Slacktory

beach house covered by sand dune

Jealous of VICE’s heavily prefaced interview with indie band Beach House, we scored our own.

Located just past Cayuga Lane in Brick, New Jersey, the beach house of Mr. & Mrs. Timothy Faraday can be described in all sorts of domestic adjectives often favored by house critics—including, but not limited, to sandy, beach-like, recondite, quotidian, For Sale, is a house, etc.

But in assessing the true nature, even the historical significance of the Faraday’s prototypically evanescent beach house, we must first force ourselves into an associative zugzwang as we ask ourselves—what is a house? Abode, homestead, dwelling, edifice (which connects both to edification, to be uplifted, and artifice, trickery, guile, which when combined, then divided by orifice becomes arguably the beginning of Campbell’s hero cycle), habitation, residence, and all manner of “pads.”

A house is not just a structure, but a collection of things nailed, cobbled, welded, or otherwise grafted to form a structure. It is, in a sense, a house of houses, each housed within another house for housing purposes, the complexity of which serves to distract us into remembrances of hoses, horses, hovels, hooves, Kosher dietary law, Frank Lloyd Wright—the man, not necessarily his work—and perhaps a yen for a long game of Tetris.

Think of a house’s ubiquity: “This is my house”, “I’m going to my house now”, “Please leave my house, you are a stranger.” Not to mention—although I will—“Would you like to come over to my house”, “I do not have a house, please give me some money,” and of course the time you locked yourself out of the apartment last week and all the groceries you were carrying went bad except the canned peaches.

In one and many ways, the Faradays, who themselves resemble houses—windowless, dilapidated skin-houses—enjoy a good canned peach. But what sort of house is theirs: a House of Pain? A Crowded House? A rudderless cover of 3OH!3’s “House Party,” ambling through the words “Gonna have a house party in my house/ Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday/ Party!” like the debauched ronin of ancient beach history. Indeed it is a house unto itself, the centerpiece of the vacation of life.

Thus far, our avant-thesis of this house has been a literal and figurative rearranging of deck chairs, most of which are now stacked in front of the front door to prevent the Faradays  from leaving—a veritable ashtray of exhausted suppositions forming into natural disaster, waiting for a higher tide to both crush and levitate them to an unrealized generality of windmill zeitgeist. To enter this beach house, rather than mincing around its perimeter, is now made impossible (see: deck chairs) lest we throw a rock through the window of our own theorem and attempt direct questioning.

SLACKTORY: So, uh…long time listener, first time caller…haha. I associated this particular house with house-ness the way I associated James Gandolfini, A Tribe Called Quest, clouds, and the lesser works of Joseph Conrad with completely separate things. There’s certainly a lot of sub-bass and strobe lights going on inside there, which is another kind of house-ness. You may not be a traditional mode of transportation, but do you think of yourself as a kind of car or subway?

House: …

Do you like the taste of a well-made Reuben sandwich?

House: …

I see you’re unfamiliar. It’s usually made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and sauerkraut, which in a way identifies itself with Krautrock. There are rumors you have some involvement in the Can’s recording sessions for Tago Mago.

House: …

They make it on rye bread, if that helps to jog your memory.

Police: Sir, we heard reports that someone was breaking windows and shouting in this area. Could you come with us?

I’m not finished establishing the house’s artistic credibility!

Our reporter is in the custody of the Brick Township Police and is being held on $250 bail.

Photo by John Nuttall on Flickr

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