Monday, November 12, 2007

Southeast Engine

Southeast Engine are a band from my old stomping grounds of Athens, Ohio, the best place in the world to spend the years 18 - 22. They've released one of my favorite indie/Americana albums this year, a little gem called A Wheel Within a Wheel. For you Bible scholars, that's a reference to the Book of Ezekiel. I don't know anyone in the band, nor do I know what any individual members may believe. I do know that they make wonderfully melodic, sadsack indie rock, and sound a lot like early Wilco.

So imagine Jeff Tweedy, his voice cracking in all the right places, accompanied only by an acoustic guitar and a mournful cello, and singing this little straightforward repentance song:

If I return would you take me back?
Teach me to learn to face the facts?
I’m so sorry for all I did
Oh God, let me back in

When I was a child I believed in you
A simple thing for a child to do
I could see the sky and my mind was set
I could feel okay when I was so upset
But as I grew it was so easy to forget
Oh God, let me back in

Because I’ve taken for granted all that you gave
I threw away what I was supposed to save
So if you would erase my doubt
And let me appreciate what I’ve got left
And be here in the moment
Oh God, let me back in

‘Cause I’ve been so selfish, toneless and cruel
I’ve done whatever I wanted to
So if you would forgive my sin
I won’t be who I have been
I’ll put my stock in you not them
If you let me back in

For so long now I’d just like to know
I’ve sawed off the branch that I was resting on
And as I fell from limb to limb
I found I was no real exception
So here I’m beggin’ for redemption
Oh God, let me back in
Oh God, let me back in

-- Southeast Engine, "Oh God, Let Me Back In"

Normally I'm a metaphor and simile guy. There's no great poetry there. But sometimes you just have to cut to the chase. I've sung that song. Maybe you have too.

The band is playing at Scully's Saturday night and celebrating their CD release on Misra Records, one of my favorite indie labels. I'm going to be there. Y'all are welcome to join me.


Mermanda said...

I have been a fan of Southeast Engine for many years. As a student at OU, they were one of my favorite live shows. I recently had the pleasure of seeing them play in Pittsburgh, and even had a chance to hang out with the band a little before the show. I completely agree with your comparison to early Wilco.

Get well soon, Andy.

Leo DeLuca said...

Thank you Andy! Very much! It'd be great to meet you personally on Saturday. I will put your name on the guest list. Take care.

-Leo DeLuca / Southeast Engine

jackscrow said...

Also, the everybodyfields are at The Casa Cantina in Athens on Thursday the 15th.

Praying, Andy.

scott said...

Glad to hear you're going to be getting out to a show.
Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

What time on Saturday will Engine be playing?

Mike O

scott said...

Glad to hear you're going to get out to a concert.
Hang in there!
Are any of the band members Townies?

Anonymous said...

Are you going to OtR on Friday, then? Can't miss that.

Andy Whitman said...

Mike, there are no times listed on the Skully's website for Saturday night's show. There are three bands (two of whom I want to see; the third unknown to me), so I'll probably show up 9:30 to 10:00 and hang out until the wee hours of the morning. That's typically the way these things work.

Anon, I'm going to pass on Over the Rhine. Nothing against the band, but I've seen them, and they make it to Columbus several times per year, so I'll have ample opportunities for concerts in the future.

Leo DeLuca said...

Hi Andy,

The show starts at 10 pm. The order is:

1st - Spanish Prisoners
2nd - Southeast Engine
3rd - The Whiles

Thanks for everything!