“It’s all about the music.”
My wife and I are the proud parents of three incredible children. They are intelligent, accomplished and, most of all, thoughtful human beings. Our oldest is a recording engineer who has been, on multiple occasions, recognized for his work by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Our daughter, the middle one of the three, is a WNBF award-winning fitness professional who is fluent in multiple languages including Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. She is currently living in Japan working for that country’s government. But with all love and respect to our two oldest, this particular piece is about our youngest son; the rock star. I don’t offer up that term as a superlative like many parents do when referring to their offspring. You see our son, Jake, is actually a rock star.
Post Animal is a 5, sometimes 6 person, band of musicians from Chicago, Illinois. As a write this they are crisscrossing the country, crammed into a Dodge minivan they christened Shannon. The first leg of their tour, headlined by Twin Peaks, took them to, among other places, Tucson, Austin, New Orleans, Oxford MS, Washington D.C., and Chapel Hill NC. Then they teamed up with the indie rock, pop punk, San Diego-based band WAVVES for more than a dozen shows. The first one was at the historic Bowery Ballroom in New York City and that’s where we got the chance to see our son and his friends take the stage.
I already mentioned that Jake, like his two siblings, is thoughtful and intelligent. He is also caring, compassionate, faithful and talented. As a kid he sang in the school choir and acted on stage in various plays and performances. Influenced, no doubt, by family members and friends the desire to learn and play musical instruments seemed natural. He gravitated to the guitar and keyboards and now plays both in the band. Post Animal is Jake, Dalton (bass guitar and lead vocals), Javi (lead guitar and vocals), Matt (lead guitar and vocals), and Wes (drums). Sometimes they are joined by a sixth member, Joe Keery (guitar) but he is also an actor who is currently shooting the second season of the Netflix hit Stranger Things (he plays Steve). They write their own songs and play their own brand of classic, pysch rock, music. And they Rock! The 40 minutes we watched was filled with inventive riffs, hard pounding chords, soulful vocals and Wes’ “keep up the pace” beat. Some of the songs bring to mind the Sgt. Pepper’s era Beatles while others conjured up an Iron Butterfly vibe (at least for me). I had heard Post Animal’s music before but never live and never completely bursting with parental pride.
They were really good and my wife and I weren’t the only ones who thought so. They commanded the stage that, over the years, has served as support for thousands of acts including Maroon 5, Metallica, Coldplay, Counting Crows and Rickie Lee Jones. Most of the capacity crowd was there to see the headliner, WAVVES, who’s 2010 single, King of the Beach, landed at number 36 on Rolling Stone magazines list of Best Summer Songs of All Time. But the crowd clearly enjoyed the Post Animal set; dancing, bobbing, and applauding every solo, hair flip, and song. The boys are clearly still learning and Jake admitted to feeling more than a normal amount of nerves during the performance. Who could blame him, or any of them, for that. After all your first time on the stage of an historic New York City music venue is heady stuff.
Life is just a great unravelling ribbon and none of us; even, or maybe especially psychics from Nostradamus to Dionne Warwick, know what the future has in store. But for right now our son Jake and his 4 (sometimes 5) band mates, business partners and, most importantly, friends are spending the summer seeing the country. Performing on stages in front of hundreds of people every night and living their mid-20’s version of the rock and roll dream. The whole time they’re being respectful to and of each other, their fans (new and old) and their music. How in the world could any parent NOT be proud of that.
check out Post Animal this summer in a city near you. Follow them on Facebook, on Twitter @postanimalmusic and listen to their songs http://www.postanimal.bandcamp.com
If you enjoyed this, or any of my other blog posts, I would encourage you to visit http://www.keithhirshland.com and explore my two books. Thanks for your support.