Every Record I Own - Day 203: Cave In Anomalies Vol. 1
This is the last of my Cave In posts. I’ve delayed this one for awhile, partially due to my tour schedule but also because I’ve struggled to find something to say about it. Anomalies is a collection of outtakes, rarities, and cover songs. And like most collections, it’s a fun accessory for the fan but lacks the general cohesion or overall sense of purpose of a proper studio album. With the passing of bassist Caleb Scofield hovering in the back of my mind, talking about Anomalies doesn’t feel like a fitting epitaph.
So I stalled. But tour wrapped up yesterday, so I no longer have that as an excuse for my procrastination. And with yesterday came the news that another old friend of mine passed away.
I’d known Michael Ryan “Rocco” Tandy since high school. He was at the first Botch shows. He was the muse behind several Roy songs. He helped facilitate me and my husband getting together. But he was an alcoholic with a dark side, and I distanced myself over the years. He bounced around the country, occasionally turning up at random Russian Circles shows. The nights would start pleasantly but turn ugly. Caleb’s death was sudden and unexpected, but Rocco’s death by liver failure at the age of 39 seemed only a little premature.
These posts are exercises in memory: remembering where I first heard the songs, remembering where I bought the records, remembering the affiliations and connections. Talking about Cave In albums has been bittersweet because my memories of Caleb were all positive. Thinking about Rocco has been different. There were good memories: the nights we’d drive around Tacoma deliberately crashing into trashcans or the time he confronted a bunch of frat boys that were making fun of my husband. But then there were the later days where he seemed angry and resentful that his friends had become successful and seemed compelled to viciously put them down. Alcoholism is a disease, but anyone that’s dealt with an addict knows the struggle of juggling empathy with an expectation of accountability and general decency.
It’s a sad, shitty situation and it’s a tangent that is perhaps unfair to tack onto these posts, but it’s weighing heavily on my mind. I don’t have strong memories attached to Anomalies, but it will now always be a record I associate with the passing of old friends.