Things We Missed: The Human Fly, Ivamae, Adam Wolf
February in the Northeast is typically one of the most difficult months of the year to make it through. It’s freezing cold, dark, dreary and it often feels like there’s nothing to look forward to. It’s easy to fall into the routine of longing for the warmer months ahead or looking back on better months prior. For the most part, the winter months are pretty easy to spend indoors, and best spent lounging around and talking with likeminded company. Although, we didn’t get the chance to connect with Robert (The Human Fly), Brittany (Ivamae) or Adam (Adam Wolf) in person, we did get to discuss on some important memories that they shared over email/phone.
This Saturday, February 16th The Human Fly, Ivamae and Adam Wolf play at The Karma Birdhouse for I Must Have Missed You Someway. When we initially booked the show, we asked them to share some photos of a person, place or thing that they missed. Then we asked them for the backstory. Their collections and explanations are below.
Both of these photos were taken by a close friend, and to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure where either of them come from, when they were taken, so on and so forth. I picked these because it reminds me of lazier summer evenings in his flat in Connecticut; we'd all get off of work and congregate almost nightly. Sometimes we'd manage to muster up enough energy to go to the bar, but mostly we'd stick around my friend's top floor apartment. Our evenings were simple and poetically consistent; someone would have a six pack of Shiner, someone would pick up fast food for the group. We'd sit and talk for hours about everything and nothing, soundtracked by my friend's vast record collection. We'd talk about which bootleg of Loveless holds up the best, we'd talk about the Trolley problem, we'd talk about things that happened three years ago like they happened yesterday. And usually while this was going on, my friend would be scanning his photography prints — these photos included. These days were nostalgic in real-time, instantly significant because there was an unspoken pact, that these days were numbered, that eventually we're all going to pine for this sort of simplicity.
That nightly congregation is now spread across the globe — some of us live in New York, my friend who took the photos lives in Durham, another teaches in Norway, another lives with her husband in Scotland, and so on. But when I look at these, everything around me slows to a crawl. It feels a little more humid. There's a six pack on top of the chest in lieu of a proper coffee table. The soft hum of the photo scanner blends with the white noise of an insect choir outside.
— Robert Mathis, The Human Fly
The first one is a photograph of the backyard of my Grandparent’s house that they had lived in since 1950, just North of Syracuse. This past summer they moved into a senior living community in the next town over. It was kind of abrupt, at least from my end, because I feel like my family doesn’t really talk about everything all too openly — and to be honest, they didn’t even really tell my grandmother until the day before they were leaving. She’s totally with it, but she’s just really defiant and wants to live in her own house and die in her own house and doesn’t want to leave for obvious reasons. She’s stubborn — and I love her for that. But it just got to the point where she was falling. She’s had back surgeries and hip surgeries and my grandfather’s getting older too — they’re both well into their eighties, so it just didn’t make sense for them to live on their own anymore. So our family kind of made the conscious decision that they had to move and that the house had to be sold. It all kind of happened really quickly, and I went home.
They moved out of the place and my Aunts were just going through all of their stuff and boxing up things, putting them in storage, moving my grandfather’s stuff and giving away a bunch of it. So I sort of went through it and grabbed a bunch of the stuff that I wanted and spent some time by myself there in the back yard.
The house, the home and that whole space is really important to me because I spent so much of my childhood going there with my Dad’s parents. Every Sunday we would end up at their house and my Grandma would make pasta and homemade meatballs with sauce an there would be Italian bread and salad and we would all come over to eat. Afterwards the guys would watch sports and the ladies would play cards or Scrabble and read tabloids. The kids would run around and play — that was just a rock of my youth — on top of my Grandparents babysitting us all of the time. It was my second home, so when all of that happened it hit me really, really hard and was kind of an intense thing to say goodbye to. Even though my Grandparents are still alive, the life that I knew them from or the paradigm or narrative that I remember them in is no longer.
The second photo is one of the photos that I grabbed when I was going through the house, looking for things that I wanted to adopt as my own. I just grabbed photos where I could find them. I saw this one and really liked it. It’s of my Grandmother doing laundry. I like that it’s an candid shot, and not just a head-on, organized portrait of the family. She’s clearly just doing laundry outside, and it’s clearly from the late 70s or early 80s. It’s sort of the peak of my family. My Grandma is a champ — she sewed, she cooked, she was the champion of the 50s housewife era. She loved everyone to death and I think she really enjoyed doing these things and playing that role in the family.
— Brittany Langdon, Ivamae
I took this photo in a park somewhere in Russia. I can't remember the name of the park or place but the girl I was seeing at the time & I went there together. I wanted to shoot a couple of rolls there and I started to take more photos of people rather than landscapes and stuff. I got this father and son walking by and it turned out well. I took a lot of photos of people walking through the palace gardens. I climbed on a random piece of scaffolding to get the photo for the New Light Walking single. I miss Russia, I miss that time. There’s nothing that I can really go back to, but I like having the photo to remember it by.
In 2017 I went on long road trip all around the country. After a long wait in a terrible line to see this giant deteriorating canyon I stood on the edge of the canyon wall to get the photo. It’s just another reminder of the trip. I don’t keep it anywhere special. I have big box of photos — I keep everything in there.
— Adam Wolf
The Human Fly, Ivamae and Adam Wolf play Burlington, VT on Saturday, February 16th at The Karma Bird House. Entry to the event is $7 // RSVP to the event here.
- hope all is well