March 5, 2010
Dave accompanies Converse.com on a jaunt through Southern California. There is nothing like hitting the open road with music blasting from the speakers, but as Dave suggests, some places and some tunes seem to be perfectly made for each other.
Balboa Island is a wealthy little community crammed on a square mile piece of land, just a short bridge off Newport Coast. Though I’ve lived near it (in a surf shack) for 2 years now, nothing about its nautical vibe or taffy shops ever drew me over there, until one Sunday afternoon when a friend needed a lift back to his car. Once he was dropped off, I decided hit play on track one and joyride this odd microcosm.
Turquoise…Emerald…Sapphire…Diamond…each crystal named street sign flashed by my window as gingerbread houses lined up for blocks. You got the sense that not a whole lot happened on Balboa Island – just a place where people smile. A few one-ways here, a few u-turns there, and I was kind of turned around. Here We Go Magic’s opening mantra cycled throughout:
“What’s the use in dyin’, dyin’, if I don’t know when? There are only pieces, pieces…”
I was in no rush, actually quite into the idea that I didn’t know exactly where to go. The album’s restless first half chugged on in the backdrop like drummers at a pier, like sun-gods counting down the last hours of daylight.
“Tunnelvision, anything is possible, when you’re chasing, the useless people in the street.”
Each dead-end seemed to bump up against the ocean. It was like flipping through a book of postcards. I finally parked. The sky shuffled overhead. Sailboats overlapped across the horizon, some docked, some slicing by one another as if choreographed. The reverb-doused pounding of “Tunnelvision” trailed off into shimmering static (“Ghost List”). I was trying to resist the weekend’s finality, reclining in my seat, wanting to be nothing else, but spaced out.
“I just want to see you underwater (I said me…live it up)”
I eventually did find that bridge, just as reality seeped back with the charming, old-fashioned piano closer, “Everything’s Big”
“Everything, Everything’s clean. Everyone’s lawn is greener than green.”
The man behind Here We Go Magic is folk singer/songwriter Luke Temple. This self-titled debut arrived last year as a result of some “stream-of-consciousness” bedroom recordings. The heavily textured, psychedelic direction garnered much blog-praise, landing Here We Go Magic on a number of end-of-year lists. In hindsight, I should have ranked it higher on my own. Not many releases have stayed with me through the New Year and under some sunsets like this one. Now an active 5-piece band, they’ll be releasing a sophomore album in June.