That Idaho Feeling
By Stavros Vyk
An extremely rugged and mountainous area of North America punctuated by wild rivers and broad valleys, Idaho is a backcountry mecca for campers, hunters and mountaineers. Its 216,415 square kilometers contain many remarkable and unique experiences to encounter. Coeur díAlene, in the northern part of the state, near the Canadian border, boasts one of the highest per capita numbers of retired police officers in the United States. Mariel Hemingway had a ranch above the Fourth of July creek (north of the Salmon River Valley) before she did herself in. And, of course, thereís always Boise.
But on ďThe Forbidden EPĒ, the music begins and itís no longer about geography. I start getting a sense of what Idaho feels like. It becomes a band. And it sounds like early Meat Puppets when I was stoned in the Valley Of Fire near Four Corners, but slower. The singersí voice wanders in a cracked/atonal musing.
Itís four a.m. and Iím sleeping on the table, my arms crossed under my head. The band is still playing and the bar is still serving so I alternate between napping and drinking. The music flows over me and doesnít piss me off. The singer is telling me something but I canít hear exactly what it is; but itís OK because he doesnít seem to care a whole lot whether or not I understand him.
In a dreamy musing of musical self-examination, the guitar figure stops at; brief place between two parts. Looking around, testing a couple of notes and having decided on some sounds that seem to make sense, it carouses o into the next section. The drummer plays gently but well, and the bass guitar fills him out. A funny vibrating sound lifted out of the old Page noise used in LedZepís ďNo QuarterĒ pauses inside of the second tune on this El and itís sooo dreamy. Maybe I got up too early and I should go back to bed.
Idaho gently besieges me with words. Hundreds of nice words crawl out of the speakers, off the cover and even from the silkscreened disc itself.
Itís so easy to listen. As if Burt Bacharach never learned how to read music. Burty never put on a bowtie. He smoked a lot of pot and even dropped some acid. He grew up in a suburb but played with his Dad in the mountains when he was young. He got his first guitar around the same time he started reading Burroughs and always trusted himself because his Dad taught him to shoot and be respectful of the wilderness and his Mom never raised her voice in anger.
He was sad for his folks, it seemed to him that they lived such a insular, little life. But they acted like they were happy. He never asked them if they were happy, though. He didnít know how to ask that question of his parents. He moved out when he met his girlfriend and, after the fire and the funeral, he still went out to his parentsí graves and stood above and below them, the wind from the mountains lifting his hair.