Music Eric Grandy, Stalker
posted by April 10 at 11:48 AMon
Here I am in Anacortes, finally, and there’s no moon. I was sure there’d be a moon. It was full a day or two ago, but tonight is cloudy and the sky is dark. “Why did we come here?” the Microphones are singing on my iPod as I wander around. “Someone made posters, and we called for directions.”
I’m here to see Mount Eerie—formerly the Microphones, also known as Phil Elverum—perform at the Department of Safety, a converted fire station in the middle of sleepy downtown Anacortes that can’t help but remind me of my old sleepy Eastside suburb and its own all-ages venue, also a decommissioned fire station.
But I’m really here for more convoluted, maybe embarrassing reasons. I’m here because the Microphones’ 2001 album, The Glow Pt. 2, is being reissued this April by K Records, and I’ve been kind of obsessed with the album for the better part of my adult life. I’m here to try to understand where The Glow Pt. 2 comes from. I’m here because the opening lyrics of the album’s third song, “The Moon”—“I drove up to the city at night/And found the place where you grew up”—have been stuck in my head for years, and I’ve decided to take the words as instructions: Anacortes is where Elverum grew up. I’m here because I hoped the moon over Anacortes might sing to me, might reveal some mystery. The moon, however, is not cooperating…
So begins Eric Grandy’s fascinating feature this week about the Microphones’ Phil Elverum, going to Anacortes to figure out where Elverum’s songs come from, the history and importance of K Records (which is re-releasing The Glow Pt. 2 this week), how Khaela Maricich influenced Elverum’s work, and the thriving scene in Olympia circa 2000, where Elverum was creating The Glow Pt. 2 while Grandy was in college at Evergreen. Possibly the best sentence in the piece:
I lived in a house, since burned to the ground, where Elverum played a Valentine’s Day show during which he poured a bottle of red-colored corn-syrup blood over his head and all over the living-room floor.