John Dredge and The Plinths – Where I Used To Be
From where I stood I watched them recede in the frame of the roadway, between the Moorish house and the Lombardy poplar. Then the little sedan boldly swung past the front truck and, free at last, spurted up the shining road, which one could make out narrowing to a thread of gold in the soft mist where hill after hill made beauty of distance, and where there was simply no saying what miracle might happen. — Vladimir Nabokov, Pnin
Each person who has willingly left home — left behind an entire town, not just the couch in their mom’s basement — has cited a different litany of reasons to justify the migration. But the lists all share a common single-bullet-point summary: the conviction that whatever waited in ambush beyond the horizon had to be better than whatever was vanishing in the rear view mirror.
But home is the lover who is dumped with extreme prejudice, then immediately recalled with a fondness that forces the left hand to text u up? even as the Strangelovian right hand attempts to strangle the impulse. Those who return home for the holidays — bearing a boot-load of brightly wrapped presents, memories of their mates, and a perverse urge to sleep in their childhood bed — are often ticketed for existential speeding on the outbound journey.
‘Where I Used To Be,’ by John Dredge and The Plinths, explores the universal desire to find a familiar footing, and the near-universal realization that the effort is futile. We can purchase our parents’ home, set up a studio in the unfinished garage, and peel the fake-pine paneling from the rec room wall. But the hallway painting of the hideous clown will forever mock us each morning as we pass by on the way to our job as a lowly Pennsylvania paper salesman.
Through the windows of the past
I can see you there
Running through my mind…
You can never go home again
I know that much is true
But one elusive glimpse
Helps to get me through
‘Where I Used To Be’ is wonderfully breezy pop, the tune that jangles in your pocket as you remember that Autumn Saturday when you paused in the pedaling of your tiny bike, looked up at a cloudless blue sky, and thought This is a really nice day. Listen for the Starr-like snare that arrives on the distant edge of the beat, never late but a near-run thing.
John Dredge is — in addition to being a singer and lyricist — a writer, comedian, actor, podcaster, and artist: a verifiable popular Renaissance Man who claims that his mind is mainly full of old Look-in magazines. The Plinths comprise Mark Hibbett (guitar), Bob Burgon (bass), and Andy Harland (drums). ‘Where I Used To Be’ appears on their latest release, The Plinthsmania EP.