Interview with Unnoted Recluse Part 2

Publish or perish is a thing people say, right? I have no idea, but I do know websites need to throw as much stuff up there as possible or people lose interest, fast. So, here is part two of’s (WAAB) interview with member(s) of South Dakota’s own The Beards. We are skipping ahead a little in the interview from last time.

WAAB: Alright Joe, let’s move on (This time Joe just gets up and sprints for the door. Jake Kerby, lead guitarist, happens to be sitting in our waiting room). Jake! Can I get a word with you?!
Enter Jake Kerby… with a snake.
Jake: (To the sprinting, and clearly dangerously out of shape singer) Hey Joe, where you goin’ with that gun of yours? (Singing to the Jimi Hendrix tune and wildly thrashing on air guitar for an extended period of time. Eventually, Jake goes through the whole mime act of lighting the guitar on fire and watching it burn. It takes nearly seventeen minutes).

Jake: (to no one in particular) Joe looks up with a feigned smile, then exits the room while others stare in a hushed awe.
WAAB: Sorry, what was that?
Jake: I’m trying out this new thing where I am the world’s voice over. I imagine you will want to use a different font for my helpful and witty observations so the dullards you count among your readers can follow along… he said in a sexy baritone.
WAAB: Okay, we can do that.

Jake: And make sure you go back to the first thing I said and change that too.
WAAB: Sure.

Jake: You’re not going to go back, are you?
WAAB: If we have time, but probably not.
Jake: Please don’t use comic sans either. It will make me sound stupid.
WAAB: Fine.
Jake: You were using comic sans, weren’t you.
WAAB: We were, but we’ll change it from here. Moving on.

Jake insisted this be used.
Jake insisted this be used.

Jake: Oh, fun. Where are we going?
WAAB: I just mean… nevermind. Let’s just stay here. Would you mind finishing the interview for us?
Jake: Sure thing, where is the camera? You are only allowed to film at forty degrees off center to my left side.
WAAB: No camera, just me.
Jake: I know a camera guy, want me to call him?
WAAB: That’s okay.
Jake: But where did the pictures of Joe come from?
WAAB: Those were pictures he took of himself and gave to us.
Jake: Oh, I’ll send you some then.

Artist's rendering. Not actual photo.
Artist’s rendering. Not actual photo.

WAAB: Really, don’t bother. Also, how do you know we have pictures to go with his interview? This won’t be posted until, at the earliest, tomorrow.
Jake: Jake sits back and lets the full weight of his genius sink in.
Editor’s Note: At this time Jake handed us an 8-track tape and insisted we play it at full volume for the remainder of the interview.  It was really aggressive polka music, and it made some of the interactions with Mr. Kerby difficult to hear.

WAAB: My first question is simply- is Joe OK?
Jake: Joe? He’s great, most creative guy I have ever met. Has little tolerance for certain questions- that is unless he is being paid to tolerate them.
WAAB: Being paid?
Jake: Joe and I are educators, we are in the business of sculpting young minds- it is part of our job to tolerate certain questions. Jake nailed the answer, it was clear the journalist had no idea what he meant by certain questions.
WAAB: I thought that there are no stupid questions?

Jake: But, see, I said certain questions.
WAAB: Right, but I think it’s clear you mean…
Jake: Certain questions.
WAAB: So, stupid questions.
Jake: Your words. He said in a convincing manner that moved the interview on to more important things.
WAAB: What?

Jake: Nothing.
WAAB: Are you going to keep changing tenses in your voice over? It might get confusing for the reader.
Jake: You might get confusing for the reader. (long pause)

WAAB: Anyway, why then do people say “there are no stupid questions”.
Jake: Well, that’s what people say when they are tolerating certain questions…
WAAB: Ok, no stupid questions, I promise. Joe seemed to have a hard time communicating with us- is he some sort of music savant?
Jake: (under his breath) He asked stupidly.

Jake: Look, here’s the thing. Joe only really listens to me, or anyone really, when they sing to him. I think you would have had much better luck singing your questions to him.
WAAB: Really?
Jake: I picked it up pretty early. I never felt he was listening to me except when I was singing. We had to do some early editing of the lyrics because the original lines in “Mistake” were like “what chords are you playing?” And, “who starts this song.” Not great lyrics, but it helped the band.
WAAB: I am sorry, but I can’t help but be a little distracted by that snake you are holding. Is it poisonous?
Jake: There are no stupid questions…
WAAB: Sorry?

Jake Kerby with poisonous Gardener snake?
Jake Kerby with poisonous Gardener snake?

Jake: Yes, you are. Jake totally burned the overmatched journalist. Jake then seamlessly transitioned back into his answer. This is not a poisonous snake, because snakes are not poisonous, but venomous. You bite poisonous things, venomous things bite you. And, no, this is a Common Garter Snake, Thamnophis sirtalis.
WAAB: A buddy of mine had a pet gardener snake.

