Syntax Issue 10
Denver Syntax

The idea of an unsympathetic universe has always pursued me with a bleeding miasma of half-thoughts and recurring dreamscapes. I’ve meditated long on these visions, these hallucinations. And while I’ve found many keys to clarification – I found one more in an unexpected place: in the Denver/Boulder act of Victor Grimm – an act that stands testament to the notion that you don’t have to be a house to be haunted – you simply need be an idea, or, a man.

As it often happens with paranormal encounters: sometimes we all walk into the same room on the same night, under the same chandelier and then – voila! we can all finally see each other. Victor Grimm signals many things to me, but our provenance began a little like this: bumping into one other in the dead of a waxing moon - in an old farm house on the eastern Colorado plains.

Hailing from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Casey Dentinger and Brennan Goetzman came to Colorado in-search of a new place to call home. They came to find a place that was without the pressure of deadlines and expectation. They came to find a new sound – the sound of this moment, this year, this day. Once a part of a band called Brothers Quetico, Dentinger and Goetzman dissipated what they created and left for a new life – anywhere but there below the freezing breeze of the 10,000 lakes. And so, they settled here, just outside the Queen City of the Plains.

But understand this: neither men were running from anything. It was simply a clarification on their lives – for instead of remaining passive in an unsympathetic music scene, both Dentinger and Goetzman took-to the choices allotted to any man, or ghost, and walked slowly downwind for a new house to haunt; a new land to till.

Victor Grimm is, in the beginning, the tale of refusing to live in one particular way, in one static moment, only turning back onto the same stale myths that you created in your sepia past. For as human perception does tell you: life is about moments. Fractions. Pieces. Parts. Synthesis. Correlation. Creativity. And, more importantly – all of our existence is predicated on activity and engagement: choices.

Victor Grimm is a band of short stories. One of those that seems to speak without blight is the sonorous one with the moral that reads: what is important are the choices that chance presents and more than that - how you activate your cold fingers like metal spikes, shooting sparks out and into the night to mimic the mighty stars above - that is about all that really matters.

The stories of Victor Grimm are told in vignettes. Hallucinations. Theirs are stories of wavy pencil-lined dreams and their extraction into the red light of the day. Certainly this leads to abstractions, and pictures. Sometimes, just pictures are good enough:

D was on the water, barking at the moon/I was in the meadow, trying to come-to.

Oftentimes, both lyrically and musically, Victor Grimm is the portrait of two men trying to find a quiet place to think in this unsympathetic universe. Certainly thinking is activity – thoughtful, analytic, concrete construction is, anyway. And one higher form of thinking is, undoubtedly, that of intuition. For while both men write and play a lot of songs together –the ones that seem to pull themselves together mostly do so because of that one complicated, ethereal ghost: intuition.

Both Dentinger and Goetzman participate in the composing of their music, the writing of their songs. The front room of their farm house is set-up with all their instruments. Many nights they spend playing together and alone, sometimes with friends – into the early morning hours. Mostly, when they’re popping beer caps with friends, the music is for fun. But when it’s just the two of them, it’s mostly about composition. Therapy. Capturing a moment, an idea, a small, simple thought and then blowing it up to the airy heavens with music and words.

In all, capturing a ghost in a jar is impossible. Sometimes, it’s simply enough to stand in front of the moment, the figure, the chance and open your hands slowly into its mist for an opportunity of simply attempting an articulation. Victor Grimm is both these kinds of stories and those kinds of hands, waxing and waning below the high plains’ moon, begging for that kind of chance, that kind of impetus.

The next year, for the most part, is akin to the ones before – for both Deninger and Goetzman: they’ll take what comes. Like musical farmers they’ll use what they can and recycle the rest into the organic wake of their walk. But if anything is for certain, they will be shuffling as many moments as they can together in the composition of more music and more live shows.

Be sure to follow this act before they sneak-up on you – for anything is possible when you take every moment and till its fine earth. You can hear more of Victor Grimm’s work and stay-tuned to their next performances, here: www.myspace.com/victorgrimm.