Mystic Keg

by Ivan Rivers

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about

A sorrow-soaked spiritual meditation on grief, loss, and existential dread, with thick and mystic Floridian vibes.

After the death of my father in 2011 and a cross-country exploration of the United States in the summer of 2013, I ended up in Naples, Florida with a handful of songs that needed a certain careful touch as opposed to my previous output as "drinkin' man's thinkin' man" Mikey Chuck Rivers. With my partner #jillside at my side, we were welcomed into the lovely home of Derek and Nicole Perry in the Naples suburb Golden Gate. Derek played bass in Florida beach punks Fake Problems and is a dear family friend. He extended the invite at a Menzingers show in Buffalo and I took him up on it.

There we were, spending days working in his garage studio and nights playing Heads Up! on our phones with their extended friends, taking part in improv nights and Wolverine showings, or discovering the wonders of Chipotle and Velveeta cheese. Fake Problems would come over and rehearse in the garage while #jillside and I watched Orange is the New Black in the guest room. Then we'd camp in the studio and add Wurlitzer sounds or backing harmonies or the perfect leads. Sean would hear a bare bones scratch track to a guitar and come back with these amazing drum sounds like it was nothing. The creative energy was vivid and pulsing. Derek was a wizard in getting optimum takes and tones, ripping bass lines and thriving in his home environment.

We went back to Canada and over the next few months, the songs came back even more fleshed-out, with accompaniment from the rest of Fakey Ps, Franz Nicolay from the Hold Steady, and Tanner Jones from You Blew It!. The songs sounded so fluid, so whole, so ethereal, so full of the emotional possibilities I envisioned when I wrote them. Derek killed it. The whole crew killed it.

Here is the record. It's taken forever to come out but I'm super proud and a fan of how it came out.

//xo IR

credits

released March 1, 2017

Ivan Rivers: Guitar, Vocals
#jillside: Piano, Vocals
Derek Perry: Bass, Vocals, Synth, Percussion
Sean Stevenson: Drums

Produced by: Derek Perry
Recorded Summer of '13 at the Rambler Ranch in Naples, FL [
Mastered Summer of '16 by Jack Shirley at The Atomic Garden in San Francisco, CA.

Additional Personnel:
Buzz Eternal:
Franz Nicolas - Theremin

I Offer Proof:
Brian Blount - Guitar
Chris Farren - Vocals

Boy in the Void:
Brian Blount - Guitar

Grappling with a Feeling:
Jon Stewart - Himself
Franz Nicolay - Banjo

I Am In Yr Darkness:
Tanner Jones - Guitar
Franz Nicolay - Atmosphere

Special Thanks:
Nicole Perry

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Ivan Rivers Bluewater, Ontario

CELEBRATED FOLK ICON // BARD OF BRUCEFIELD // CANADIANA

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Track Name: Buzz Eternal
I'm at peace

Veranda nights
Bottle caps and fireflies
I buzz eternal over time
Vessel empty, my sunken eyes
Moving, passing out

I'm at peace

Spring-fed soul
Nature's boy with a sunscreened nose
Catapulted to creeks and coves
Heavyset sank like a stone
With no way out

I'm at peace

If I die
Lazy halo, full reclined
A pull-out couch in a cloudless sky
Who could lust of another life?
Wouldn't you be tired?
God, wouldn't you be tired?

