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You have a one-track find - 'Trashman Shoes'

Shoulders plays in store performance at Cactus Music
Shoulders plays in store performance at Cactus Music
Bob Langham

The “One-track find” feature is an expedition of sorts to unearth lost musical treasure which falls through the cracks of the beaten path and gets trampled underneath by the thoughtless footsteps of profit-driven music merchants and an impressionable and easily satisfied music consuming public. It delivers these buried and overlooked treasures for the true music makers and true music listeners one song at a time. It advances the revolutionary idea that it’s the prophets in music not the profits that can change the world, even if it’s only the small corner of the world in which you live. It couldn’t be simpler. All that’s required of you, is to listen with your ears, your heart, your soul, and your imagination, and let the music return you to a familiar place or confidently lead you somewhere you’ve never been before.

Love may conquer all, but it’s music that will be your sole, dedicated ally when you are the one conquered and beaten down by love gone wrong.

Down by love

Love is a many splintered thing. It’s great when all parties involved play by the rules and the hearts and minds are in the same place and keeping perfect time. However, in the real world - where you actually live and pay the rent, this is rarely the case. It’s excruciating and more common when two hearts can’t keep the simple rhythm, and even worse when they are singing a completely different tune.

You've probably been down this lonely, deserted road and honestly feared you’d never find your way back. If you've ever had the wind knocked out of you by love not returned, or even more traumatic, a love flippantly dismissed and scoffed at by the object of your desire, then you know the avalanche of tumultuous emotions that can crash down on your heart and your soul and bury alive your self-esteem.

You desperately want to claw through the layers - hurt, embarrassment, disappointment, jealousy, emptiness, disgust, isolation, and rage - to the surface and live and love again. It’s going to be a long journey back. You could fork out the money for therapy if you can afford it, or seek the comfort of family and friends. However, both require exposing yourself and baring your soul to others. Isn't that what drove you down this lonely road in the first place? Your only solace in times like these, is your one true objective, nonjudgmental, and unconditional friend to the very end - Music. Let it take you by the hand and help you find your way back to where you want and need to be.

“Still he brings them home to her
when those red buds bloom
and she cheapens their sweet scent
with the smell of her stale perfume
still a rose is a rose is a rose
by any other smell”


“Trashman Shoes,” the title track to the 1992 release from Austin, Texas band Shoulders (Michael Slattery, Buxf Parrot, Todd Kassens, Alan Williams, and Hunter Darby) doesn't just take your hand and walk you through troubled times.

Taking out the trash

"Trashman Shoes" grabs your hand and yanks you to your feet, nearly pulling your arm out of its socket in the process.

It’s a dark and festive catharsis for anyone burned by selfish, unrequited love. It bellows rage from the deepest caverns of a wounded soul even as it tip-toes merrily along to an underlying, jolly carnival beat. It’s the silver lining of a dark, cloudy relationship that never materialized as desired. Shoulders purges you of the pain and turmoil in a coarse, fevered release of suppressed emotions.

On the surface, it might seem like “Trashman Shoes” condones and even encourages violent retribution against those who toy with your emotions for their own personal, twisted enjoyment. However, it’s more of an acknowledgement of the toll this kind of behavior can have on your soul and your spirit and the depths of despair at which you can find yourself at the hands of another.

“Trashman Shoes” rescues you from the depths and pulls you back to dry and level land. It’s a celebratory, musical exorcism for a broken heart. It’s music where you want it - by your side, as your one true ally when you need it most.

"Trashman Shoes" is difficult to find these days on vinyl, compact disc, or at the usual digital avenues. However, you can still hear it on YouTube and feel its full therapeutic effect when Shoulders plays it live in concert as they did a few months ago at a free in store performance at Cactus Music in Houston.

Click here to listen to “Trashman Shoes.”

You can find out more about Shoulders by visiting their Facebook page or by going to their website.

Shoulders has a new album out called “Another Round” where you can hear more of their unique musical celebrations.

Shoulders will be playing live in Austin, Texas at the Continental Club on Friday, February 14, 2014.

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