I’ve had the pleasure and delight of meeting the band members of Gay Nineties a few times, thanks to the years I lived in Edmonton, AB. The year Parker came through on a tour with Mounties bandmates Hawksley Workman, Steve Bays, and Ryan Dahle I recieved a signed drumstick from a friend over at SONiC 102.9. I had no clue who this Parker Bossley was who drew the cutest of hearts near the end of this gift, but soon after his partnership with the Mounties dissolved his band Gay Nineties began to tour. When they came through Edmonton I made a point of attending, and visiting the merch table after the show to chat. No matter if i was attending alone, or with a friend, it was a great night filled with posivibes.
That first album, Liberal Guilt, meant so much to my mental health – to understand sexuality next to anxiety, to appreciate success in love and earthly experience. When I learned they were playing an early afternoon show at SONiCBOOM 2015, I jumped at the chance to swoon once more. The psychology of their lyrics are encouraging:
“it’s like we’re living in a dream //
let me get you into my life, i don’t wanna have to think twice”
the timing of these lyrics into my life was a perfect way to send my wheels of productivity out the window. I got wrapped up in the serendipity of dream-like events narrating my goals. I didn’t know what i wanted, so i responded accordingly to that which was happening around me. I pursued that which was producing these moments of synchronicity: real and honest people behind the music I loved. Whether that meant supportive friends with new music to suggest, or radio friends connected to the industry, or the musicians themselves… i fully engrossed myself in the curation of the moment to its fullest capacity.
Parker describes an album by Grace Jones (interview: My Favourite Things) as a “sexy, surreal, androgenous” production – similar reasons to why I enjoy parker’s contributions to my music awareness. That, as creators of ideas, the personalities are extraordinary.
The dream-like state of the entire experience from 2014 until now has been pretty incredible. The personal transformation narrated by these lyrics and simultaneous stories is something i didn’t know how to appreciate or make use of at the time. But now, a few steps from the place in that time, I feel refreshed by it.
Parker is a name that perks my ears up – I just assume if Mr. Bossley is involved it’s gonna be psychadelic and strange in the most delightful reassuring way. I often stop by Parker St. in Halifax and talk to the trees in the park nearby; the moon and I communicate with silent glances while the streetlights and traffic movement serve as melody to the synchronicity.
The last time I was there was on a walk yesterday evening alongside some best buds on a happenstance of a mid-winter, mid-week meetup. Previously, I was alone, with an iPod for company, and shuffle landed on “Jude” by Dan Mangan. It’s a song with a lot of weight – even if my chosen name didn’t mirror the title, or the Beatles references serving as an undertone in the commonality.
Lyrics in that gem offer similar thought-stimulating comfort:
“so much for bones to pick; so much for fear//so much to fill you in on, now that you’re here// timing is everything, moments arrive//it ain’t no accident, planets align” (Dan Mangan)
as I think about how this is a perfect summary of the past few years the responsibility to be more of a Jude and take on the world. All kinds of echoing musical advice follows those thoughts too: don’t make it bad, don’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, and well, you know it’s a fool who plays it cool by making his world a little colder. (oh, hey Beatles…)
I’ve gotten by with quoting these lyrics as a way to network quickly. I still ponder the true message of the whole thing. It’s a call to action as a leader, but also as a lover. We want to care, and empathize, and contribute to the community around us. But we are also haunted by the demons of failure, fear, and vulnerability.
at the intersection of Parker and Jude, i am strengthened to take on the world.
But even more important, I’m empowered to allow myself to love as honestly as I am capable. In the face of the angry, hateful fear ruling political decisions, the hope created by these interactions with music and the rest of living are critical for keeping sane.
I’m all for documenting our intersections into each other’s lives, and making those collaborations better, but I’m also about keeping out tsunamis of disaster.. as the moon got too close, my cosmic awareness was a tide that washed out some of professional rhythm.
As much as I love Parker’s music, i have had to distance myself from the community which introduced his beauty in the first place. That letting go has been cleansing. The dream which introduced inspiration into my life was something that (now, I see) was temporary.
The future is still to come, and I am more careful now with attachments. But Parker is still one of my top 3 potential kid names… and i’m ever so grateful for the empowerment which resulted from learning how to talk to musicians as publically real people, thanks to those dear radio friends.
I’m working on acceptance, appreciation, + civil duty to address that which needs improvement and/ or radical change. I’m committed to growing a career which will support this interest in thoughtful responses to the world. Whether that’s in map, music, or hugs, I’m not comfortable staying silent in a world in such distress.
to those who have contributed to this vulnerable strength, I thank you. for those who continue to fight louder, stronger, and more deliberate, i support you. for those trapped by new systems of rules, i want the world to accept diversity for you and us all.
as for the Gay Nineties: try on this new music video for size. great new work, team! in honour of those decadent days which sustain our lust for luxury..