Felt Pilotes – “Moving Day” 7”
Spit and a Half, 1994
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2015
John Porcellino is one of my favorite graphic novelists. His memoir Perfect Example was one of the books that flipped a switch in my brain that made me not only obsessed with comics as a storytelling medium, but one that I could participate in. Porcellino’s spare drawings contain multitudes, and he has a gift for turning the quotidian into something utterly profound. Sometimes if I’m feeling like a real piece of shit, I’ll crack open the longbox where I keep all my single issue comics, pull out an issue of King Cat, and try to recenter myself with the universe. He’s come through Lawrence a couple of times to speak and I very nervously had him sign my copy of Perfect Example at the Autoptic comics expo in Minneapolis when were living there. I don’t know why I was so nervous, because by all accounts he is a very nice, sweet guy. I think I just respect his work so much, meeting him was like meeting Elvis or something.
In addition to being an outstanding artist, he also ran Spit and a Half records, which released some terrific low-key indie rock record in the mid 90s (I believe the label now functions as a indie comix distribution company). I found Felt Pilotes lone CD Wonderful Summer in the Half Price Books clearance section a few years ago and, despite my inclination to like anything John P crafts, I really loved that record. I barely buy any vinyl anymore as a cost cutting measure, but I do have a short list in my head of stuff I will definitely buy if I can find it for the right price. We stopped into Love Garden before John Darnielle’s solo show at the Lawrence Arts Center last week, and I beelined for the $1 7”s because those satisfy my built-in urge to buy records and I can peruse and even buy one or two without feeling guilty. I found this Felt Pilotes 7” in there and I consider that a monumental success. The songs are quiet and basic DIY indie rock with some slowcore leanings a la Low. It is very much of the sound that satisfies the deepest part of my indie rock heart.