Thursday, April 29, 2010

FDF Volume 2 Issue 183: The Lemonheads -Come on Feel The Lemonheads

By: March

Album - Come on Feel the Lemonheads
Artist - The Lemonheads
Key Players - Nic Dalton - bass. David Ryan - drums. Evan Dando - guitar, vocals, piano
Produced By - The Robb Brothers and Evan Dando

Release Date - October 12, 1993

What caused me to blow off the dust?
- This actually is/was a reader request. I need your help sometimes readers! Big thing I try to do is actually "own" the cd of course (how can I forget about it if I don't own it) and I am trying to not repeat bands/artists. So, thanks to a reader for this suggestion!

Overview - This was the sixth full length studio album from Boston formed band "The Lemonheads". Actually adding "the" occurred with this record in 1993. With this record the band would have their highest chart position coming off (what the band didn't care for) "It's a Shame About Ray" that had the radio hit/cover "Mrs.Robinson". The band would be among the more popular alternative bands of the mid 1990s and front man Evan Dando would become and unlikely sex god finding his was in to People Magazine and gracing the cover of Spin magazine for a "sex" issue. The band would go on hiatus in the late 90's and reform about 10 years later.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - Dando comes right up on the opening of "The Great Big No". The opening track shows off some great vocal harmonies and a tight backing band. Dando has a certain vocal tone that is easy to get used to. On this, and many tracks Juliana Hatfield offers up vocal support. There is a quick guitar run before the band hits back into the verses and they set the tone for a good pop/punk record. The second track "Into Your Arms" is probably the most well known track on the record. Opening with the single guitar before the drums and an over dubbed guitar chime over the top. The song is a mid-tempo track, but offers a bubbly back beat and harmony. Once you hear it you'd see it as being a strong single for radio air play. "It's About Time" opens up with strong guitar work and Dando comes right up vocally. The band really does have a mellow/melodic side to them. Hatfield is more up in the mix on this track and you really can hear her presence as she harmonizes well with Dando. "Down About It" is the first real "rocking" track. More from the musical standpoint. The vocals are still catchy and driven, but the music stands out as the band seemed to have shed acoustic/mellower electric guitars. "Paid To Smile" returns back to the more mellower side of the band of the earlier tracks. Dando is comfortable with his voice and he doesn't really seem to over extend himself. His vocals can be hushed at times, or pushed, but he never gets out of his comfort zone with regard to vocal range. We get a pedal steel on the intro to "Big Gay Heart". The song was released as a single, but I have no idea where the song could have been played. The subject matter is a little off color that is for sure. In brackets under the song title it reads (Against Violence). Not sure if they are trying to be funny/sad/ironic. Not really sure. Ryan opens up "Style" with a ferocious drum beat and the band all drops in. Dalton is on the bass and up in the mix and feeling more a part of the overall sounds for the first time. His bass lines to this point have not been lavish, he pretty much keeps a solid bottom on the tracks, but you just hear him more on this track. The tempo remains on "Rest Assured" with Dalton and Ryan once again seeming to have a more active role. Dando seems to hit some vocal range he is a little uncomfortable with, but he pulls it off. It is a straight up rocker that keeps a solid time. The band has been careful to not have guitar solos it seems, so any guitar run is usually pretty quick and to the point and not overly technical. The drums rumble over the intro to "Dawn Can't Decide" and Dalton shows off some of his chops (funny how I was just saying I hadn't heard much). The vocals are right up, the band never does any long set up to get to the vocals, usually hopping right to it. There are some strong female backing support as well. Belinda Carlisle from the Go-Gos offers support on "I'll Do It Anyway". The band runs a series before Dando comes in. The guitars are bright, with some real chime to them. Carlisle adds great support singing the bulk of the chorus right along with Dando. According to the liner notes the song was written for Carlisle and it great she gets to really unload on the track. The line of support continues when the one and only Rick James helps out on "Rick James Style". It is a slower and dark sounding track where they repeat the line "I don't want to get high, I don't want to not get high". The lyrics seem to repeat and James is not present for the first few minutes of the track, but comes in big on the chorus shouting "Style". He is a bit more present after that first run, but repeats his "style" line once more and the song ends. "Being Around" has a more twang feel to it from the start. It feels like a bit of an "alt-country" vibe with the lap steel coming back up in the mix. Sneaky Pete is very strong on the steel once more and the song itself is shorter than most on the records. Another mellow track comes in "Favorite T". Acoustic guitar and a lone solo voice open up the dark track. Dando is in fine voice for this style of track. A few piano chords seem to be tossed in there as well but the track keeps tight with the solo guitar and voice. "You Can Take it With You" has a poppy opening and quickly gets rocking. The vocals and music are both urgent and its nice to have the band to a rocking groove and it also quick and to the point. The final track listed on the record is "The Jello Fund " the track is about 2 minutes long and it is a solo piano piece. If you leave the cd player alone for 2-3 minutes a hidden track "Lenny" begins. It is a straight up, jammed out rock song with false endings, and it is a rough jam as lyrics are botched. It is not a bad tune but sort of not needed..and they do it again at the 7 minute mark of the track.

