The Archives : The Mayflies USA "Walking in a Straight Line" (2002)

I remember 2002 being a fairly rough year on a few personal fronts. I also recall spending late summer and early fall in bars throughout Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Inn was obviously my/our favorite, but we spent many late nights at stops throughout Park Slope, Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill. There was The Gate, Boat, Great Lakes, that classic bar all the way down Fifth Avenue that had a Buckner mix on the jukebox, and of course, the newly discovered O'Connors, which turned out to be the bar where Elliott Smith wrote most of XO. When we weren't in these bars (and many more), we'd be seeing bands at Southpaw, North Six, The Mercury and at venues large and small all over the city (and Hoboken and Connecticut and other cities).

The bars and music provided some respite from some turmoil going on in my life. And a record by a virtually unknown band named The Mayflies USA shot power pop right through me. Around this time I was listening to everything from Big Star and The Posies to The Possibilities and the Mayflies. And Walking in a Straight Line nailed me. Similar to bands like Beulah, I couldn't believe that the Mayflies weren't absolutely huge. The songs were quick, catchy and damn joyous. I can remember sitting in apartments and singing along to "The Good Girls Goodbye" and "You Won't Find Me" with friends until the sun came up. In my search to figure out who I was and where I was going, the line: "From the Sea of Japan to the Tappan Zee. You can go anywhere, but you won't find me" offered a bit of comfort. But this wasn't a record for reflection or solemnity; it was a record full of spirit and perhaps most importantly, it was a record that helped me plow through.