I'm at peace
Track Name: I Offer Proof
I'm a creature of comfort, glad tidings
You're a victim of fear
You're a sullen broken bottle in a sewer grate
I'm a fully intact mirror
I'm your childhood treehouse where you grew up and made love in
You suffer the roots
You're doubtful of the vast and many wonders of existence
I offer proof

I offer proof
I offer proof
If you're looking for something that lives outside of truth
I offer proof

I'll let maybes slip where doubt could subsist
You simply say no
I see hate steal seat from compassion
While you bask in its glow
I live on the stoop smoker's front steps
You're the March snow sliding off the roof
You ponder the validity of real human joy
I offer proof

You were sinking when you said
"Life's an exercise in dread
Why shouldn't I surrender to the pain?"
I guffawed and shook my head
I made it out the other end
No grimace got me standing here today

I offer proof
I offer proof
If you're looking for something that lives outside of truth
I offer proof

I'm a hot mug of tea by a frozen river
You forgot how to skate
I'm a wide toothless grinner sticking tongues out at strangers
You spit in my face
I'm the view from a party, patio pitchin' empties
You're in no pleasant mood
You wonder if you'll ever get back what they've taken
I offer proof

I offer proof
I offer proof
If you're looking for something that lives outside of truth
I offer proof
Track Name: Boy in the Void
If I'm bound to fail
Let me find out on my own
I don't want to blame you
When everything goes down wrong
I got no path and no mission and I'm haunted by visions
Of a cold, dark place empty of superstition
So if I'm bound to fail
Let me fail alone

Yeah, I want someone to find me and fuck me
And tell me that I'm beautiful when I know I'm not
Yeah, I've had weaker nights and days before, baby
But this one's joustin' for the top spot
I cower from the void like the scared little boy
That I was before my parents died
Guess I'm all grown up
Hopin' on the other side

I shower with a beer cracked
Let soap and water spill in
Dump a gulp on my head
Feel it sink in my skin
Somewhere a cloud parts and a secret's revealed
But I'm too dumb to notice and I'm too numb to feel
I shower with a beer cracked
Am I bathing in sin?

I hope this track that I trip down
Ain't no easy way out
To mumble and stumble
To mope and to pout
I came up short reaching for the sky
But some sad galaxy's still shining in my eyes
So if I trip down this track
I'll try not to stay down
Track Name: Grappling with a Feeling
Mumbling scripture to myself
In my apartment downtown
In the west end
Raindrops on my Blue Can
On the rooftop with Johnson
We're getting wasted

Missing those mornings out in Mildmay
Fighting the cold husks at your mom's place
When we had passion
Living, moaning inspiration
Woollen hats and peach-fuzz faces
Yeah, we took action

Yeah there was nothing said those nights
That's worth repeating
The earth was fresh in our smooth palms
Yeah, we were teething
Grappling with a feeling

When that mystic keg was tapped
That flowed us on our path
Against forever
With our high school wounds behind us
We were supple, dumb, and pious
But we were tethered

Professor Creet taught me that pain
Is something you store away
And that you build on
A secret shame, an awry ruse
Sketching purple on a bruise
You held her hand once

Yeah there was nothing said those nights
That's worth repeating
The earth was fresh in our smooth palms
Yeah, we were teething
Grappling with a feeling


With my father in tow
I'd flip on the Daily show
At the day's end
We'd both crash out on the couches
By lullaby of Stewart shouting
From Manhattan

When I pass out at this place
Computer dimming on my face
I feel it happen
A dull powdering of snow
Some bright light, now worn-out glow
That I am trapped in

Yeah there was nothing said those nights
That's worth repeating
The earth was sound in your wise palms
We both were healing
Grappling with a feeling
Track Name: I Am In Yr Darkness
Sometimes I walk heavy in the light
Lost in love but misplaced
Sure, I'm free but I am wild

You are that guiding light back home
When my days aren't paced but manic
Your night's a rest from roam

You cast a shadow over me
I am in your darkness
But I am not afraid

Oh my love's some untapped overflowing well
And you're the buried river
Who cools the heats of hell

So in times when our passions rise and bleed
I grow slack and fall in pieces
It is your peace I'm made to need

You cast a shadow over me
I am in your darkness
But I am not afraid

I'm a simple man who wants of simple things
Joy in times of sorrow
And to burn out on your wings

So when this world bats its eye of me
It is you who will remember
It is you I long to be

You cast a shadow over me
I am in your darkness
But I am not afraid