Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 10th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size


music PickwickSeattle band, Pickwick, leaves its songs open to interpretation

Rarely does a band avoid putting an autobiographical slant on its music. But when it comes to Pickwick’s forthcoming release, Can’t Talk Medicine, due out on March 12, singer/songwriter Galen Disston and multi-instrumentalist Kory Kruckenberg are determined to keep their distance.

“Each of the songs on the record is about an idea, character, moment or story I heard about that seemed to be completely without context,” Disston says. “They seemed completely original to me. None of it is personal or autobiographical.”

The decision to write about non-personal material for this record is in line with Pickwick’s evolution as a band. Originally founded as an Americana/folk outfit in 2008, there was a time when Disston dove frequently into personal musings. And while he is not ashamed of that period of time in his growth as a songwriter, he has definitely gotten it out of his system.

“I wrote a song early on where I belied Exxon and feared for my kids’ future with an organization like Exxon out there controlling what goes on in our world,” Disston says. “So I’ve had the experience of writing autobiographically.”

After releasing a series of soulful 7-inches in 2011 that eventually became Myths—an extremely popular EP in their native Seattle—Pickwick is back with what the band considers to be its first proper release, Can’t Talk Medicine. The album, as well as their three-track EP, January’s Covers, has more of a neo-soul quality to it than previous releases, but even that can be debated.

“We don’t really describe ourselves as a soul band,” Disston says. “Though we do draw inspiration from bands that drew inspiration from ’60s R&B, such as The Animals, Spencer Davis Group, The Sonics here in Washington and music Pickwick2early Rolling Stones.”

The content is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the record, both for the listeners and the band, in part because Disston and Kruckenberg are purposefully cryptic about what’s going on in the songs.

“There are clues and subjects in each of the songs,” Disston says, “and I want people to have that experience of discovering the subject on their own. For me as a listener, that has been really rewarding when I’m able to project my own meaning onto the songs, whether they’re accurate or not. I don’t want to take that away from people.”

“We hope there are people out there who will do the same with our music as opposed to us just having to lay everything out for them,” Kruckenberg agrees.

Though when pressed hard enough, Kruckenberg does divulge some information about the album’s content.

“All the songs are about artists who were struggling with mental illness,” Kruckenberg says. “It’s that balancing act as an artist where you’re giving yourself over completely to your art, and in turn you’re disregarding everything that makes up a healthy lifestyle. And that comes back to us, because we’re writing songs and creating music, and it’s pretty intense sometimes. There’s a certain amount of crazy that we approach in that scenario.”

While always willing to push the boundaries with regard to what they are capable of as a band, they are cognizant of where that proverbial line is and do what they can to avoid crossing it.

Still, “There are times when we relapse,” Disston admits with a laugh.

Hopefully they can keep the relapses to a minimum. 

Pickwick will perform at 9 p.m. Thursday, March 7 at Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. Tickets are $12/adv, $14/door. For more information, call 603-2294.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Hot in Here

This ain’t no Burning Man—the MAH’s GLOW festival flames on


Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Film, Times & Events: Week of October 9

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Seoul Food

Santa Cruz’s new Sesame Korean is a great introduction to an ancient culinary tradition


Is there evil in the world?

Yes, some people don’t think right because they have been treated badly. Milo Robbins, Scotts Valley, Second Grade


Dos Aguilas Olive Oil

Aptos company is letting locals pick their own olives in October


What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people say they’re “going down” somewhere, and they’re actually traveling north. Julia Ragen, Santa Cruz, Psychologist