Where are they now? - The band is together with Dando as the focal point. Dalton continues to work in the music business. I wasn't able to find much on Ryan though. The last Lemonheads record came out in June of 2009 and it was an album of cover songs.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I've never seen the band live.

Official band site here and myspace page is here.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

mp3s have been removed.

Dawn Can't Decide
Into Your Arms
The Great Big No

Tracks taken from "Come on Feel the Lemonheads" that you can buy it for cheap money

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.

Friday, April 23, 2010

FDF Volume 2 Issue 182 - The Roots Phrenology

By: March

Album - Phrenology
Artist - The Roots
Key Players - Black Thought - lead vocals. ?uestlove - drums. Leonard Hubbard - bass. Kamal - keyboards. Scratch - turntables. Ben Kenny - guitars, Rahzel, Malik B
Produced By - Richard Nichols

Release Date - November 26, 2002

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I always seem to grab their cds when they come out, spin them for a week or so and never get back to them for some odd reason. This was perhaps their biggest cd with/for me, so I decided I'd go with it.

Overview - This is the fifth studio album from the Philadelphia based band the Roots. The album was anticipated by fans and critics, taking over 2 years to complete. The hip hop band would blend many musical genres incorporating jazz, soul and rock. The album would do well on the charts and with fans and the band would become well known for its live performances.

FDF Comments (aka the songs)
- The cd opens with a short (0:18) snippet about having 2 turntables before "Rock You" begins. The bass and drums are in a low mode with the rapping coming up quick and to the point. Its punchy over the scratches and looped drum beat. It was what, to many, would be considered sort of a straight up rap tune. "!!!!!!!" is another very short intrude (a punk/hardcore riff with vocals) before "Sacrifice". This track features Nelly Furtado and has a very fun live drum feel to it. ?uestlove is sort of known for this laid back, but tight drum beat. This has more smooth hip hop beats with percussive instruments and a soul feel. The male vocals come in and it keeps a tight rhyme. Furtado's role is more as a backup singer not a lead. The tight drum work once more brings up "Rolling with Heat" (featuring Talib Kweli). There is a cool keyboard run that plays off the drum portions and once again the lyrics are tight and quick. "WAOK (Ay) Rollcall" (featuring Ursula Rucker) is basically a fake PSA that name checks some hot rap and hip hop artists of the time. The first heavily sampled track comes in. "Thought @ Work" (Sugarhill Gang, Fat Boys and the Beatles to name a few) is a very strong track on the record. Utilizing the back beat samples of horns over a tight drum beat it is done at that "just the right" pace. The rapping is tight and focused, with the lyrics given very quickly. One of the stronger tracks so far on the record. The track that got me to buy the record is next in "The Seed (2.0)". The lead vocals features Cody ChesnuTT and it is vibrant and fun sing along. From the moment of the drum click off it falls into that head bobbing tight groove. It is actually really hard to dislike this tune. Musiq is the special guest on "Break You Off". This track clocks in over 7 minutes and it wastes no time getting right off with the percussive back beats and the vocals coming right up. Its a smoother track, deeper side of the soul on the record. Its a late night track, when the party winds down for sure. The longest track on the record begins as the prior fades. "Water" opens with hand claps and drums dropping the tight punch. The bass and rhythm section are tight and the track. Its is a three part tune with the tight drums leading the first section. The second is a quick change of pace, dropping the back beat for some ambient noise (and heartbeats?). It really tries to find a direction before the drums seem to get working. There are guitar twangs, and phasing between speakers and some buried spoken word passages, but it really doesn't seem to get anywhere for too long an amount of time. It slowly builds back up at the 7 minute mark with ?uestlove working the drums at a frantic pace. It all turns into a sort of spastic jazz jam that will either exite you, or have you reaching for the skip button. "Quills" is more a return to the rap/hip hop found on the earlier tracks. The sample from Swing out Sisters "Breakout" eases you in before the aggressive lead male vocals come over. Its not a hard core rap song, but the lyrics are quick and punchy and right in your face. The track ends with what emulates the tuning on a radio dial before "Pussy Galore" begins. By this point you can really say the band has strong lyrics and good vocal delivery. The topic might be taboo, but the song is about a sign on the times. The rap maintains a good steady pace over the soulful groove. Jill Scott offers up backing vocals on "Complexity". It blends perfectly with the overall feel of the record. A strong track. "Something in the Way of Things (In Town)" is another long(er) track on the record. Opening with some guitar chords before the vocals come in with ?uestlove on the ride cymbal slowly building the music. The lyrics almost sound like they are being read from a book. The final complete track on the record is "Rhymes and Ammo/Thirsty! (featuring Talib Kweli and Dice Raw). We get the nice rat-a-tat from the drums and the lyrics are more a joint venture with more of chorus of rappers on this one. This is a strong album closer. Leaves you wanting more which is always a plus.

