Probably because we started planning out roadtrips that were reliant on open windows or homemade convertibles and scavenger hunts and because the other day someone sent me an e-mail that had the subject “spring had sprung, ” we all had a lesson to learn about not crossing out fingers long enough or knocking on wood hard enough or something. Today was brutal. It was water that froze as soon as I tried to use my windshield wipers, and a yoga teacher making fun of me in the way that yoga teachers can. Am/Fm released 3 albums entirely inappropriate for this occasion, and one that really is.
Oh, by the way, meet Am/Fm, one of my favorite bands of all time, a Philadelphia duo who make some of the most emotionally expressive rock/indie/folk whatever bands I’ve ever heard. They were always the quirky little sibling on Polyvinyl records, not as immediate as Ranier Maria or Matt Pond PA (during their excellent tenure on the label), not as challenging as Aloha, not as bulletpointed as Braid or Sunday’s Best. But the groups’ songs, as seemingly haphazard and incomplete as some of them may seem, were absolutely tied together with blood vessels, they were just dying to sit down and tell you something about themselves. I’m not saying it as clearly as the band would; these songs dealt with life. And it was never just the obvious stuff, they weren’t just heartbroken.
Their first full length, Mutilate Us showed us two people talking on a rooftop of two gay friends’ mock marriage and trying to figure out where they would be, not where they wanted, but where they would be at the couples’ 10 year reunion (“When Larry and Garry Get Married”). It was an excited album, a summer album, it was an album with trepidation, but trepidation that mostly got edited out with the mastering. It’s a 35 minute bearhug, it is.
Their second and final full length Getting Into Sinking, released something like 9 months later, was what happened at that 10 year reunion when people came back and hadn’t realized how much they had changed until they saw it in someone else’s eyes. It’s so emotionally taxing that, despite knowing I love almost every song on it, I normally avoid it altogether. Tracks are slower, quieter, and less sure of themselves than those on Mutilate Us. But today, because I have no clean socks left and my feet are still wet and woolcovered, here;s’s a track from it. Download that one first, then go back for the other two. By the way, the band broke up, and then in a faux-twist that I got so excited about that I went around gushing to all my friends, they reformed, only to not release any new material or make any announcements on their myspace page for the past year or two.
And trust me, the first day I know for sure that spring is here, I’ll offer up some music to celebrate.