Yesterday, being Labor Day, we went to a friend's house, grilled out hamburgers and watched football (because what better way to celebrate the power of the American workforce than to eat fatty foods and veg-out in front of the TV?) Its the football part that got me. I haven't watched a game (or any sport for that matter) in something close to a decade. I used to watch all kinds of sports all the time, but somewhere in college that part of my brain got lost and I haven't had the desire to care about any kind of team since then.
That's not a very manly thing to admit, but then again I've never been much of a man's man. Its embarrassing to realize I know less about the game on the screen than the ladies in the audience, in the same way its embarrassing to admit I no longer really care for big loud rock. Balls to the wall guitar solos rarely do it for me. My stereo rarely goes to seven anymore much less eleven. My preference these days is for the softer side, folk ballads, acoustic ditties and such-like. That's not to say that I don't ever listen to anything that deserves to be plaid hard and loud, but you'd have to look around for awhile to find it in my collection.
"South Beach" is nothing even close to heavy. Its a soft, shimmering, gentle shuffle. Its also endearingly beautiful, and just a little sad. Its like a lonely walk on a chilly, rainy Autumn day after you've just had an argument with your lover. There's something depressing about that and yet slightly invigorating. You know at the end of that cold walk is home with warmth and the arms of love.
Scott Stapleton's plaintive vocals are punctuated with a harmonizing voice that brings just a touch of hope to a sad song. The gentle guitar strum is accented with shimmers and tinkling plinks that bring out the stars. Its all decidedly not burly, but if you give it a listen -- and you can download it for free -- you might just decide that doesn't matter. Not in the least.
Virgin Forrest are currently on tour with Deer Tick and their album Joy Atrophy is being re-released on October 11. You can hear more from them on their Facebook page, on Bandcamp, or on tour at these dates:
09-08 Brooklyn, NY 0 Union Pool
10-12 Providence, RI - The Met *
10-13 Providence, RI - The Met *
10-14 Philadelphia, PA - University of Philadelphia *
10-15 York, PA - Strand Capitol Theatre *
10-16 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club *
10-17 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle *
10-18 Charleston, SC - Charleston Pourhouse *
10-19 Orlando, FL - The Social *
10-21 Atlanta, GA - Buckhead Theatre *
10-22 Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge *
10-23 Little Rock, AR - Stickyz Rock 'n Roll Chicken Shack *
10-24 Dallas, TX - Club Dada *
10-25 Austin, TX - Emo's East *
* with Deer Tick