Ethan Keller

About "Dead Man Dancing"

So, about "Dead Man Dancing:"


It's not sad. But it's definitely not happy.
It may not really be me at all.
It's a patchwork of mediocrity spit from aurally unrecognizable strangers' lips.
Me? Listen for me in the background among the noise, hisses, taps, clicks, and pops.
Perhaps hear me buried in the acerbic words, harsh tones, callous shrieks, clumsy fingerings, pick flips, footsteps, deep breaths, and chest thumps.
Try to catch me closing a door and opening a window.
Whoever was revealed became invisible.
Too many words. Too much smoke blown.
Nothing to see here. No reason to show up.
It's barely a glimpse of a full image; it's a poor, paper-thin facsimile.
It's all a blurry snapshot of someone moving too fast to see.
It's an anti-climactic character remaining idle in the end.
It's a mean means without meaning.
It's a pandemonium of silence.
It's a squeaking gerbil wheel.
It's two handfuls of space.
It's the worst foot first.
It's brittle like elders.
It's frail like babies.
It's a broken harp.
It's a red kazoo.

In no way do I want folks to think I'm not proud of my work, proud of my playing, proud of all my words worth. Nor do I want people to think I'm ashamed. But I'm not feeling pride is much of a player here. And I don't pretend to know what others think they know about my variety of shamelessness.

There is some illumination in all this is: that if I released some sort of art deemed flawless, it would truly be a false image. Imperfect creatures are what we all are, and I am no exception.

I hope you enjoy some parts, as I can say I took some joy in making it. For the pieces you don't particularly enjoy, let me just apologize, and say how much I sympathize. It's always difficult for me to express a wide range of connected ideas. Most of these things are new and old sounds that I never wanted to make in this context, and words I never wanted people to hear this way. However, in desiring never to be reminded of some things again, I felt obliged to cryogenically freeze them for people to stare at, like in some museum. Trying to make this album during a rapid spring and non-stop summer was also like capturing some tiger from the jungle. Now hearing it is like watching a wild thing pace angrily in a cage. It causes me conflicting emotions. Empathy. Emptiness. Exhilaration.

I know there are better things yet to come. I'm certainly built for more. Yet not knowing how to stop spilling what I receive makes me expect less. It keeps me hungry and humble, even when I feel like I'm full up and full of it.