Wednesday, December 28, 2016

"It's getting late but it's so early"

l to r: Luke De Beaumarchais, Bill Rohla, Nato Coles, Sam Beer, Mike Cranberry
Bars are great, deadly, a caution. Minneapolis-via-Brooklyn Nato Coles and the Blue Diamond Band capture the desperate pledges of tavern life beautifully in "Julie (Hang Out a Little Longer)" from their 2013 album Primises to Deliver. It's last call and the singer begs Julie, an old friend (a flame?), to stay with him. He reminds her of the way things used to be: "Lookout! bands and east bay zines / I ain't changed, don't think you did either / You and me, babe, we're believers." He begs her to see through the present's disappointments ("Days turn to weeks and months turn to years  / You feel like you're living your life in a mirror / Random tests so now you can't get high / You start thinking liberty is a lie") to earlier promises they'd made, "Somewhere back in the glory days / Time to cash it in, do it today / Or else you're gonna fade away."

Drunken inspiration hits him in the singular discovery "it's getting late but it's so early," to my ears one of the great lines in recent rock and roll, evoking not only after-hours optimism but the kind of adolescent horizon-free mobility that's so sexy and joyous but tough to keep renewing as you get older, let alone with a partner who's heading out the door. But he gives it a shot. "Julie" is a moving song with a terrific chorus; I hesitate to praise a song by describing it as something you might've heard on the radio back in the late-70s or, more likely, back then on your favorite underground New Wave or Power Pop group's criminally-unrecognized debut, but the band's in touch with something eternal here, begging at a bar, a silhouette of like desperate gestures made since the dawn of time. Turn it up.

(I might prefer the rawer demo recording of the song at Bandcamp here.)

Photo via Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band

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