Where are they now? - They are still active as a touring and recording act. They are the house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon as well. Ben Kenny left the band after this record and join Incubus. Rhazel left the band in 1999 and Malik also in 99 due to some drug issues.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- I have never seen The Roots live.

FDF Overall Take - Giving this record a long overdue spin I realized what I like, I really like on this record. Some of it is filler, but there are more strong moments than weak. I need to go back to some of the other records once more, but this is a good one for newer fans of the band to check out.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

mp3's have been removed.

Rhymes and Ammo

Tracks taken from Phrenology that you can buy here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.

Friday, April 16, 2010

FDF Volume 2 Issue 181 - The Flaming Lips - Transmissions from the Satellite Heart

By: March

Album - Transmissions from the Satellite Heart
Artist - The Flaming Lips
Key Players - Steven Drozd - guitars (and other stuff). Ronald Jones - guitars Michael Ivins - bass. Wayne Coyne - lead vocals, guitar
* all the band members played various instruments
Produced By - The Flaming Lips and Keith Cleversley

Release Date - June 22, 1993

What caused me to blow off the dust? - It is no secret I am a big fan of this band. The last few records have been some of the best albums I've ever heard and hit me at just the right time, in just the right place. They have missed as well, don't get me wrong, but overall they are a pretty flawless band. Their earlier stuff, for some reason, I tend to not reach for as much. This was sorta their "coming out party" record so I figured to not be too "indie" or too "indie hipster" I'd toss on this record for a front to back spin.

Overview - This is the 6th album from the Oklahoma band The Flaming Lips. One track from this record "She Don't Use Jelly" would become the bands first "charting" track and garner gets slots on Beverly Hills 90210. Even with the "success" of the song the band still maintains it loves to play the song and is not apologetic for it. This was the first album that long term member Steven Drozd would perform on.

