By Jon Reid
Jon Reid has been a Floating Action supporter since their inception, even playing bass for an early live show. He has released multiple albums under his own name and the pseudonym Jar-e. A graduate of Warren Wilson college, he lived in Asheville for close to fifteen years and was an Asheville FM DJ before moving to NYC. Reid now resides in Astoria, Queens with his fiancée and teaches 8th grade English in The Bronx.
Don’t Desert Me
The quick flick of a zippo. Or a switchblade? The shuffle of tables. I don’t know where the sounds are coming from. I yawn and stretch, not ready to start the day. A guitar signals a quick fade and cut.
Last Of The Wildcards
The other day, my friend said this second tune sounds a lot like Kurt Vile. “Another wish, another letdown” Many artists get so immersed in their own aesthetic and become carbon copies of themselves. “She never talks, she never listens” My friend J Dimenna always said Seth’s music would be the perfect fit for a Wes Anderson movie. Snare brushes shuffle as Bill Murray catches the train. “Whatever rhymes whatever sounds good.”
My Ticket Out Of Here
“Hit me right smack dab in the teeth.” In headphones, you can hear Lebowski’s bowling pins fall. “I’m a soul lying naked and scared.” AM radio bursts through the busted speakers. The fiddling stray keyboard forgets to stop.
Won’t Be Too Long
“You better stay right there because you’re not yourself, not yourself.” Viola bass straddles the strange percussive thunder of an Echoplex. Forgotten in the multi-instrumentalism are the virtuosic keyboards. Maybe because he plays everything, your head nods in symmetry.
My Blood Is Bright Red
A low tuned guitar, a surprising shuffle, a tense relationship with a friend. Drums fill. The chorus blooms. What instrument is that? A recorder? Mellotron? Tape loops?
Weak & Blind
The sound of the room pokes through the guitar and the drums. Libramento calls this “making it feel like it actually happened.” Floating Action used to be a duo of Seth and Tyler Ramsey. They sometimes played breakbeats on a turntable that was set beside them. The tape hiss becomes a character. “I put my Raiders jacket on”
Seek Then I Found
When a heard the first 3 seconds I said, “Oh shit.” Floating Action shows are so much fun. This song will make friends dance and sing along in too loud voices. The chords descend. The claps syncopate. The anticipation slinks. “You can always tell when it’s fake.”
I’m Gonna Take You Down
A muted guitar submarine signal beeps. It makes the sampled “boogie man” sound so funny. The groove surfs and punches a punk in the face like Federal Agent Johnny Utah in Point Break. “Too young to swing his own sword.”
The Silent One
Anthemic guitar to make The Edge jealous. This is the welcome territory Kaufman found on his brilliant “Evening Blessing.” Every once in a while, the vocals catch the tremolo spin of a Wurlitzer. The beat drops and the scene shifts. A helicopter takes off in a dizzy whir.
Make a Heaven Out of a Hell
“A Whiter Shade of Pale” hugeness makes me want to be a teenager trying pot. “Make a heaven out of a hell.” What is he talking about? Trump? I met Seth’s daughter after she took her first steps this summer. “Walk a mile just to feel it.”
A musical great, Jeff Knorr died this year. I would have loved to listen to this album, especially this long last song with him. It makes me makes me want to travel back in time. “And it’s the scrambling of the signal, that stops the tune of Ernest Ranglin.”