Shawn Macdonald/Dead Oceans Records
The band is touring to support its latest album, Paul's Tomb: A Triumph. For the next six weeks or so, Frog Eyes will be hitting cities across the country, with San Diego an early stop on their tour. Which is good, because San Diego is the only city that matters, right?
Maybe. It's possible that Mercer will spend the entire tour -- even the band's stop in sunny San Diego -- pining for Victoria, British Columbia. He recently profiled his home city for the L.A. blog Aquarium Drunkard, and in the piece, Mercer called Victoria "not a city for the mind, and not even a city for the body, but in fact it is a city for the belly."
While I love San Diego for many reasons, Mercer seems to love Victoria more like Mommy Dearest: "Think of Falstaff: his coarse gut-tunic is stained with mussel juice ... Blackberries stain his chin. Salmon bones hang like forgotten combs in his curled hair. He cannot possibly eat enough ... This is an image of my city."
OK, I'm officially glad to not live in Victoria.
Like Mercer's writing, Frog Eyes' music is vivid and idiosyncratic: Mercer's vocals dance above wild guitars, keyboards and crazy drums, and their live show is something to behold. According to the band's label, Dead Oceans, "As anyone who has crossed paths with this musical beastie knows, Frog Eyes' shows are primal, otherworldly and maybe as close to a pop music enema as many of us will ever get."
That's good, right? At any rate, despite Mercer's descriptive writing abilities, he has no plans to give up music: "Maybe I could read a poem. But that doesn't seem as appealing to me as playing in front of 30 awkward teenagers in Boise, Idaho."
T. Loper is a writer for the San Diego music blog Owl and Bear.