Oh Lost liner notes by Matt Kerstein

We’re a band of guys who loves the liner notes on old LPs. Dylan has some of our favorites, often rambling stream-of-consciousness sorts of stuff that on one level seems to have nothing to do with anything, but on another level, helps bolster the overall themology of the album—or in Dylan’s case, the themology of his strong persona.

We have largely set aside the thank you’s and other such notes in favor of letting the music speak for itself. But Oh Lost was a little different. It was the culmination of a lot of work we’d been doing for a long time. Then in one big and short burst, we had a record—and man, does it feel good when it’s that easy.

Matt wanted to write something for this album. Something that would tie in where he was during all this, where we all were. The title itself comes from a track called World’s On Fire deep on side 2. And the liners pick up where that song left off, furthering those ideas of confusion and some sort of self-realization and validation.

Listen to World’s On Fire from Oh Lost

We hope you’ll pick up a CD at our Bandcamp page, but if you’re a digital dude or dudette, here are the liners in all their glory. Note: in the CD package that Jim laid out, he did some crossing out of text——his usual role.

Oh Lost Liner Notes

I keep wondering what it was like for F Scott Fitzgerald to write the last page of The Great Gatsby. To wake up one morning, have coffee and a light breakfast, sit down at the typewriter and type so we beat on… Or did he write that after lunch towards the end of a frustrating day gazing off into the twilight? Was he listening to music at the time? Did he have a cat sitting by him? Did his mother or girlfriend ring him before he finished? The point is someone sat down on a given day and wrote something that beautiful, unique, and complete. I want to do something great—I thought we all did. We want to build and create and be admired by our friends and peers. But when’s it going to come? When is it going to happen?

We’d been messing around trying to get at it. Messing with the 80’s again and singing over new wave back-beats, shaving the sides of our heads underneath long hair—experimenting with mullets and loud colors and it was fun but somewhat unsatisfying. So many anthems that the anthem was losing the qualites that made it what it was in the first place. And that seemed to always be the problem: everything always had that feeling of trying on your fathers clothes rather than feeling like a real movement. But maybe that’s just what the times were. After all, in the void of a signature movement, in that absence of a definitive time we are left with the opposite end of the spectrum: where we could be all times, all movements, and it could mean everything.

It feels good to be anything you want for a while—to not limit yourself to playing with the unknown. It feels good to begin sentences with the word and no matter what EB White & Strunks said. Style can come from anything—throw out the rule book, steal what you want. And for a while it has felt that way. But how to make it mine; how to make it really something to hang your hat on. You want to be F Scott Fitzgerald or the Fucking Beatles and make something akin to Gatsby listening to Revolver and dripping paint on the start of Pollack’s Greyed Rainbow. But it just never seems the day for it and the days just slipped away—ideas shimmer like love then dissappear like lust. It’s always tomorrow or something.

You stare at the keyboard and think perhaps it’s the way the QWERTY Keyboard is leading your thoughts and sentence structure, and perhaps if only the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard had won out and you didn’t have to travel such distance between letters, or if you could write in a language that moved right to left or up and down, and these letters and symbols and the finality of a dot didn’t feel so arbitrary; that it all stops making any sense and you begin to lose the thread feeling you need a better understanding of so many things in order to create this thing you only guess at. You need more depth, need a better grasp of science and history and linguistics and knowledge. And suddenly I am gripped with fear thinking of how little I know and now—sapped of my confidence and my hair—it doesn’t seem fun anymore; my clothes seem silly and I am just a boy wearing the ideas of other better men of past decades that rose to the occasion. Oh lost!

In being know-it-alls and having access to so much, stealing at will, and mashing it all together, we left ourselves wide open to the sinking feelings that could attack us at any time: that we were in fact nothing of our own making. We’ve been pushing the money around not creating anything substantial and it just hurts——like so much thieving and sarcasm and posturing coming back to haunt me.

But I step back and I breathe, and I recover a sense of humor and curiosity and look around surveying the wreckage and see that right there is something to write about because that is what is there and that is what came out and that can’t be taken from you. The people, situations, and things that went on around here during these times. That’s all you need. That’s all there is. Oh lost.

BMA at Sub-T with Pet Lions – Saturday, 3/3

We’re happy to be playing this Saturday at Sub-T with our new friends Pet Lions—well, actually, Jim went to high school with the PL drummer Matt Dahl, so I guess we’re old friends. We’re digging on their debut record. Check it below.

The night is the fourth annual Windy City Winter Ball. What that means is that peeps are getting dressed up for the occasion. There will be a photographer there snapping shots of your hip fashion sense. BMA will also be naming our pick of Best Dressed and supplying him or her with a free vinyl copy of our new EP, Billboard Sun, so go big.

RSVP at the Facebook event. Ticket info and everything else is over there.

Billboard Sun [EP] preorder

We’re extremely excited about the release of our newest collection of tunes called Billboard Sun. It’s a 7-song EP we recorded over the last year, and includes a lot of songs you’ve heard at our live show but never have had the chance to listen to in the privacy of your own earbuds. We hope you like it and choose to support what we’re doing with the meager $5 cost for the digital album. VINYL LOVERS—we have a 10″ on the way that you can preorder at the reasonable rate of $1 per inch.

Listen and purchase this music by clicking the cover art below.