Kid Icarus - Bad Timing Now
Over the weekend, I got this touching letter about love from Eric Schlittler:
My name is Eric and I wanted to share a little about my latest tape and myself with you and your readers.
"Another black day is dawning. Just you and your broken heart; the feeling everything is falling apart."
As I sang the lyrics to this song, I had little idea what a self-fulfilling prophecy they would turn out to be. It’s early Winter, 2013. I’m singing a song I wrote for my band Kid Icarus in my friend Nate’s home studio in Scranton, PA. I’ve sang a lot of Kid Icarus songs in various living rooms, basements, bars and private homes in Pennsylvania since I began recording under the Kid Icarus moniker around 1996. The music I make would probably be considered by most to be a strain of lo-fi indie rock. Inspired by the high school sounds of Sonic Youth, Sebadoh, Guided by Voices and Pavement; along with a million obscure 7”s and The Velvet Underground (of course). Have there been other music projects that have called themselves Kid Icarus? Sure, but I would like to think I might be the first to use it. What started as a solo recording project slowly evolved into a band organically over time. With lots of good friends joining me on my quixotic quest and bringing unique contributions, which only helped to make each release its own.
There has never a big breakthrough success for Kid Icarus. A little critical acclaim, an offer to make another record and the sheer force of will; has been enough to keep the project and the band going all these years. It’s partially our own fault; we’ve done little in the way of touring. Instead, I decided to put our efforts and finances towards making the best music possible on a shoestring budget, pressing small runs on CD, vinyl or tape and sending them all over creation. It was and is the economics of a dream.
Shortly after those aforementioned 2013 sessions that would birth and an all but almost totally ignored split 12” with our good friends, Cold Coffee, came the diagnosis. My wife, Cassie was diagnosed with cancer. My best friend since 1994 and wife since 2009, Cassie often lent her voice, art, support, critical ear and even one of her own songs to Kid Icarus. In the early days, it was mostly just she & I mucking around on my cassette 4 track or boom box, singing made up songs about vegetable girls, turtle soup and other unmentionables.
As the Summer of 2013 crept upon us, the dark cloud of sickness loomed large with so many appointments, treatments, preventative measures and surgeries. A distraction from the darkness came in the form of an offer from my friend Matt from Hope for the Tape Deck. An offer to compile a Kid Icarus rarities anthology for his newly minted tape label. The evenings were now filled with attic excavations, digging through mountains of CD-Rs filled with demos, the humming of my old 4 track and lots of great memories of days and people, now long gone. The Summer wore into Fall and the mountain of newly reclaimed tunes was whittled into what approximated a single volume anthology of highlights.
It’s now Winter 2014 and my box of tapes have just arrived from the label. I called it, Dig Archaeology - 13 Years of Lost Songs. The tapes looked great; replete with old school faux Columbia Records style “Nice Price” cassette trappings (courtesy of Cassie) and a picture of her & I on the front. A picture taken some 10 years earlier, an old publicity photo for a public that never seemed too interested. As I opened the tape to inspect the interior art, I noticed a ghostly photo of her lined up perfectly to where the tape rests on the inside of the j-card. There she was staring back at me: standing in the hallway of our old apartment from so long ago. I had a moment of realization that she truly has and has always been my muse. Now, there is much to look forward to. My wife is now cancer free and we are both free of those dark Summer days.
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