Jake: (Sighs) Am I getting paid for this interview?
WAAB: No, but just a few more quick questions- and I promise, no stupid ones.
Jake: Jake repeated in a calming voice his mantra with a reassuring smile; there are no stupid questions. There are no stupid questions.
WAAB: So you appear to have a very successful career in biology. You have brought in over a million dollars in grant money, and published over 50 papers, and I recently saw from the USD website your lab was featured for its research. How do you balance all this with a music career?
Jake: I also won the Belbas Larson award.
WAAB: Sorry, what was that?
Jake: Belbas Larson.
WAAB: Right, Belbas Larson. (At his point, Jake furiously tapped on a piece of paper he was holding that I later would find out was his CV)
Jake: Jake angrily whispered through cupped hands; Make it sound natural or this interview is over!
WAAB: (reading) Oh yes, the University of South Dakota’s top award for teaching excellence.
Jake: He said with the presence and magnetism of a Folivora.
WAAB: Sorry?

Jake: I also won the Cutler award…
WAAB: Right, the award named for famed Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
Jake: Slowly and menacingly L…O…L (jabbing at the paper again)
WAAB: Right, I mean the top award in the College of Arts and Sciences for Teaching and Research.
Jake: And the President’s Research award… but, I actually lost that.
WAAB: So, you were nominated, but you didn’t actually win. That’s big of you to not only discuss your triumphs. I think fans will like to see some humility.
Jake: I’m actually really humble. Probably the most humble guy you ever met. He said humbly, almost presidential.
WAAB: Right…I’m just saying it’s nice to hear about something you didn’t win.

Jake: No, it’s not that. I did win. I just have so many awards; I don’t have any idea where I put it.
WAAB: Right, right. I mean, that’s probably a thing. Any other awards you care to tell us about? 

A rare Jake Kerby sighting in his natural habitat.
A rare Jake Kerby sighting in his natural habitat.

Jake: Number one Dad as voted on by the Kerby household.
WAAB: Anything else?
Jake: I won a spelling bee in 4th grade.
WAAB: Anything else?
Jake: I’m pretty good at checkers.
WAAB: One more?
Jake: I once skipped a rock thirteen times.
WAAB: Really?
Jake: Okay, it was twelve. You happy now?
WAAB: I haven’t been happy for a long time. Anything else?
Jake: I mean, I don’t like to brag.
WAAB: Are you sure?
Jake: Okay, well- last year we won the Best Float in the D-Days parade!
WAAB: Did that float feature any music?
Jake: He asked desperately trying to get the interview back on track even though it was his own tangential line of questioning that brought them to the place they were at. No, but we had turtles and snakes on it!
WAAB: Any poisonous snakes?
Jake: Were you a communications major?
WAAB: OK, well one final question. What is your motivation as a musician to write such great songs?
Jake: Our fan.
WAAB: You mean fans?
Jake: I wish…No, I mean Jose. He seems really into the music.
WAAB: But you seem to have a really big local following- you must know you have more than one fan.
Jake: Perhaps, but they don’t get it like Jose does. And, can I just say, you better make sure that when you print this “interview” you make sure to put that thing above the “e” in Jose’s name.
WAAB: The diacritical mark?
Jake: I should straight up slap your face.
WAAB: Also, what is up with this band and the strange use of air quotes?
Jake: I’m not sure I understand your question.
WAAB: Fine, we’ll add the mark from this point on. Back to the questions, who is this José?
Jake: José is that part of your brain that connects with the musical ether. That feeling when you just enter into another space and everything else falls away. It is the Nirvana that Kurt Cobain was reaching for.
WAAB: So José is an idea, a feeling really, not a real person?
Jake: No, he is real. He is the city engineer.
WAAB: Ok, I think I got what I need.
Jake: Just direct me to the photo shoot room so we can include some stills with this snake. I assume there is some award for outstanding achievement in being interviewed? Jake exited the small cramped offices as every eye was glued to him. His presence permeated the room like the bitter musk of an aardvark.

Thus concludes part two of our ongoing interview with The Beards. Thanks to staff writer Dennis Marsch for jumping on the grenade that was interviewing Jake Kerby.

