The Walkmen -- Louisiana
Tilly and the Wall -- Bad Education
Anyway, all these thoughts came together cohesively (I know, a miracle, right?) as I was putting on my makeup this morning with fond, fond memories of Jonathan Fire Eater. (Cut to: three aged hipster girls driving to a hipster bar in Dallas after the Bloc Party show last summer squealing with unparalleled joy over the nostalgia factor at a passing mention of the band in a conversation) Remember Jonathan Fire Eater arrived a little too early for that garage rock revival party of 2001-2002 and were the loathsome, over-hyped, well-dressed NYC band with a drug problem? The only over-hyped one? This was 1995 to 1997, people, the analog hype machine could barely handle one buzz band at a time and I was very, very square -- looking back, it was kind of amazing that I heard about them at all. Sorry to be so faux-crochety, but when you've been indie rockin' (apologies to Common Rotation) as long as I have, it's hard not to kick back and have good laugh sometimes at the weekly glut of sub-par overhyped buzz bands that are the reality of independent music in 2006. Which is exactly what I did, I had a very good laugh and totally messed up my lipliner. It was worth it, though.
Jonathan Fire Eater -- The Silver Surfer
Jonathan Fire Eater -- The Public Hanging of a Movie Star
Jonathan Fire Eater -- The Search For Cherry Red
Jonathan Fire Eater -- When The Curtain Calls For You
I hate to keep refering back to Kelefa Sanneh's article about Ranier Maria, but he did have a point -- the Internet is perfect to pitch a band with no history -- it's less so for bands with a storied past. Case in point: The Walkmen. A few of them have been in bands together since high school. They have a studio. They're old, crusty, and not enough of a comeback story, they're riding too high from Bows + Arrows. In short, it's time for the blogger backlash, or so it seems.
If we think back to 2004 -- come with me, think back, it's really not hard -- all the blogger kids were screaming over The Walkmen's Bows and Arrows, and for good reason, it's a fantastic album full of the naked male pain we love so much over here at TRGAW (Seriously, how brilliantly angry is "The Rat?" And "House of Little Savages?"). Bows and Arrows is one pissy album, but it's also painfully resigned -- resigned to growing older and being edged out of the scene -- then again, that's kind of been The Walkmen's M.O. all along -- surely I don't need to remind you of Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone, and more specifically, "We've Been Had," do I? Good.
The Walkmen -- The Rat
The Walkmen -- Look Out the Window
The Walkmen -- We've Been Had
The Walkmen -- Pictures of Us
The Walkmen -- House of Little Savages (repost)
I mean, these guys have been there and done that -- well, the three core members of The Walkmen who survived Jonathan Fire Eater's wild ride anyway: Paul Maroon, Matt Barrick, and Walter Martin -- and came out the other end with that awesome farfisa action, Mo Tucker-via-David Lovering drumming, and the most angular guitar action in A-list indie rock still intact. They were joined by new frontman Hamilton Leithauser and bassist Peter Bauer of the similarly melted-down buzz act The Recoys, and thus The Walkmen were born. (Former JFE frontman Stewart Lupton has resurfaced with his new project The Child Ballads in late 2005, opening for The Fiery Furnaces and Interpol, but there's no website or myspace page or anything, so...yeah.)
So, there wasn't much of a point here but to shout about Instahype (tm) for a paragraph or two and post some Jonathan Fire Eater songs. And you fickle tastemakers, hear me now -- I'm waiting with baited breath for my advance of A Hundred Miles Off -- not to mention the fabled whole-album cover of Harry Nillson and John Lennon's Pussycats, also said to be out later this year.
Oh, wait, I nearly forgot. The other half of the germination for this post was actually the fact that I unearthed The Walkmen/Calla split EP from 2002 and wanted to share Calla's Can cover with ya'lls. Because somehow, in my mind, the horns on "Louisiana" got me thinking about mariachis and South Texas and that inevitably makes me think of Calla...
Calla -- Mother Sky (Can cover)
BTW, if you're in NYC tonight (as we wish we were), Calla frontman Aurelio Valle DJs at Corner Billards -- go see him after you catch darling John Vanderslice, The Fruit Bats, Bishop Allen, or Nous Non Plus -- you lucky kids! We might try to catch My Education and Cue here in town tonight at the Blue Theater.
And, just because we love you if you've read this far down -- here's a jaunty, thought-provoking b-side from Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins.
Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins -- Fireplace
Have a great weekend!