Lyrical Whiplash

Naseem here, with a confession: sometimes it’s hard to remember lyrics. Normally, they’re so engrained that it’s not a problem. You’ll be on the stage playing a tune and they just pour out of you the way you intended when you first wrote them in your bedroom or on the subway. You take advantage of muscle memory, and your mind is freed up to focus on how awesome it is that the totally wasted dude in the back is dancing like no one’s looking (people are looking).

And then, sometimes, that doesn’t happen. Sometimes, muscle memory fails you, and there’s a big ole blank space in your brain. So you end up making things up. One time, you were so thrown off trying to remember lyrics, failing, and then making things up about the first thing you could think of: cereal. There was a whole tune about cereal. Thankfully, totally wasted dude is totally wasted, and you’re not that articulate, so no one could tell anything was amiss (maybe). But you go to bed that night knowing you pulled the wool over some folks.

Totally winging it?


It gets even more complicated when you’re recording, which we happen to be doing right now. You’re so invested in totally new songs, and then when you have a show, you have to remember the old ones. It’s cognitive whiplash.

All of this is to say, I have no idea what’ll happen when we play a few new tunes and a bunch of old tunes next week at the Burren in Somerville, MA. Will I remember the lyrics or make shit up? Will I remember the story I was trying to tell – obviously the most important story in the world when I wrote it in the bedroom or the subway – in the moment, or sing about Frosted Mini Wheats (the best cereal, fwiw).

Whatever happens, we are psyched to hit the stage once again. DC a few weeks ago was amazing (no songs about cereal, unfortunately). This’ll be the first time we play Boston in a few years, and the only time we play Boston this year.

New songs, old songs, our great friends the Shang Hi Los opening, and an early show so you have time to go home and eat cereal at a reasonable hour.