By Mike Faloon
Photo: Jersey Beat
I had the best sleep last night. Until five minutes ago it had been a lazy, peaceful morning. I felt like Peter Gibbons after his visit to the hypnotist in Office Space. I dropped off Maggie at camp, came home, watered the plants, said good morning to Lou. He told me that he knows the guy who nailed the deer antlers to our garage. I was zoning out too much to keep up with the conversation, though. It was that kind of sleep. I went inside, put on Summer of Indifference and was really enjoying the record, but I wasn't paying active attention until "Hand." That woke me up. "Hand" is the demonic blast that opens side two. "Very metal," in the words of Vivian from The Young Ones.
I stopped the song about 30 seconds in, grabbed the lyric sheet and started again. Now I was awake and these weren't lyrics I could just mumble along to.
When the bottle's halfway gone
That's when the itching comes
What have I done to my home
What have I gotten myself into? Is this song based on a horror movie I don't know about?
I left my hands alone and unattended
And now I can't believe what they've done
I left my door unlocked and unattended
And now I've been left holding the gun
I don't watch horror movies because the images take forever to leave my head. I'm not sure how much I want to investigate here. I wonder who belts out that Rob Halford-like scream at the end of the third verse, about 2:20 into the song.
Maycrowning is a ceremony in which a crown of roses is placed on a statue of the Virgin Mary, while other flowers are laid at her feet. Usually one child is chosen to carry the crown on a cushion and another child is chosen to place the crown on the statue. The tradition of honoring Mary in a month-long May devotion is believed to have originated in Italy, but spread eventually around the Roman Catholic world in the 19th century together with a month-long devotion to Jesus in June and the Rosary in October.
This is the line that best sums up the song: "7,8,9,10—4 years of wondering when will you show yourself to me?" Being an adolescent in parochial school and wondering why you're learning about this. Junior high school and early high school seem to mess everyone up, and Catholic schools seem particularly well versed in compounding the chaos of those years.
 We call our garage the Hunter Thompson Garage. There's a stone wall on the left. The rest is wood. There's a dirt floor and a sliding door. It looks more like a small barn than a garage. Over the years the previous owners decorated it with deer antlers, an America flag, a "No Trespassing" sign, and a sign for a fishing lure. I've never read it up close. It's up pretty high.
 Later I looked up the title Hand on IMDB. I found a 1998 comedy. The synopsis doesn't synch up with the Black Wine song but the two would make a fascinating combination: "Three young friends—Hart, Dean, and Chad—defend a hot young ice cream parlour employee, Brooker, from her abusive boss, Mikey, but inadvertently kill him in the process, forcing all of them to go on the run from the law in the form of Mikey's father, Police Chief Benton." I'd cast Henry Rollins as Police Chief Benton but I'd change the name of the hot young ice cream parlour employee. All of the hot young ice cream parlour employee flicks of the late '90s had characters with names like Brooker. I'd go with something less Choate, more public school, Anita or maybe Lisa.
 "'Maycrowning' is in fact about the Maycrowning ceremony Miranda had to do in Catholic school." – Jeff, e-mail 7/15/11
From Learning to Surf, a one-shot music zine by Mike Faloon.