Interview with Unnoted Recluse Part 1

Everyone here at was excited when we found out that we would get a chance to interview Beard’s lead singer/songwriter Joseph Raiche between his long stretches of almost complete inaction.
We would have printed the interview in its entirety, but much of what he says is rambling and thinly veiled threats. What follows are the best bits. We hope you enjoy. So, tell us about what the last year has been like playing with a new group. 20160823_092828
JR: I don’t understand the question. Well, it wasn’t really a question.
JR: Then I don’t understand the statement. Fine. How are things with the new group?
JR: Why, what have you heard? No, nothing like that. It was just meant to be an icebreaker; a getting to know you softball question. It’s fine; we can just move on.
JR: So, we’re done? What?
JR: You’re moving on? No. Not “moving on.” We will just move on to other question. OK?
JR: OK. You were quoted as saying, “It has been rendered the solemn duty of the Supreme Court of the United States, laid upon it by Congress in pursuance of the Federal Government’s power ‘[t]o regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States,’ to decide What Is Golf.”
JR: Yes, many times. What is it that you mean by that?20160823_094054
JR: I’m not sure what you’re asking? The quote. It seems to have little to do with music.
JR: I guess, if you look at it from one perspective. What is the other perspective?
JR: Whom is the other perspective. Sorry?
JR: You mean, “Whom is the other perspective.” I don’t think that’s right.
JR: Well, agree to disagree. Moving on. (At this point Joseph Raiche got up to leave again misunderstanding the idiomatic phrase) Wait. Not moving on as in leaving, just moving on to the next question.
JR: Right. Sorry. So, you guys have another show coming up?
JR: Yeah, at the Wine Fest. August 27. Right, but you also have another show just a few weeks later? 20160823_105140
JR: Right. We are playing at the Varsity in Vermillion, SD September 16. That must be exciting.
JR: Absolutely. You seem hesitant.
JR: (long pause) No, I (another long pause) don’t. Are you worried that your eclectic mix of dance-unfriendly original music will alienate your audience that more than likely is showing up for the fact that they know you rather than actually enjoying the music? And to follow up on that, do you think playing multiple shows just weeks apart will put a strain on those friends who are trying to balance maintaining their relationship with you and their desire to not have to sit through another two hours of songs they can’t sing along to and rhythms that they don’t want to dance to?
JR: Not until right now, I didn’t. Well, what do you think about it?
JR: It is an oddly specific question, but I will answer it as best I can. Sure, there is an existential dilemma here. We don’t really have time to discuss whether people are “born” to do something. If we assume that people do have a “purpose,” then in that scenario there are people whose purpose is to 20160823_105232passively enjoy the work of others. This seems like an absurd idea. Instead, I think it is easier to just assume that we don’t have inherent purpose, and people can do whatever they want. If people choose to come to our shows, we are thankful, but there is no assumption that they “want” to be there. Instead, it is the understanding that they simply “are” there. Wait, why did you put air quotes around the word “born?” Do you not believe people are born?
JR: I never really got the hang of air quotes. (pause) Or Health class. So, you mean you don’t care if people show up to your shows?
JR: That is not what I said at all; I am a fragile human being. Fragile. What do you mean?
JR: I don’t understand the question. Oh no, not this time. What did you mean?
JR: It has been rendered the solemn duty of the Supreme Court of the United States, laid upon it by Congress in pursuance of the Federal Government’s power ‘[t]o regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States,’ to decide What Is Golf.” Really?
JR: Nods (Note: he actually said the word “nods.” He never actually nodded.) What makes you get up there on that stage if you seem so conflicted about the audience, about what you are doing, about the music?
JR: To love, and to be loved.

This marks the end of part one of our interview. Part two will be posted when we have time.

A Posterior Post for Posterity

Thanks to the organizers and attendees of Thursdays on the Platz on August 4th. After the rain calmed down, it turned out to be a good show for a good group of people.

Thanks to Allison Huff at Luminescence Photography for capturing these pieces of time. Check out her other work at

More photos from this show and others can be found under the photos tab.

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I can’t understand him, can you?

Over the past few months, there have been nearly three people who have asked for the lyrics to some of the Beards songs. Well, since that same traffic can regularly be found scouring every nook and cranny of the website looking for some update or piece of news, we figured it would be easy enough to just dump all the lyrics to the songs we will be playing this August 4th.

Of course, if you come here after the 4th, the words will still be here. They aren’t going anywhere.

Lyrics page has been added to the list


If I can get anything to work, there should just be a link below:

Words and Words and Words and Words

4th of July

The Beards are many things to many people.

At our finest, we even make lovers fall deeper in love!


Whenever anyone asks what it’s like being a Beard, I remember the (slightly edited for content) words of the great Kanye West.

Because Life


Everybody Here

I wrote you a letter

I should have known better

the lines at the bottom say, “Sincerely, I love you.”

The whiskey is empty

Wine bottles are broken

I kept only one picture of you as a token. cropped-cropped-Beards-Stamp-1.jpg

Wind up

Then let the tension out.

Eyes Up

Don’t make this all about

You lost

The panic in your voice

You won

But you’re still fighting.

Of Things in the Past

Band Howlers 4 30

Howler’s show has come and gone. It is always such a strange experience to have people congregate at a place and time for the purpose (not the sole) of watching you sing and play music. Thank you to everyone who came out (few of which will read this, but perhaps).

Thanks to Blue Ruin, it was fun to play the double billing. Joining forces and audiences made for a good night all around.

Thanks to Ben for running sound; we will make it easier sooner, we promise.

A new song, “The Hero Dies at the End” has been added to the “Music” page. We hope you like it.