From now through the month of June, the Pride of Victoria, British Columbia — Frog Eyes — will be airing the well-read, raw psychedelia found on the band’s Dead Oceans debut, Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph, across this fine continent of ours. As anyone who has crossed paths with this musical beastie knows, Frog Eyes’ shows are primal, otherworldly and maybe as close to a pop music enema as many of us will ever get.
Tour dates HERE.
It’s fitting, then, that just as Frog Eyes hits the highway for tour that Carey Mercer take a moment to wax poetic on the city that the band calls home. His brilliant, heartfelt essay on Victoria, British Columbia for Aquarium Drunkard’s Off the Record series is something to behold. Mercer gives us the good, the bad and the ugly of Victoria, calling it a “city for the belly”:
My city is not a city for the mind, and not even a city for the body, but in fact it is a city for the belly.
Think of Falstaff: his coarse gut-tunic is stained with mussel juice and pernod, and he is crocked and delirious on some coriander-ed wheat ale, brewed just minutes from where he now holds court. His mouth spews local-lamb gristle and roasted turnip, and his sleeve is encrusted with the many translucent shells of spot prawn. And then he spies and smells a fresh platter of Chanterelles swimming in butter and duck fat. His tongue curls around his salted and greased cheeks: he is so laminated in oils and pates and jellies that he could easily eat himself. Blackberries stain his chin. Salmon bones hang like forgotten combs in his curled hair. He cannot possibly eat enough.
Wow, right? With that kind of high-lit writing prowess, many have wondered if a side career in letters is something Mercer has considered. But as Mercer told the Portland Mercury recently in a feature to preview Frog Eyes’ upcoming visit, his true place in this world — thank the rawk gawds — is on stage with mighty axe in hand:
Frog Eyes remains unique in Mercer’s ability to fit so many ideas—both lyrical and music—into his songs, which despite their strangeness are actually quite warm and welcoming. “I could become, like, a noise guy who gets paid to go play artist-run centers,” says Mercer of the alternatives to indie rock. “Maybe I could read a poem. But that doesn’t seem as appealing to me as playing in front of 30 awkward teenagers in Boise, Idaho.”
Well said, Mr. Mercer. See you out there.