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Haywood Yards – Haywood Yards

After you buy Haywood Yards self-titled debut, I really must tell you how I know them and why they are such an important band to us.
06-17-04. Provus and I are kissing our lovely Mexican cousins in the parking lot of a movie theatre in Vernon Hills. The bland expanse of suburban concrete spreads out from the windshield slow and planned. We walk back to the line where the Indian guy is holding our place. Looks like I can sell you my extra, Provus says to him. The scene that day is all ersatz douchebags, but this dude seems okay. I ask him if he wants some tequila. We walk back to Provuss Jeep, smoochie smooch some more, and then get back in line.
We talk. I dont remember what about, but the Indian guy, who I now know as SeanCar, is one of a long line of people I have met through Phish who disprove the stereotype were all a bunch of stupid wooks. After a swell evening of dancing in a movie theatre, we say our goodbyes. I go back to my lonely life of bookseller by day, undiscovered novelist by night. I go on tour and realize Trey made the right decision when three disgusting human beings wake me up at 5:00 a.m. filling balloons with Nitrous Oxide while yelling Phish sucks!
I cry during Seven Below at Alpine Valley.
Three days later I am bringing in my laundry when I am stopped with this question, Hey, man, were you just listening to Phish? I gape and I gape and I gape some more: SeanCar? What followed was the longest session ever of two guys saying Holy fucking shit over and over again on a rickety staircase in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. I mean, Chicagoland has like 9,400,000 people, and this guy I met at a simulcast Phish concert moves in right above mewhat are the odds?
Lamb Chop (Shankar) and I become fast friends. He acts with unparalleled player love when he introduces me to a black chick who has an ass like a peach. He smokes all of my weed. We spend countless nights at the Sovereign drinking two dollar PBRs, taking shots of Malort, and laughing like a couple of school girls. You know how it is with some people; you click. They can make you laugh with a slight wheeze from their nostrils. You need nothing from them but their presence.
This is current for me because I am in the middle of falling in love. Today, I had to go to this dreadfully boring conference. I havent had as much fun in a decade, but only because she was there. So I came home glowing, opened the door, put my keys down and there was a bubble package from Black Dirt Records with my name on it in rather neat handwriting.
Black Dirt Records? Never heard of them. Then I remembered Semrad was supposed to send me the Haywood Yards album. I put it in and pressed play and the last 14 years of my life came back to me in a wave. There are a few things I know: Lamb Chop and I were supposed to meet; I was meant to move to Virginia to fall in love with M.; and you were meant to read this essay and immediately purchase Haywood Yards. Call it fate. Call it Synchronicity. Call it Seriality. Call it what you will. The rose gathers no moss. Some things were meant to happen. The point is, I am trying to tell you about something beautiful, something we can share, but the fact that you are still sitting there reading this is getting in the way.
Dont worry what the songs sound like. The songs sound great, you can trust meI just listened to them like five times in a row. You dont need me to describe them to you. It is better for you to cast your own language onto the album. Do you like eating and peeing? Then you will like this album. Look, you got this genius guy Mike Semrad writin the songs and doin most of the singin; the divinely cute Adrienne Gregg fiddlin the violin and providing beautiful harmonies with her lovely voice; the man, the myth, the legend, Shankar Padactually I am not sure how to spell his last nameLamb Chop pluckin the banjo, the mandolin, and singin too.
OK, this is getting a little re DICK, get out of your chair and buy this album before I have to reach across the Web and smack you.

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