Compared to the letter B, this one was not only enjoyable, but very comforting. I started this project thinking that I may have lost my way with music. With music so accessible and in most cases free, I have the tendency to hear about a band and then find a copy for instant gratification. So over the past few years, my collection has ballooned and my hope was to revisit old tunes and remove things I never actually enjoyed. The problem is; that I really haven't removed anything. But, I can sleep at night knowing I actually enjoy every note of music on my ipod.
The first artist I want to talk about is Cake. Despite their knack for finding infectious guitar riffs, most people would think of them as a novelty act. A band that had some success in the 90's only to disappear into oblivion. But they are not Harvey Danger, or Barenaked Ladies, or Fastball. Chances are you have a copy of "Fashion Nugget", but have you ever really listened to "Motorcade of Generosity"? There are some very good songs on that album, notably "Ruby Sees All", "Mr. Mastodon Farm" and my favorite, "Jolene". The funky jangle riff just kills me every time.
Chromeo caught my eye last year at Lollapalooza. I had a copy of "Fancy Footwork" and totally wore that out. Initially I thought the sound and nostalgia of keyboards and synthesizers would get old, but it didn't. Whether they want to be categorized as Pop, they really are. Simply put, they grew up on 80's music and instead of calling it lame (like most people would) they do their best to fill every minute with hooks and lyrics that will make you want to dance and call your girlfriend from 8th grade. A new album should be out this summer, so check them out.
Last but not least is a band that I've listened to for a very long time, Counting Crows. Thankfully, through the years they have continued to put out really great music and even better shows. My first show was in Kansas City for the "Recovering the Satellites" tour and after I realized they were in fact playing songs I liked, just different versions, I was hooked. It's hard to explain, but never go to a Counting Crows show expecting to sing along, you will be incredibly embarrassed. Adam Duritz just has his clock set to something different, something more honest. I never knew the meaning to most of my favorite songs until I saw them live. The one line you missed, or never paid attention to because you were screaming at the top of your lungs is right there in front of your face. Please, please, please go see them this summer. For those in Chicago, they'll be playing Ravinia on August 21st, see ya there.
Did you ever wonder why their debut was called "August & Everything After"? Here's your answer.
August and Everything After (Live) by theearlynerd