FDF Comments (aka the songs)
- Released as a single and gaining some popularity "Turn It On" opens the record. Sounding a bit like a radio dial tuning and acoustic guitar before the punchy distorted drums in. Coyne has a gruff, gravely tone to his voice and pushes forward. The buzzy guitar comes up more at the end of the first verse. For the second verse the rest of the band sings along with Coyne and the bass gets pushed up in the mix. The guitars remain buzzy but the drums never go over the top. The backing vocals are full with various members going in directions of singing straight harmony to just doing "oohs" and "ahhs". With no fade "Pilot Can at the Queer of God" comes in. The drums hit down hard while it gets very buzzy under it all. The bass has a "chug" sound to it, some deep heavy bottom for sure. Again the band harmonies are strong helping Coyne with the upper registers. The deep buzzy guitar is just a juicy slice of awesomeness. The final portion of the song is Coyne solo singing about helicopters around your head and the vocals swoop from speaker to speaker for a swirling effect. Showing their fondness for odd song titles we get "Oh, My Pregnant Head (Labia in the Sunlight)". A slow drum line slaps down the 4/4 beat before the vocals come in. They are "airy" and some what laid back compared to the prior tracks. The guitars are awash with delay by the mid point of the song there is a strong build up you feel is going to be a big payoff but it goes back to the same melody. The bands biggest "hit" comes in "She Don't Use Jelly" as fun sing along with all the quirky lyrics one could possibly stand. The guitar track is actually interesting as one has a bubbly run and the second more a punchy/buzzy drone. The drums are hit with some heavy hands and the swooping sound of it all keeps your toes tapping. The first real test on any new fan with regard to Coyne's voice would be tested on "Chewin the Apple of Your Eye". The acoustic guitar sounds like a campfire sing along and you really get a "warts and all" presentation of the vocals. Heck, people like Bob Dylan, why not Wayne Coyne! It never really breaks out of the the acoustic lead track and Coyne whistles the listener out. "Superhumans" is a stark contrast, at least at the intro, to the prior track. Everyone hits down and its chaos for 10-12 seconds before it comes together and Coyne leads the band. The drums have strong rolls and for the first time we hear some percussive instruments (chimes/vibes?) and the guitars have more of a ring to them over the tail end of the verses. Oh, the distorted guitars are there too with splashes of church bells tossed in there too. "Be My Head" keeps with the real buzzy guitar but seems to have more of a poppy bounce to it. You can hear the buzzy guitars but the bass and drum parts seem to push you towards some fun rhythm that hits just in the right place. "Moth in the Incubator" is another acoustic lead track and has the warbly vocals of Coyne in the forefront. After the first verse it gets back to the buzzy goodness you've grown to love and expect with the record. For a song that seemed to be so "ehh" at the start gets a joyous instrumental run down for over a minute near the end with the bass being the focal point keeping the jam locked down. In a very odd (shocking) cover "Plastic Jesus" (A cover of the song "Plastic Jesus" from the Paul Newman film Cool Hand Luke. The title is obscured on the back of the album with stars). I hushed Coyne sings with a lone acoustic guitar. The drums start and the guitars and bass fill in a strong intro to "When Yer Twenty Two". By the time Coyne comes in fans of the more recent version of the Lips can see the formula they use now. Coyne seems to be pushing himself with regard to his vocal range (which is limited of course) but the band is so full on the track it pushes him to great heights. The wall of guitar at the ends blends perfectly with the intro to the album closer "Slow Nerve Action". The driving drums slap hard as the buzzy guitar carves over it. You hear a second melodic guitar under that run before the vocals begin. It is a perfect album closer blending the bands strongest characteristics throughout ending is a nice bombastic drum run.

Where are they now? - The band is still active today both in studio and on the road. Coyne, Ivins and Drozd are all active members. Ronald Jones left the band in 1996 after what is reported "issues with other band members".

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - Before I begin, I have to say, everyone should see this band is SUCH a blast. Been able to see the band on a few occasions. The first was as a side stage act during Lollapalooza. That one was at the Airport show in Rhode Island July 17, 1993. They were on the side stage as noted, playing in full daylight. I recall "Unconsciously Screaming" being played and a bubble machine. The next was April 18, 2000 at Axis in Boston. This was the first time I really saw the band put on "shows". The band has a crew, but they set up their own gear. Wayne said to the audience "Pretend you haven't seen us..we are going to go behind the curtain and come back act like you haven't seen us". They were great. Had the chance of a lifetime when on April 23, 2003 I was able to be part of their show. The show was at the Roxy in Boston and I was able to be a "dancing animal". We weaved through the crowd in our masks and hi-fived people, danced..and had fun on stage. We got to meet Wayne and the rest of the guys and everyone had a blast. The last time was August 30, 2009 at the Bank of America Pavilion. My buddy J (same one from last weeks post) called me 2 days before and said he had landed front row tickets and "did I want to go?" Hellz yeah. It was so over the top awesome. Balloons, name it. Just a total blast. I actually have a pending show with them at Lupos in Providence on July 6th.

