Archive links now work, archives are back up.
Only took me, what, 18 months to figure that out?
(No jokes from you in the peanut gallery about “short hairs being all you’ve got, mate!)
For no reason except that thanks to the kindness of another, I received both of Euros Childs’ solo albums today, I also went back and listened to some of my favorite tracks from Euros’s old band, the too-wonderful-for-any-rational description Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci. I love that band (loved, I suppose, now that they’ve been broken up for a couple of years) and the fact that they were so happy to sing songs about dancing with the pet dog, or about freckles, or about girls doing each other’s hair…and willing to sing those songs frequently in Welsh, a language that seems about as easy to parse as ancient aramaic.
But again, not the point. What the point here is, there’s a song from the Gorks 1999 album called “Humming Song”. Opening with Euros Childs’ gorgeous, sweet tenor vocals and an impossibly fragile melody, the song proceeds through two verses and a sort of chorus thing….
…and then there’s a final coda. And Euros’s sister Megan comes elbowing in on fiddle, and Euros bangs the crap out of his piano, and Richard James plays a gorgeous meandering guitar solo and the bass and drums come up in perfect sync and the last minute or so of “Humming Song” might be my favorite recording of a band playing an instrumental section of a song, ever. It gives me goosebumps, still, maybe after hearing it a couple thousand times.
Oh, and while we’re at it, here’s why those of us who love Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci love ‘em so much: “Iechyd Da”, which is basically a Welsh drinking song. Watching this vid makes me want to hoist one of those giant bottles of Double Dragon Ale and wave that flag of Wales around, too….
Has it really been four years?
Four years ago, in Louisville for the Derby, JT (who has far better taste than me in music)put a CD on in the rental van we were toodling around Louisville in. One really cool song followed another in a vague Superchunk-meets-vintage Replacements sorta way. “This is my favorite CD of the year” he told me. It was by an Austin band called Grand Champeen.
Champeen have just put out their first new disc since then, an absolutely incredible album called “Dial T For This”. I’ll have a review of that soon, I promise, but right now we’ll leave it at “possibly the best disc I’ve heard this year that isn’t by Sloan”.
At any rate, I was browsing Youtube for some video of Champeen, and happened to catch this rather dodgy shoot of the band playing the song “Miss Out” at Emo’s in Austin. Wade through the “camera phone” video/audio quality to see this:
Notice how in the verse, after every line the melody of the song lets singer/guitarist Channing Lewis duck out and stomp and beat the living crap out of his guitar?
Every band should have a song that lets their lead singer do that.