Artist: Half Stack
Title: Quitting Time / Half Stack
Keywords: oakland rock country rock garage rock jam band jangle pop jazz rock psychedelic pop Spring
Label: Under the Counter Tapes https://underthecountertapes.com/
Are you for real? I mean are you real? Are you sure you aren’t a pigment of my imagination? Does this blog even exist? Did these words really got typed up to become some virtual post? Am I actually real? Is this real? Is this reality?
So many questions and yet so very few answers. In fact I have actually no answer at all. But I do have an amazing suggestion! Really? Do you really have an amazing suggestion? Yes, non existing voice representing the wandering mind of a curious reader; I really, really have such a suggestion. My suggestion is to listen to Half Stack’s song Dually. It’s simple, it’s kind and also feels like the perfect fitting match of the ‘is this even real?’ question as asked at the beginning of this mumbling rumbling piece!
In fact this song on its own was the entire inspiration to start this post with such questionable questions. It sets the mind of a listener in a self and life doubting working mode. It makes a person wonder what reality is & made me personally think of those times that you’d awaken from a dream (or a nightmare) to only find out that you are actually still dreaming or still are hanging out in a nightmare situation. Those kind of surreal situations are kinda freaky, but with this very fitting Dually song it somehow makes it all ‘okay’ as now we could sing along in repetitive fashion the classy words of ‘is this even real?’.
What is reality? What is a dream? Isn’t everything just some kind of rambling mix of dimensions? In any case the song is something to hold onto, retro craftiness as executed by the Half Stack band. It doesn’t happen often when a openings track makes you want to question your own existence or the things that you are actually doing; but it sure did and still does.
Who is responsible for it? you might (or might not) ask yourself…Well apparently Half Stack contains various band members. Nobody knows exactly what they do, but that too is all suggestive. Especially when realities are blended and questionable. But apparently half stack contains the following members; Peter Kegler, Digger Barrett , Callum Beals , Marley Lix-Jones & of course Oliver Pinnell. A nice mix of names that lay delightful in the mouth & do look good on paper.
I don’t know much about the musicians and don’t think it’s healthy to go on a steak out and hire private detectives in order to know more. But even music wise, as a collective, it is difficult to say things about it. I could clearly hear that they have their marbles still in tact, they simply must have, as otherwise they wouldn’t be able to write these songs that calmly make you wonder if your life is what it seems to be… To suddenly question your own existence is simply not the kind of thing any random band does that pops in with an album. But somehow this band does it and surprisingly they keep it all light and kind at the same time too, which actually helps to give it that deeper impact. A thing normally only reserved for friends that know you through and through..
When I closed my eyes (as the album played to do its thing) I imagined myself with Peter Kegler, Digger Barrett , Callum Beals , Marley Lix-Jones & of course Oliver Pinnell all line dancing on the back of a farmer’s truck. A spacious farmer’s truck of course, as otherwise we wouldn’t fit as we danced in line. The truck rides through American farmlands on sunny days with a trail of sandy dust behind it. Everyone is wearing fancy straw hats while holding onto our belts as we turned around in synchronized ways. Even though I didn’t know Peter, Digger, Callum, Marley and Oliver personally it looked as if they accepted me among their midst & they acted as if I was welcomed as one of them. Is this even real? Is this happening in another reality? Who knows anymore?
I will not quit writing though, as it is the only thing I know. It’s something to hold onto, saving me from not completely losing my shit. As long as we have the music by this companionship of seemingly friendly friends on our ears, our own sanity might be guarded by these musicians that clearly didn’t have their brain cells in an alcoholic limbo. Besides their sounds are friendlier than the sixties and more concrete than the lunatic-sound of the decent seventies. They perform about ‘oranges’ and I felt like eating them for a boost of healthy vitamin C; so in a way their songs have next to philosophical bits also health benefits.
At one moment the farmer’s truck arrived at the highest mountain, one in which we get all loaded on barbecue steaks, Heath up cans of beans on a open fire and embrace our arms with each other for a fine bonding moment that might be better than fiction. The view is generated by the sweet guitar strings that are strummed and the laid back attitude of the drumsticks hitting the drums. Beautiful sky is at our disposal as Kegler, Barrett , Beals , Lix-Jones and of course Pinnell (with double l!) are creating the right atmosphere for a good old time out among friends with strong friendships.
Maybe this isn’t real and indeed just made up things by the imagination sector of the mind, but I must say that it feels very real. I could simply see the landscape, hold these band members their hands, give them a group hug that feels warm and bearly. It feels great to hang out with them, later we clearly will be fishing at the lake, opening a crate of self brewed beer and do some more line dancing under the twinkling stars as the night falls. We would hold more mind blowing chats at the campfire and maybe if there is still some time they will do a contest of lassoing!
It does feel (at times) a bit like a sausage fest, but as they too do well in the nature’s campfire flames + the sheer welcoming friendliness of the entire Half Stack crew it feels that anyone is welcome among their midst. No matter what gender, orientation, color, religion, culture etc Peter Kegler, Digger Barrett, Callum Beals , Marley Lix-Jones and nobody less than Oliver Pinnell are happily putting their arms around your shoulder to present you a good time well spend. They are your (real or unreal – it’s all about perspective)friends that offer their music as sheer offer of feel good friendship!
Nothing crazy or questionable surreal about that so please
Go and get on board of that farmer’s truck by grabbing yourself a copy of this lovely tape, so sweetly released with love on the kind hearted ‘Under The Counter Tapes’ tape label: