Friday, June 19, 2009
Pointless Friday Ramblings
So it’s new music week here in Gedsmoland.* I got home from work on Wednesday and discovered I’d received a post from Scotland. There was only one thing that could be: new Idlewild. I have this bad habit of purchasing music from Idlewild and Roddy Woomble without ever hearing it. A couple years ago when they put out Make Another World I went in on their presale for the American audience. The CD hadn’t been pressed yet, but if you pre-ordered for $9.99 you got all the tracks in mp3 form immediately. Make Another World is a friggin’ awesome CD. Last year Woomble did a side project with John McCusker and Kris Drever, two Irish folk musicians. Before the Ruin, the CD that came out of that collaboration, proved to be pretty damn good, too. Back in November they started the presale for the new CD. I’ve since pieced the story together, but I didn’t know it at the time. Basically, Idlewild was dropped by their label. I’m assuming it’s because they made everyone else on the label look bad, but I don’t have any proof of that. They decided that rather than find another label, they’d produce their own music their own way. In order to get the money together they went to their fans and offered a special first edition of their as-of-yet unrecorded new album and access to special live tracks. I think they were expecting to get everything out in April. I got Post-Electric Blues on the seventeenth of June. That’s not quite April. Either way, they could have just asked me if that would work according to plan. I’m not so much an independent musician, but I spend a lot of time following independent musicians. I could have told them of Local H’s problems ever since they got dropped by Island and how Scott Lucas has pretty much had to find a creative new way to get every album since then recorded. I could have told them to talk to Roger Clyne, who decided to start Emma Java right off the bat to keep the Peacemakers independent. But, y’know, nobody asks me about these things… Either way, judging by the fact that I’ve listened to almost nothing other than Post-Electric Blues since Wednesday, I’m pretty sure it was worth the wait. So if they ever get around to releasing the non-pre-release version, give them some money. If you like rock that doesn’t suck, you won’t be disappointed. If you like rock that does suck, though, I’m sure you can go find some Nickelback for four bucks at a used CD store somewhere… Meanwhile, back in, like, February, the Lovehammers started the pre-sale for their new CD. I’m not entirely sure what the story is there, but after Marty Casey was runner-up on Rock Star: INXS, Epic Records produced Marty Casey & Lovehammers. But apparently they’re back to being an indie outfit now. So perhaps I helped finance Heavy Crown, too… Either way, tonight I’m going to be at the House of Blues Chicago for some sweet, sweet Lovehammers action. Hopefully that will be worth the wait, too. This will also be my third CD release show in a little over a year. Last May was Local H’s 12 Angry Months, an album that took about a year from the point where Scott said it was ready to go to the point where it was actually released. For the record, it, too, was totally worth the wait. Last month I was at the release show for Lucky Boys Confusion’s Closing Arguments, wherein they mostly played my favorite tracks off of Commitment, Throwing the Game, and How to Get Out Alive, which was a good move since Closing Arguments is kind of weak. That’s probably because it’s LBC’s last album and the guys have all been working with their new projects for, like, a year now. Oh, and they just kind of threw together a bunch of demos and b-sides... Oh, yeah, and last Friday night I went to see Innerfall, who I know about mostly because the drummer is one of my buddies from college. I’d heard they had a new lead singer and new songs, which I figured was a good thing, since their original singer had pretty much zero stage presence. Either way, it turns out that their new singer is also a guy I know from college and it was only his second show. He’s already better than the first guy… For the record, stage presence in a lead singer is incredibly important. It comes in different flavors, though. Roger Clyne and Stubhy of LBC tend to connect with a crowd on a visceral/emotional level. Scott Lucas simply commands a room. He’s the coolest guy there and everyone knows it. I can’t explain Marty Casey except to say that when he’s on stage he’s huge. I was, like, ten feet from the stage for a show at this little club on the north side and he towered over everyone. I was surprised when I realized he’s shorter than me. Either way, that’s my week. Well, part of it. I also went to the zoo. ----------------------------- *On the off chance that doesn’t make any sense, various people have referred to me as “Geds” since junior high. My license plate contains my nickname, so I refer to my car generically as “the Gedsmobile.” Since doing that I started attaching “Gedsmo-” as a prefix to any number of things. My cell phone, for instance, is “Gedsmophone v. 6.0.” And I live in Gedsmoland.