Farewell, Jack’s Mannequin

On August 24th, Andrew McMahon wrote a brief essay eloquently describing his state of mind and the direction of his life.  Most notably, he wrote:

I will be trading in old masks for one with my name written on the inside

In other words, the project known as Jack’s Mannequin is no more.  This makes me feel odd and uneasy on the inside, like an entire era of my life just ended.  Clearly the man is still around and will continue to perform, as himself, but I still can’t shake this strange feeling.

Since I was in grade school I’ve been a fan of Something Corporate.  As a budding piano player, any band who used the piano as a primary instrument was an automatic favorite.  Songs like “Konstantine” and “Cavanaugh Park” had been flowing out of my speakers all during high school, even though Something Corporate disbanded shortly after I finished ninth grade.  When I arrived at RPI, I made quick friends with a number of people in my hall.  I spent most of my time in late August after moving in hanging out with and getting to know them.  It was through one of them that I was introduced to Jack’s Mannequin.  In high school she had made a music video for the song “Miss Delaney” for a audio/visual arts class or something and she showed it to me one day during that week.  Obviously I recognized Andrew’s distinct voice, but I was wholly unfamiliar with this new band.  I was immediately intrigued, but alas it wasn’t long before I was fully immersed in college classes.

My freshman year, in music form.

Around a month later, I finally decided to download “Everything in Transit” and give it a spin.  Despite the season’s end, the upbeat California indie rock blasting out of my speakers brought the summer feelings roaring back, especially those of that first week of college.  It wasn’t long before it solidified its place among my absolute favorite records where it remains to this day.  Even now, I can’t listen to “Miss Delaney” without visualizing my old friend’s music video and the times we spent hanging out in the hall.  In truth, we only really hung out that first week before classes got in the way, but it doesn’t matter.  I look back on that time as a defining moment of my freshman year and the beginning of the best part of my life so far.

Five years to the day that I discovered Jack’s Mannequin, they cease to be.  I don’t find this in any way fitting or poetic.  My irrational brain keeps trying to tell me that August 24th 2007 and August 24th 2012 are bookends to something, but I don’t accept that.  Jack’s Mannequin might be gone, but as long as I’m around I’ll be listening to their music, reminiscing fondly but always swimming onward.  More than ever, I’m looking forward to hearing what Andrew writes in the future.

[note:  I just discovered that Everything in Transit was released on August 23, 2005.  That’s one hell of a coincidence.]

“Swim”, from The Glass Passenger, the sound of my autumn of 2008.

“Diane, The Skyscraper”, from Dear Jack EP, the sound of my autumn of 2009

“Television”, from People and Things, the sound of my adventures throughout California, in the fall of 2011.  See a trend here?


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