Friday, February 11, 2011

High Five! from Seafarer's Patrick Grzelewski

Chicago's maritime men offer up a high five to explain what makes Seafarer tick:

1. The Harmony

Matt purchased this little amp on eBay for literally about ten dollars. I'm still stunned to this day how it exists simultaneously as a complete piece of crap and the greatest creative/inspirational tool in our humble arsenal. I remember Matt calling me one day, totally beside himself with excitement. Being an unemployed carpenter at the time, Matt put his misfortune to good use in crafting a beautifully finished wooden home for the busted up chassis. The amp now lives at his house, where we do most of our songwriting. The Harmony spews out a sonic texture that could only be described as "shitty." Yet this gritty, barely functional little bastard somehow brings out the best in us; its rustic charm uncannily completes our most fragmented of compositions.

2. Metropolis Coffee

In more ways than one, Seafarer is fueled by one of the world's oldest and most complex agricultural commodities. I roast coffee for a living at an artisan roaster and wholesaler on Chicago's North Side, for a company called the Metropolis Coffee Company. Aside from actually making a sustainable income off our music (which we're still working on), this is the greatest job in the world. Roasting provides a very separate creative outlet and it gives me a chance to actually listen to records all day long, in a really unique environment. At Metropolis, we meticulously taste and evaluate coffee from all around the world (some current offerings include Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Peru), and we work to develop roasting techniques and resulting profiles that best represent the products farmers have worked tirelessly to cultivate. The Metropolis also serves the crucial purpose of being Seafarer's practice space. While Matt's house is a great creative songwriting space on weekdays, the roasting garage is a place where we can really let loose when production shuts down for the weekend. It's a great venue to practice the dynamic of live performances and we can be really loud. Adding to the very musical vibe of that environment, the front hallway walls are adorned with various prints from the famous Chicago poster artist Jay Ryan, who is a good friend of the company's owner. Jay's band Dianogah occasionally stages practice there too.

3. This Sign

I saw this on the door of The Riviera Theater before a Guided By Voices show and thought it was hilarious. Why is "extensively" in quotes?! No strobe lights were used during the entire performance, FYI. It was such a great show though, the band played three encores.

4. Trees

I can't really explain my fascination with trees, but it's pretty obsessive. I have entire film rolls of weird tree pictures. There is just something so eerie and deeply personal about their various stages of life and their juxtaposition to the world around us. Trees somehow represent both a defiance of nature and the embodiment of it. Weird!

5. Ava

Call me old fashioned, but a daughter to a father is simply a reason for living. She's completely changed my life and I love her more with each passing day. Nothing could have prepared me for having a child, nor could anything replace what it's meant to have her come into my life. Here's lookin' at you kid...

To celebrate the end of the nine to five, a Green Light Go staff member or artist will leave you with their short list of favorite things, better known as the High Five!

This week's High Five! is brought to you by: Seafarer's Patrick Grzelewski


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