. Needless to say, Stacies mixes were fresh to death. Not literally, I’m still alive.

During my re-acquaintance with the Cold War Kids this last summer, I fell in love with We Used to Vacation, an eerie song that tells the story of alcoholic father who fails his family. The lyrics are real, everyday, and unglamorous. They build a circumstance you can imagine might affect anyone: drunk fuck ups – with a family to apologize to. Yet when the drums slow and the guitar sits idol for a chorus that states, “I told my wife and children I’d never take another drink as long as I live/Yet it sounds so soothing, to mix a gin and sink into oblivion,” I get nersty case of goose bumps. And then a subsequent bridge that feels like a horror show guitar solo, paired with a rattlesnake maraca that reminds me of the wedding massacre in Kill Bill I.

I can’t always handle the voice of Cold War vocalist, Nathan Willet, but in this song, his predicament and jarring portrayal of apathetic sincerity seals a deal with suburban alcoholic fathers from Vancouver, Washington to Claremont, California. Hence: Jam and a Half.

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