July 22nd, 2021 @ 12:25 am
years ago, i dated a dude whose brother and best friend were obsessed with glassjaw… i soon also became obsessed with glassjaw, and kept following along with other projects that came about via the extremely talented lead singer, daryl.
one of his musical projects ended up being a band called head automatica. i was fucking THRILLED about this in particular, because this mixed up genre of a band was absolutely right up my alley. i am extremely into new wave/80s/dance/electro anything, so this new band fit right into my repertoire of musical interests. like, so right up my alley that it even featured tim armstrong (a dude from one of my favorite punk bands, rancid) on a pop dance track. what in the actual fuck?! (but it worked…)
i grew up in the 80s and have always loved new wave (especially the weird, left of center shit), i love synthy pop dance stuff, i came into various types of punk on my own and went to raves in the 90s. i feel like head automatica sounded like pieces of all of those things. it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what they sound like. i listen to all different types of music/bands and i don’t even know who to compare HA to. when it came out, i guess you could call it some type of indie pop rock, because it (thankfully) wasn’t main stream enough to be straight up pop music, not that daryl would have allowed that shit anyway… that was a genre we kind of what we kept shoving all types of “myspace bands” and indie into at the time.
so now that i’ve professed my love, i am here to profess my frustration.
i was looking around some archived bookmarks i have in my browser and came across this, which i had forgotten about:
first off: i didn’t take this video – it’s just on youtube… but i was at this show at blender theater, and i did get to witness this IRL and it was glorious. i remember while this was happening, i was instantly like “this is going to be my favorite song off of this new album”, and proceeded to shake my fat ass in the crowd.
secondly: this song, nor the album it’s on were ever released. they were performing songs off of the 3rd album live, soon before they were going to release it. it was named “swan damage”.
i googled what i could about the release of that album, and came across a few things and articles regarding swan damage. tl;dr: daryl wanted his projects off of the label they were on, and unfortunately that also affected the album. he talks about it MAYBE being leaked someday, doesn’t say who or how… just kind of eludes to it. unfortunately though, it seems as if he’s put all of this behind him. as a fan waiting for this stuff, well, that selfishly hurts.
to me, head automatica feels like “well, it’s better to have loved and lost”. like, thank you universe for letting us experience it, but we should just be grateful we had it at all? uh, we could still have swan damage probably/maybe/who knows/i dunno/please just do this one last thing.
i dunno how that’s fair, but still we devoted fans still follow DP’s moves and punish ourselves, lol.
* * *
listen, daryl, you sexy bastid, if you ever see this post… please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please (zing!) release the kraken. swan damage does NOT feel old to the people that have been waiting for years now. we haven’t heard it over and over again. this song above, i don’t know what the actual lyrics are bc it’s a bit fuzzy. i want primo quality… i would like to see this in front of me again, when we can go to shows and dance my ass off. the few swan damage tracks you did play during that era sounded so mature in the HA archive. as aforementioned, HA wasn’t like most bands out there. you did what you wanted. i KNOW who inspires you musically (squeeze, elvis costello, the jam, etc.), and i feel like you were finally applying it to this project. don’t get me wrong, i love “beating heart baby”, and fuck the label for wanting 10 of it… but that wasn’t my favorite track. “the razor”, “laughing at you” and “cannibal girl” are probably my favorites, alongside the song above. i don’t even know what it’s called… but i’m sure the mastered version would have been in my top 3, sir.
* * *
it’s so hard being a fan of daryl’s, bc while he’s a musician, he’s also a CREATIVE human being. he moves fluidly between or onto new projects, and for us greedy fans that want more of something, we get the brunt of it and get impatient. as a glassjaw fan, we had to wait 9 years for new EPs and 15 years for a full album.
on the other side of the token, i actually feel guilty having these feelings. it’s not my business to get pissy about having expectations, i guess. it just sucks that he was just kind of over it, when i felt like he was finding himself in such a great, creative place. i feel like a label and it’s expectations killed this shit for all of us.
as for side projects, house of blow, head automatica, SPORTS, color film (bad saint… i melt. ♥)… they’re all so good! i guess as fans we just have to cherish what we get blessed with by him and just be happy with it.
* * *
i got to meet daryl at an album release party via some rapper i used to know. not only did he perform there that night, but we were all in VIP, so once i was drunk enough to actually utter words to him, i thanked him. it was all i wanted to do, honestly, bc you know that whole “never meet your heroes” expectations thing… i was at a loss for many words, but he was sweet when i said that to him, and i hope he knew how much i actually meant it.
we chit chatted about nonsense i’m sure. at that very moment, i was schlepping vinyl records in milk crates for a mutual connection DJ friend, who had also performed there that night. i remember him thanking me for knowing all the words to the house of blow songs (i’m guessing he saw me in the crowd singing along) and then asked me if he could hug me (obviously i said yes, and i remember that his leather jacket was so damn stiff, that it was hard to get a good one, but i still got one ♥).
anyways, my point is… i don’t know if musicians really understand just how much music touches people, but hopefully when we tell them “thank you”, even if that’s all we can get out of our star struck mouths, they understand what we mean. music has always been a massive part of my life, and while i’m not a very emotional person, music always overwhelms me. it powers me, it helps me, it makes me emotional… music is magical.
to have another chapter of head automatica would be amazing for us fans… just putting it out there. maybe our other mutual connection that works at the shitty label will find a way to um, *cough*leak*cough* release it.