Friday, February 18, 2011

The Forest, After Mark

In preparation of the Free Forest City Redemption Project, which kicks off next week.  Mr. Mark Jack (bassist from the band) had decided to use his regular Friday space in order to bring you some initial thoughts on the band he was a member of.  You can view this post as sort of an amuse-bouche, to tantalize you for the tracks you'll be hearing over the next few weeks. That's all I'm going to say.  So, my Puddlers, enjoy the warm weather today, enjoy the weekend and we'll see you next week when this blog becomes a shrine to the music of Forest City for a few weeks.

Take it away, Mark Jack.

Forest City Believers

Mark Jack

…and why not? Why shouldn’t I just sit there on that low slung metal rail, staring first at the strange Monitor Monument in McGolrick Park, then at absolutely anything else, and think nothing of it, and know that the jogger now passing thinks no more of me than he must think of the low slung metal rail upon which I wearily rest my lazy ass, and I think equally little of him? Would I rather be understood or misunderstood? Maybe I should not force my “I” onto the scene at all? No! Maybe…

It’s like this:

A redheaded boy in misunderstood pants, talking on a misunderstanding phone speaks into the metal and plastic tonelessly, saying, “Where are you? What are you doing? Why? … Hello?” Then he looks at the phone, puts it in his pocket, sits on a bench, but sort of floats above the greenish painted wood planks with the force of his uncertainty.


In the back seat of the police car that moves with grace and contentment, the presumed criminal stares closely out the window like a child, devouring the passing wonder of the world with the full appetite of young pupils.


I’m standing in front of a crowd of half drunk people. They are staring at my friends and me on the stage. They are seeing me, sure, but they are staring at me as one stares at a computer’s screen as it turns on, not caring about the blank screen, or those little markers of work, colored bars moving left to right, spinning circles and such; one stares at the computer and appreciates it as conduit. Similarly I stare at my self, through these people in front and slightly below me, waiting for the music to be produced through me.


Forest City was a band that demanded proximity. It was a band that was loose as hell and performed Glenn Gould variations of country earnestness with absolutely no discipline. Forest City was not disciplined. The songs were performed as anyone might dance in their room as a child to their favorite pop song. Forest City made music because music is sustenance, and a food can look as good as it wants, but does not confirm itself until eaten. Forest City was a band that demanded the whole experience, demanded to lick the spoon at all stages. Nick and Ted created songs that I wanted to hear so much that I needed to get closer and closer until I was actually playing. I needed the music to be so close that it passed through my fingers.

Forest City allowed me to present my self to others as almost ego-less, to dance within the song. It was a band that existed for the drunken sing-along.

“If you wanna sing along…don’t, no do!”



  1. JOhn the leperconJuly 18, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    markjack writes a coldmeanstreaktowin; winning while losing is what he doesbest!