FDF Overall Take - The Flaming Lips have been mentioned on many lists of bands you "need to see before your die" and continue to push themselves in their artist direction. Albums such as the "Soft Bulletin" and "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" are among the finest albums perhaps ever made (there I said it..but I'll defend it as well). The band has stuck with a major label that allows for artistic freedom. They released a four cd set called "Zaireeka" that is meant to have all four cds played at the same time. The band releases standard cd packages, but the last few records have also been available in 5.1 DVD Audio or Super Audio Cd formats allowing for multi channel mixes. I'll admit that Wayne as a unique voice, but his sound is so perfect for the band. Most would see them as "weird" but give them a chance (if you haven't) and you'll be pretty impressed.

The official site is here and myspace is

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

mp3's have been removed...

When Yer Twenty Two
She Don't Use Jelly
Turn it On (Bluegrass Version)

The tracks were taken from "Transmissions from the Satellite Heart" which you can buy here.

*The version of "Turn it On" is from the maxi single "She Don't Use Jelly".

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.

Friday, April 09, 2010

FDF Volume 2 Issue 180 - Superdrag - Regretfully Yours

By: March

Album - Regretfully Yours
Artist - Superdrag
Key Players - Don Coffey Jr - Drums. Tom Pappas - bass. Brandon Fisher - guitars. John Davis - guitars and lead vocals.
Produced By - Tim O'Heir

Release Date - March 26, 1996

What caused me to blow off the dust? - This is one band that I have liked since I first stumbled upon them when they were a support band one evening. Since then I've always gotten their discs, and some are stronger than others, but there are always gems on the records. This record stands out the most to me over time and I've been meaning to do this for FDF for AGES.

Overview - This was the major label debut from the Knoxville, Tennessee band Superdrag. The band, consisting of four members would have some success on college radio and MTV with "Sucked Out" as song that actually slags off the major labels. The band would tour and garner a strong following for their torrid live sets. The band would release a second record on Elektra before being asked to be let go. The band members would shuffle around only to re-form for some shows in the middle of 2007 and then announcing they were back together in 2008.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The band sets an immediate pop tone with "Slot Machine" as the buzzy guitars bass and drums all come together one a big looping riff. It slowly builds and as the vocals begin it settles down some but Davis vocals are in fine form. He pushes himself perfectly with the tone of the song. The bass is up in the mix and Pappas does some nice fills accenting off Coffey's drums. Fisher and Davis trade guitar riffs but there is no glaring clear guitar solo, just one big heavy pop filled jam. It phases quickly over to "Phaser" and it hardly sounds like a different tune at the outset but Coffey has an urgent drum beat that is met with screaming guitar parts. One guitar covers the bottom while the second echoes off the top. By the time the vocals kick in your foot will be stomping in your "beatle boots". Its perfectly "simple" yet wonderfully fulfilling, the band is really firing off one another. Again, we don't even slow down before "Carried" is underway and the guitars are hooking you in while Pappas goes up and down the frets of his bass. The song is sung very quickly and the tempo matches perfectly. The lead off single, and perhaps the biggest known song from the band comes in "Sucked Out". The song has a unique instrumental breakdown as the chorus is song with the bass and drums leading the march. One of the great moments is towards the end when Davis just goes crazy with the chorus, just repeating the line "who sucked out the feeling" as the band just throws up a wall of sound and jams out with phase on the vocals. A perfect track to represent the band. For the first time it feels like we have a hard fade out and "Cynicality" stands on its own. A harder rocking track that some of the prior tracks with focus on the drum beat from Coffey. A simple, but hammering drum line is kept for the duration. "Destination Ursa Major" opens with a guitar line, then its over dubbed, then a second guitar comes over that. After that is done the whole band comes in. I like the song, but it has always sounded a little out of tune to me for some reason. There are instrumental breakdowns after a run of the first verse before the band swells once more. This also marks a moment where Davis harmonizes with himself on the chorus, a very cool effect. A single guitar starts up "Whitey's Theme". It repeats the same few notes until the second guitar comes in and Coffey sets it all in motion. It has a simple 4/4 tempo and although the music seems a bit heavy the vocals are given a little laid back, and the band follows suit with the lyrics. Davis is more in to a deeper baritone vocal delivery. It lulls you in to a false sense because the band really gets rolling towards the end for a stand out rocking track. Davis plays the mellotron on "Truest Love" a track that also feels like it will be mellow, but the buzzy guitars set the tone. Vocally it is a more mellow song, more focus on the dreamy vocal delivery but the guitars pack a whollop and Davis really shines, pushing himself to high vocal range. "What If You Don't Fly" continues with the catchy guitar riffs and solid back beat. "Garmonbozia" has a quieter intro with Pappas quietly doing scale runs on his bass with simple guitar chords played and it slowly builds with the band coming in, but the vocals remain a bit backed up and it proves to be one of the more laid back tracks. Davis once again pushes himself to an uncomfortable vocal range, but its perfect in this setting. There is a decent guitar solo towards the back end as well. "N.A.Kicker" does kick it all back in and the band is off to the races just getting it going. It is hard to pick a favorite on the record, but this is very close! The mellowest track on the record is "Nothing Good is Real". A single guitar and slow drums seem to actually plod along and the vocals are given somberly. It picks up at times and there is one big break where it comes back around hard. The album closes with "Rocket". Pappas rolls across the top with a great bass line before the count off "1-2-3-4" and the whole band slams down. The " you you oooooooo" is infectious and grabs your right away. The song just builds and builds and is a ton of fun. The song is to this day often the last song of the night. Perfect album closer to a pretty perfect record.

