Fan Letters & Far Out Feelings

2018.05.13-susto

December 6th, 2017

Hi Charles,

This is a note to Susto and I think specifically Justin.

I think it’s important for those who create to occasionally receive a different type of gratitude in return, a scene not necessarily of applause at the edges of a stage when the lights go down, but of when the sun is up and a stranger is met by something new.


Hi Justin,

I felt compelled to share my story about discovering Far Out Feeling.

A month ago I was on a sabbatical, driving through mid-morning Yucatan sunlight, a straight road splitting the jungle in two, heading from the city of Valladolid to explore the ruins of Chichen-Itza.

I had been on my own for about a week at this point, driving a grey rental car with surprisingly unlimited access to Spotify. I make a left turn, at a Y that now splits a smaller town with bright, magically dirty pueblo of storefronts into thirds. A jangling, reverbed finger picking intro comes on the stereo. I don’t typically listen to lyrics very easily in songs, but by the time you’ve sung “rehab in California” and “I can’t wait for this to end” I am welling up with tears. When the strings and horns hit, and by the bridge, I am just full on sobbing. And laughing because WTF? What is this song? Who is this? Who am I?

For the record: I don’t find my tears very often. I can count on one hand the number of times I have cried that hard since I was a kid. And up until that moment had never, ever, ever cried from a record.

Put me on a Yucatan road, mid-morning, heading to a new set of ruins, and play that song? I cry like the world is cracked opened and tears are the last thing you will taste before you die. It happened the next day too, driving to Ek-Balam. I listened to it three times, crying for 12 minutes.

So, thank you for writing Far Out Feeling. Thank you for annotating it on Genius to give me a little bit more to contemplate. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it was about this song, and am still just as stumped and confused as to if there is any one specific “why” as I was in the beginning.

“It took a while for this song to fully reveal itself and come together, but I’m really happy with how it turned out.”

I deeply encourage you to follow those inclinations, if they strike. Not necessarily more strings and horns, although that usually is a good idea. Not that I need to cry more, but I am incredibly surprised and grateful for discovering your music.

So, if you see someone crying at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz on Saturday, might be me.

Hope you are having a great tour.


What I don’t also share is the discovery waiting for me inside the Zona Arqueologica Chichen-Itza, that I also cry about. Good tears. 


Hey Wyatt, I just want to say thank you for sharing your story about Far Out Feeling. You got me to tears too, it just really meant a lot to be able to read that. I’m glad the music found you, and I hope we can meet in Santa Cruz.

Thank you again, for taking the time to share. Stories like that are more valuable to me than any applause.

Justin


2018.05.13-susto2

Hey Justin,

I haven’t sent this email because I’m not certain what to say, or I should really say. I don’t know if you’d remember the gig at this point. I’m sure they all blur together. It was the second song of the show. I knew this ahead of time because I looked at the setlist taped to the floor pedals. I knew going into it that I would be disappointed if I was actually expecting to cry, or expecting some magical experience or connection with beyond what I already had — we already had — which was clearly a peak emotional and human experience. Could you or I even ask for anything more? Had this been enough?

You’d seemed to be emotionally going through something on stage, hair messy, eyes red. Something was off.  After your set, the rest of the band was unloading their gear straight from the stage through the doors onto Pacific Avenue and into the tour van. Everyone except you. I really tried not to judge, but that was disappointing to me. But what did I know about your experience. You walked out of the venue right past me. I thought to say hello then, but had the timid and fearful sense that it wasn’t the right time. I waited around, the second band started, and you left the green room with a backpack on and a look of determined emotion to get the hell out of there.

But I thought you’d like to know that the magic of the song hasn’t diminished. 

And so I could go back, I would recognize that maybe I shouldn’t be so afraid of someone else’s emotional state, and push a little bit more to find out what’s on the other side of our invisible ruins.

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