Stillwater Black came together in 1991 when Chris Thayer met Ahmed and Sam Pierstorff while playing in the pit band for a high school musical production. Issac McCorkell was quickly recruited on drums and the band recorded its first EP, The Last Virtuous Lady of Athens.

In 1995 they signed with Cleaves Entertainment, a now-defunct independent label based out of Southern California's Inland Empire. Stillwater Black recorded their debut LP, Adam. They played frequently with local and national acts including Dishwalla, Save Ferris, Reel Big Fish, and IE punk/ska mainstays, The Skeletones.

In 1997 the members parted ways and the project lay dormant for two decades.

Monday, February 26, 2018


It's been just about two months since we've written anything here. My dad died December 27th, 2017, just two days after our last blog post. God bless him and have mercy upon his soul.

I would love the opportunity to fall into some melodramatic spiel about how his death rendered me incapable of communicating. But that's not what happened.

My computer broke.

Or at least I thought it did. It wouldn't charge. So I bought a new charger. And it still wouldn't charge. I found a local repair shop, but they were closed. I tried again another day. They were on vacation. I tried again some weeks later. They were sick. And again later. They were remodeling.

Then again this past Wednesday. They plugged in my computer and it charged fine. They said nothing was wrong.

In many ways that little story describes the last two months. Lots of energy not really translating into big results. Running around, panicking, only to find out everything is fine. Different, not what one would typically expect, but fine nonetheless.

I mentioned in a previous post that upon my father's death I would have likely have no place to live. That all came shockingly true and there has been a lot of time spent just trying to figure out how to survive. My mom reads this blog and her blood pressure runs a bit high and she gets really anxious about things so I'm going to leave out some details here. I will say that things are very unconventional at the moment.

And the novelty of my situation has brought with it some precious realizations. There is no better antidote to apathy than loss. Loss puts all of your uncounted blessings into high relief. These days, after the blessing of a shower I feel amazing. After the blessing of a good night's sleep I feel born again. After the blessing of a hot meal I feel like a king.

Life for me at the moment is about moments. Everything has to be planned. Everything from making sure I have enough water to figuring out how and where I'm going to charge my phone. It's a primal, immediate existence and it's exactly what I need.

I've always done my best work with a burr in my saddle. Comfort, for me, has only ever led to complacency. I subconsciously undermine any situation that begins to feel too good, too nice, too warm or secure.

I don't know why that is (actually, I have some ideas), but it's a fact, and the moment I'm in now is the penultimate consequence of my working very hard to sabotage anything that looked too much like success as conventionally understood.

But this isn't a blog about me. This blog is meant to be something of a chronicle of our band, the people in it, and the music we make. We cannot make music together unless there are shared resonances, shared frequencies that allow us to vibe with one another. And to that end, I'll share something that Chris wrote more than 20 years ago in Judas and the Angel:

the waves keep pounding
my muse watches unhappily
wishing she didn't feed on
the pain, the hurt, the misery

There is a part of us that would love to relax into the comforts that so many around us seem to enjoy. But that's just not what we're made of. We were created, it seems, to internalize life's tiny and great hostilities, to become ugly when ugliness could not be immediately found, and to transmute that ugliness into something beautiful and palatable. We distill these horrors and bring forth stories that help you to celebrate your victories and lament your losses.

We're like a couple of coal miners, men who descend into the bowels of the earth, blackening their faces and poisoning their lungs so that the rest of us can have heat and light to live and love by.

Somebody's gotta' do it :)

And every once in awhile we come up for air. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and SoundCloud.

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