Ten Years Later: mewithoutYou’s ‘Catch For Us The Foxes’

mewithoutyou

My first real rock concert was a Coheed and Cambria headlining tour one winter when I was somewhere between 12 and 13 years old. I was waiting in line with my mother (because she’s totally awesome and loves Coheed), and we see a bearded man covered in jackets walk in front of us and empty a pot filled with some hot liquid. Continuing on with our anticipatory waiting, we noticed that once the liquid had evacuated the pot, the man was still there so delicately admiring the pot, as if he was thanking it for holding an entire universe of atoms. He remained standing there carefully examining the empty pot, letting out small smiles to no one here and there as he would gaze around at what was around him. Leading his eyes upward to the night sky, or deep into the line of fans waiting to enter the Palladium in Worcester, MA, he was consciously and carefully collecting the cold around him.

Finally he walked away, into the distance behind the surrounding building. My mother, who was less enthralled by the man’s actions, lovingly responding with “what the hell was that?” and we seamlessly continued our wait to be let in. He became known as the Pots and Pans Guy in my household for the years to come, but come the end of that night, I came to know him as Aaron Weiss, lead singer of mewithoutYou.

January, 1979 saw a terrible crash (and couldn’t help but laugh.)
My ear pressed against the pass like a glass on a wall of a house in a photograph.
My forehead no longer sweet with the holy kisses worthy of your fiery lips.
I was floating in a peaceful sea ‘rescued’ by a sinking ship.

As mewithoutYou began their set that evening, I immediately questioned my thoughts on what I was experiencing. What was the singer doing? Was that really the dude that was completely enthralled by his pot earlier? Why is he moving like that? He sure is yelling a lot. Did he just go run and hide behind an amp? I have never held so many questions pertaining to a band I was seeing for the first time more than my time with mewithoutYou. They were loud, charismatic, enriching, enlightening, fulfilling, but most importantly, they made me wonder. At a time in my life where I was desperately searching for what it was that made me feel curious, or investigative, mewithoutYou led me to further questions. They were a band with a sound so foreign and abstract to me, I just had to listen to them further. Completely taken in by their set, my love for them was only secured by something Aaron Weiss brought on stage with him near the end of their set. It was a tool that could transcend sound and reverberate into the audience. Something that could mend the membranes of artist to viewer. It was something so simple yet completely full of possibilities. It was the fucking pot.

I watched as Aaron slammed a wooden stick against the pot with no microphone in sight and no possible way for anyone to hear what the hell he was doing. It didn’t matter though, for he was in a world unconstrained by the walls of the venue masking in the sound of the band. The pot was a portal to an experience that was so singular to him in the moment, but respected and admired by all the listeners and viewers watching it unfold, that it demanded internal investigation.

I was dead then alive,
She was like wine turned to water then turned back to wine;
You can pour us out, we won’t mind,
As scratch around the mouth of the glass, “My life is no longer mine.”

The next day I rushed to the record store to pick up the band’s sophomore album, Catch For Us The Foxes. Removing Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising from the car CD player, I was led to another dimension of musical possibilities. From the beginning notes of “Torches Together” to the final croons of “Son Of A Widow,” Catch For Us The Foxes was my renaissance, ushering a new age of question and wonder, for mewithoutYou was one of the first bands that brought me to embrace things that were different, or that seemed foreign to what I had initially been exposed to, and to truly look inward into what it was that sparked a flame deep within my core. It is an album filled with such lyrical wit and musical mastery that it has held incredibly well over the past ten years. Bathing in the reward of the album a decade later, I was recently gifted with the experience of feeling the album in full at the Paradise in Boston on the band’s ten-year anniversary tour, revitalizing all those feelings of artistic wonder and curiosity.

Getting lost in “Paper Hanger,” “Carousels,” “January 1979,” “Disaster Tourism,” and many more–hell, the entire album–still reverberates strong ten years later. Continuing to release consistent albums since then, mewithoutYou will always have a special place in my heart, and they will always be known as the catalyst to my artistic exploration at one of the most defining times of my life. Thank you all.

Before long I was too cold… took a bus back to the station,
I found a letter left by a pay phone with no return contact
And it read like a horn blown by some sad angel,
“Bunny, it was me… it was me who let you down”
It was the shyest attempt I’d ever seen at conversation.

Editorial written by Drew Caruso — (Follow him on Twitter)

Drew Caruso

Drew Caruso is a Bostonian who, when not writing about music and film, spends his time getting lost in New England, reading books, talking about science whether people want to listen or not, and more. To see the thoughts of a scientist by day and a writer by night, follow him on Twitter.
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