The Jim Yoshii Pile-Up - Hello
So I want to try and go through some of this month without speaking directly about the songs or bands that are being posted. The idea with this project is 1 song + 1 thought. That means the discussion should correlate with the music but maybe the two don’t have to be conjoined, right? Like “Let’s not be totally self-indulgent with this venture.” Yeah? And maybe with that as a starting point we can explore the idea of, like, soundtracking a story that isn’t filmed? Presenting themes as couples through media? Injecting fictionalized scenarios into nonfiction narrative to convey a feeling? Can we get behind this? Anyway I want to speak directly about this band and this song for a minute even though I’ve done that before without introduction.
The Jim Yoshii Pile-Up has been my favorite band since encountering them in the period of my formative years referred to most frequently as high school. Their split with Xiu Xiu came out… I think it was 2004? Right? Fabulous Muscles came out that year, and Jamie Stewart had a pretty rigorous release schedule (something about The Smiths?) and his songs from the JYPU/XX split would all appear on FM, so I think it was then. Regardless, the split gave me four songs that I could play again, and again, and again that I never got tired of. The rest of their albums I would grow into the same relationship with, but this was instantaneous.
I pretty firmly believe that this band is one of the most criminally underrated groups of people to ever plug guitars into amplifiers in the name of Indie-Rock. (Or used to be. I think since disbanding their name has taken on a low-key murmur of esteem in the right circles.) It’s difficult for me to say much more than this, but if you like this song enough to checkout their other recordings you won’t be disappointed.
I just went back to their official site to doublecheck if it was Jim Yoshii Pile-Up; or THE Jim Yoshii Pile-Up; and realized all of the dates on the posts end in or before 2005. That struck me very suddenly just now, and is kind of upsetting.
Leave it to me to stumble and take too long to find any of the right words. The car was warm though and that made it easier to stop my hands from shaking. It was only August then, but it seemed like winter was coming fast. A month of wrong thinking. (Now I’m writing this and that year is well past over. There is barely even snow on the ground anymore.)
Then the car was full of things. Not my things. Things that needed a new place to sit for a little while though. The next time I saw those things we were carrying them into the house and I’d forgotten that they were not mine.
So the drive was me telling someone about you, and about the only other person I’ve ever met who instantly made me think of you. The person I was talking to, The Driver, has never met you. They probably never will. Maybe they will. I don’t know. Talking about any of this always means talking about You. You started everything off and you always make me backtrack through all sorts of embarrassing memories because we’ve known each other since we were three.
And when I was finished with you - that is, talking about you, because in all likelihood I will never actually be finished with you - I had to negotiate my own feelings into the story which requires a certain level of comfort. One which at the time I was fairly certain The Driver and I had reached; the two of us having discussed things far more serious than hangups like this.
Anyway, so then there was this other person who reminded me of you. In physical presence first, but it did reach farther than facial features and your common haircut and that peculiar gait you both share because your hips are, in all likelihood, very similar. You were there in the way danced to music that none of us had ever heard before. I saw you in the way they pulled off a pipe and passed it to the next person while doing that same stupid thing with their pinky finger that you do when you’re holding the lighter and the pipe at the same time. And it was more than how I spent the entire night feeling disoriented and a little too high and like I might not have changed very much in the past five years at all because certain simple, specific things can make me feel like I’m trying to function while the back of my skull is caved-in.
But despite feelings I am a little older now, and that matters because I have a house to live in. A place to retreat and collect myself and realize that muscle memory is the fastest way to make mistakes when things feel the same but aren’t. A place to let my bones fall into their sockets and complications into the proper scenarios that would come of them. A place to remember why you and I are the way you and I are now.
So like I said in the beginning this was just my way of fumbling around in the dark until I found the right words to tell you I still miss you.