Things We Missed: Bleach Day
Vinny Marksohn and Lou Kiley are the best buds and production duo behind Burlington-based lo-fi pop group, Bleach Day. The two first met at the University of Vermont some years ago and bonded over VHS culture and their beloved TASCAM 388 tape recorder. The band was ultimately borne out of their time as roommates and an at-home recording project that traversed through dingy apartment leases. At this point, Bleach Day is a 5-piece band 3 years in and nearing completion of a much anticipated LP2. Because of their devout studio work we rarely have the opportunity to see them play — so we’re pretty excited to be bringing them out of the hibernation and into an intimate concert setting. It felt fitting to get up close & personal with them before their show this Tuesday at The Karma Bird House, so we asked the Bleach Boys to share photos of a person, place or thing that they miss, along with a memory attached to the exposure for our ongoing Things We Missed series.
I was about 7 or 8 when my uncle Shelly gave me my first camera, and I realized that meant I could capture the world as I saw it. I became obsessed with optical illusions, and reflections in water, but I was always particularly interested in “infinity” created with two mirrors. In the bathroom at my parents’ house, I’d use the big mirror, and grab my mom’s handheld makeup vanity to create this effect.
I’ve always experienced Déjà vu pretty often, and I guess the philosophical element of infinity just drew me in. Every time I was supposed to be brushing my teeth, instead I’d probably be opening up that portal and trying to see what was at the end of it. I do really miss the feeling of discovery and excitement this photo reminds me of, and my naivety in thinking that I’d be able to see the end of infinity one day.
These two photos are among the very few I do have physical copies of in my home. In fact, there aren’t many memories in my own possession – physically, digitally, and sometimes even mentally. But these two photos have hung around my house for the past couple of years, living in various drawers, though never lost in the clutter.
They were just test photos on a new Polaroid when I took them, but both elicit very strong feelings of nostalgia from me. They were both taken two summers ago, and every time I look at them I am immediately drawn back into that time in an almost physical way. The one on the left shows the very first time I grew flowers. Pictured are the grandparents of the flowers that are growing in my garden today. They are several winters gone, and yet through this photo I still feel some special personality from them, as if they are long lost friends.
The one on the right is of my partner’s cat, Squishy. Don’t worry – he’s doing well. I’m snuggling with him right now! I considered not including it, because it’s hard to explain why it brings up such deep emotions. I took this photo of him, and I can never get over how human his expression is, as he’s asking to be let outside when he’s not allowed. A few days after this was taken, my partner moved to her own space, and Squishy went with. At the time, the photo made me wonder whether that was the last time he would live with me, and I had to hide it in a drawer. Even though that turned out to be far from the eventual reality, it still makes me wish I had just said “yes” to whatever he wanted from me in that moment.
These shots are from my Grandparents's land in Charlotte. They passed away almost 15 years ago, but when they were alive the land was a magical little kingdom. My Grandparents built various houses ranging from little to large that my Grandmother, Annie, named things like "Castle Forest" and "Mountain Village". My Grandfather had his landscape architecture practice housed in one of their bigger houses, and my Grandmother kept horses, chickens, and rabbits. My Dad is one of eight children and I'm one of 19 cousins on his side, so needless to say, there was a lot of activity.
Part of the uncanniness of the place, was the deep sense of history. A branch of my Annie's family came to the Americas in the 1600s, and she had inherited books, letters, silver, paintings, furniture, and other things from at least the 1700s. Annie seemed to sew wonder and spirituality together in a singular, fantastical way. My Grandfather's offices held plans and papers from the work he had done all around the world. When the office was in full swing, the plethora of drafting tables were in constant use. The atmosphere reminds me of an old master's workshop when I think back to what it was like - something from another era.
After my Grandfather died, my Grandmother followed him about a year later. Two weeks after she passed away, the big house they lived in got struck by lightning in a massive storm and burned down. The fire took a lot from us, but the worst part was how my family changed. Breaking up the estate caused all sorts of rifts that never fully repaired. I miss that sense of connection we shared when Pop and Annie were alive.
Bleach Day play The Karma Bird House with Fog Lake, Trace Mountains and Forrest Brandt this Tuesday, June 4th. Entry to the event is $10 // Buy tickets here.
- hope all is well