Where are they now? - The band is back together. After the second full length bassist Tom Pappas left and then guitarist Brandon Fisher did as well. Davis and Coffey continued on as Superdrag. Davis released a solo record, Coffey worked (and still does work) with bands. The band did take a break for a bit, but reformed in this form a released an album of new material "Industry Giants" in 2009.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - This is a band I've seen an awful lot it seems. The very first time was one of those moments. May 2, 1996 at Avalon in Boston the band opened for Buffalo Tom (we looked at "Big Red Letter Day by them here). My buddy J. and I had NO idea who they were, and they killed. Just killed. We were hooked that night and from then on. We'd see them again November 15, 1997 at Lupo's in Providence opening for..Green Day?!
(FDF looked at "Insomniac" here) In between we saw them at Stand in Providence with the Gravel pit too (unsure of the actual date). April 17, 1998 at the Paradise in Boston and then some time off before a very drunk and sick John Davis lead the band at TT The Bears Place on February 28, 2001. This was sort of the moment you knew it was time for a break. November 3, 2007 was the next time and they were refreshed, renewed and just playing for the love of it. The final, most recent was April 11, 2009 at the Paradise. Touring for the new record on Easter eve..the band was in top form.

FDF Overall Take - To me personally this is one of the best major label debut records ever. The pure pop magic that takes place on these 13 tracks is something that I just can't get enough of. Sucked out lured many in, and turned some off I am sure, but what you are left with is just some of the best power pop stuff..its excellent..grab this cd you'll thank me for it.

You can find the bands official site here
and on myspace.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

the mp3s have been removed.

Slot Machine
NA Kicker

Tracks taken from "Regretfully Yours" which is back in print, and you can grab it here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.

Friday, April 02, 2010

FDF Volume 2 Issue 179: 10,000 Maniacs - In My Tribe

By: March

Album - In My Tribe
Artist - 10,000 Maniacs
Key Players - Jerome Augustyniak - drums, percussion. Steven Gustafson - bass. Dennis Drew - keyboards. Robert Buck - guitar, mandolin, pedal steel. Natalie Merchant - vocals.
Produced By - Peter Asher

Release Date - July 7, 1987

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Just was looking for something most wouldn't expect from me on this site. Gotta keep it diverse right?

