♫♪  Frog Eyes - “Your Boss’s Shirt”

Photo: Lauren Ray

Finality is not final.

We may think of it as such, but what is stated as final does not necessarily mean it’s the last word. It just simply means the speaker has done their duty, and it’s time to move on. What remains can still stand. Carey Mercer certainly knows that.

May 18 marks the release of Violet Psalms, the final album of his band Frog Eyes, on Paper Bag Records. July 9 marks the final tour date, at DC9 in Washington, D.C., with Sydney Hermant’s Hello Blue Roses* as the supporting act. Today marks the final premiere for the band, which is for the song “Your Boss’s Shirt.” And then, a figure in the Vancouver music scene concludes.

But this doesn’t mean it ends here. Do the words of a song lose their weight because the singer is no longer around to sing them? Hardly. It just means the work is done. The words still have meaning. “Your Boss’s Shirt,” for one, examines a drudgery that all of us deal with. The work that we must constantly bear, that is our mark in the world. But its final seconds lack the proper wind-up, be it a conclusion or a fade. In fact, it closes in media res. It shows that we must not judge a finale as a conclusion.

What is a conclusion to any of us? Our conclusion, even? It’s something a friend of mine asked long ago. I still struggle to find that answer, especially as another friend told me in response, “Yours will be the most unlikely conclusion of all.” I’ve been writing, on and off, for this publication for almost 10 years now. I’ve witnessed much and heard more. And I’ve seen some acts that I’ve interviewed disintegrate to the sands of time. I don’t know when my own act here will conclude, though it has gotten close at times.

When I interviewed Carey Mercer five years ago in the aftermath of his cancer treatment and in anticipation of Carey’s Cold Spring, I think he saw the conclusion in those moments. The way he crafted his words, there was a sense of finality, that a conclusion was not an if, but a when. He just had to time it right. Now is the time, at the very least.

* Note: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Hello Blue Roses is Dan Bejar’s side project. Apologies for the error!

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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