The random awakening. The Sunday afternoon realization that the "regional mexican, visual, southern rock" of quite an obvious band from Alabama (believe me, I was thur last summer and ZZ Top was playing next to the hotel) could give me goosebumps. My inner snobbery didn't want to indulge in such indulgence, but here's how the conversation went on a glorious trip to the first Cincinnati Reds game of my season:
(the players -- MH = Mike Hinze, KM = Kellie Morgan, DE = Douglas Elliott, KE = Wumme Wenders)
MH: I've got your coffee and a burn of the Thomas Function CD. For some reason it reminded me of you, and I thought you might like it.
(hours in the car, an hour in the alley, an air-tight, offensively heavy, Reds win, and another 20 minutes before I allow the Thomas Function disc to enter the fray.)
DE: This is my morning album. I've listened to it every day this week.
KE: This sounds pretty generic. The singer sounds exactly like the guy from Clap You Hands Say Puke (backlash has happened and gone, anyone trying to find virtue in their second album is a hoax-ghost).
KM: Yeah, I agree.
(MH and KM keep the back end of the Yaris bumping despite the obvious, Celebration by the Thomas Function continues to play, certain songs are played twice.)
DE: This band has soul.
KE: Like the Delta 72. We used to like it but it reminds of the (Go!, the Deadly Snakes, the Catheters) now. Too little, too late.
DE: Think of it as Television recording in Muscle Shoals. I bet they could record in Muscle Shoals if they wanted.
KE: Yeah...he does sing like Tom Verlaine...and the guitars are all over the place in the right places.
(I think about the whole TV/VU/MS connections and have to agree totally, silently.)
The next day I instinctively replay the album on my 45 minute commute. The annoying NPR fund drive is on, so music is a given. I listened to it again on the way home. That's how good it is. Not fresh, it's honestly most linked to the Exploding Hearts, just irresistible, substantive, candy.
They are playing a house party in Columbus next week. More details to follow.