Overview - Second major label release from the New York based band 10,000 Maniacs. The album would peak on the US charts at 37, but it would remain on the charts for 77 weeks. The album would go on to reach double platinum (2million copies sold) in the United States. The band would continue to work for a few more years before singer Natalie Merchant left the band to peruse a solo career. The band continues with new members.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The drums roll across before the full band comes in "What's the Matter Here?" The feeling is pretty laid back, but each instrument is full in the mix. Merchant has a unique sounds to her voice, she can hit the ranges, but at times comes across as a baritone singer. The track was a single to radio and is a good lead off track on the record, as it has a pleasant overall sound and tempo. Even in the later verses the band changes the tempo and has more of an instrumental breakdown before the drums click it all back in line. Merchant pushes herself vocally as the song draws to a close. "Hey Jack Kerouac" opens up a bit more frantic musically, but quickly settles down. Merchant is the focus as Buck lays down a smooth guitar line. The bass and drums keep everyone in check and the song is one of the stand outs on the record. "Like the Weather" was another strong single from the record. Opening with a single guitar run before the full band comes in. The listener can hear the hand claps and percussion on this track. It has a little more a feel like the first song on the record, but doesn't really break the mold. You get strong vocals and equally as strong musical background. We get our first real guitar solo from Buck after the 3 minute mark of the track before returning to the chorus and the song wraps up. The drums get everything moving on "Cherry Tree" a track that has some chiming guitar lines before the vocals begin. The band doesn't waste a lot of time before the vocals come in and the band continues to impress playing as a tight and cohesive unit. The drums come up strong, but it falls to be a more mellow affair on "The Painted Desert". The guitar portion sounds pretty making way for the hard hitting back beat (for a mellower track it stands out all the more). Merchant continues to shine vocally and the band allows her to take the lead where she wants getting only louder when needed. Yet another familiar song to many is "Don't Talk" which is next. Gustafson has his bass line up front with the full drum kit work out from Augustyniak while Buck puts a chorus laden guitar riff over them. The segment works well so the band repeats it, but just that right amount to not bore the listener or themselves. "Gun Shy" is a little laid back once more. The drum sticks click off the snare as Buck works the guitar. After the verse nears completion the full band comes in. We also get a an organ/keyboard section. This was the first time in a few tracks I even remembered they had a keyboard player honestly. The band gets a lot more fun sounding on "My Sister Rose". It is a bubbly dancy track from the band. It actually is a welcome change of pace with splashes of horns and more of a fun back beat. Too little too late? "A Campfire Song" opens strong coming off the prior track, but it fails to really grab you. Per the norm the vocals and instruments are all "fine" and that is just it, its "fine". You can really hear the mandolin at the start of "City of Angels" and with the build up you'd expect a pretty up tempo track, but the band settles back in to a more laid back approach. Dunno, it keeps leaving me wanting more. The album closes with "Verdi Cries" a piano lead track with a solo Merchant. It is later filled out with strings and it is a pretty and nice album closer.

Where are they now?
- The band continues in name to this day with Augustyniak, Drew and Gustafson all members. Robert Buck died of liver failure on December 19, 2000. He was 42. Natalie Merchant left the band in 1993 to work on her solo career and has gone on to release four solo records, with a fifth slated for an April 2010 release.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - The only time I saw the band was July 7, 1993 at what is now the Comcast Center. My girlfriend at the time (now wife) was big in to them and we had really only started dating earlier that year so I figured it was worth heading to. It was an okay show, I've never been all that in to them. World Party were the opening band and I recall hearing they played their opening slot, then went to Boston to play a club show (at I think Bunratty's in Allston).

FDF Overall Take - Well I haven't missed this record all that much. The band is decent, but for some reason Merchants vocals get to me quicker than I recall. The thing is, she is not a "bad" singer, but there is just something there. As a collection it is a pretty strong record and really is something I'd consider more background music than much else.


The band has an official site here.
You can read what Natalie is up to on her site here

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

mp3's removed...
My Sister Rose
Hey Jack Kerouac

Tracks taken from "In My Tribe" which you can buy here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.