New Band Alert

I’ve written more than once here about my appreciation for all things Nada Surf, so I’m not going to go into any detail about how great a band they are and how they inexplicably keep getting better with age. Their live show is always a bomb of great rock ‘n’ roll and they proved it yet again last Tuesday at The Paradise. Despite my having a pretty horrendous chest cold, I went anyway. Because there’s certain bands you just cannot miss.

However, I was glad we got there in time to see the opening band, a group I’ve never heard of called The Delta Spirit. They were thrilling. A little more earthy than Nada Surf’s music, but the pairing made a heck of a lot of sense. They appear to be a five-piece (not sure about how many they have for studio recordings) and add in a nice occasional mix of piano, harmonica and things like tamborine and other little knick-knacks that make things very interesting. The next morning I downloaded their album (yes, I paid for it) and it’s really resonating. Their singer appears to be a very young guy, but his voice has that weathered feel that makes him sound older than he is. The live show is filled with energy all around. This is a very exciting find. Here’s a sample, the song is called “Trashcan.” Enjoy. Leave feedback if you want. Highly recommended……the whole album is solid.


It Came Out Magical

Okay, a couple of things on this early Friday morning:

  • Parents, question for you: every night before we go to bed, Steph and I walk into the boys room and just sit there on the floor and stare at our babies as their little chests heave up and down in a dead sleep. We typically sit there for about five minutes. You do this, too? We’ve been doing it for a year and there appears to be no end in sight. Leave comment?
  • I’ve probably mentioned this before, but Nada Surf continues to kick ass. Every time they put out an album, I think “ok, it’s going to be hard to top this.” And then they do it. Every time. Nothing better than a band at its creative peak. When the creative peak lasts 3-4 albums, then you’re getting into Jeff’s favorite-band-of-the-decade territory. Try this one, called “I Like What You Say:”    [audio:like.mp3]
  • I know I mentioned The Black Keys new album a few weeks back, but one of their older songs just popped up on my ITunes and I’m feeling like you need to hear it. Why? Because it’s awesome, that’s why. This one is called “Keep Your Hands Off Her.” I bet these guys smoke live.    [audio:keep.mp3]

Nada Deceptione

Two things can happen when you catch a band at the end of a tour: you either get a terrific show that has been sharpened and improved for the whole tour, or you get a tired band, mailing it in because they know home base is just 60 feet away. Luckily for Steph and I last night, we got the former with Nada Surf here in Boston. Here’s a band we had been waiting at least three years to see and I had heard from more than one person that seeing them as a trio is good, but not as good as their records sound. Lucky us again – this time they were traveling as a quartet, with a keyboard and horn player (from Calexico) pitching in as #4. It made a hell of a big difference. I always prefer a fuller sound, especially live, so that made it all the better. I knew it would be good, but I could have never guessed how great they would be live. Wow.

After the show we were trying to figure out what our favorite song of the night was and we just couldn’t. Because other than our unanimous choice of worst song (“The Fox”), there really wasn’t a bad one in the bunch. Lead singer Matthew Caws (whom I interviewed here back in August of 2004) is a force to be reckoned with live – his voice, which comes off as more powerful and soaring than on record, truly carried the night. Plus he comes off as just a regular guy having a good time, which made the crowd participation numbers (“Inside of Love,” “Blankest Year”) seem not as cheesy as other bands tend to be with that stuff.

As mentioned, the band is super-tight and has everything clicking on all cylinders right now. Hard to believe for a group who had such a big hit in the 1990s with such a terrible song. Here’s one case where a one-hit wonder actually benefits the band – their work since that mid-90s success has been nothing short of sensational and their show last night only reinforces the notion. A true home run. For you fans, highlights for me (other than the whole damn show) were “Always Love,” “I LIke What You Say,” “Beautiful Beat,” “Whose Authority,” “See These Bones” and “80 Windows.” Thankfully, the big hit was left out of the set.

Way better than staying home and watching the Bruins lose!

Check out “I Like What You Say” from their new album:


The Black Pees

Guys, you all know it happens sometimes. When standing up to pee, once in a while you carelessly…….miss. Maybe you’re not looking or things aren’t as, um, straight as they should be. But you miss. This happened to me in a most dramatic fashion over the weekend – I missed so badly I actually got some on my pants. Seems odd, yes, but I’m here to tell the truth. It wasn’t a lot or anything, I just knew right away because I didn’t hear the splashing. My god, what has this blog come to??? I’m just documenting my life, peoples. Sometimes it ain’t explainable.

Anyway, most of us will do the right thing and clean up the whiffed pee and then go about our day. Many will just leave it as is, especially at a public toilet. Tell you what, I NEVER touch ANYTHING when I’m in a public toilet. FORGET IT! I flush with my foot. I open all doors and turn on all faucets with my sleeve over my hand. I’m not crazily germophobic – that’s just common sense, people. Really.

OK, some music stuff. Steph and I are anxiously waiting with baited breath for the Nada Surf show tomorrow night here in Boston. We missed the last tour and I forget why, but neither of us have seen the band live yet and we are DYING to see them! That night is finally here tomorrow. Yee-haw.

Last week I hit on the new album by The Black Keys, called “Attack & Release.” This band is really growing a beautiful catalog of albums. Some would call them bluesy, others call them straight-up indie rock. It doesn’t matter what you call them – they make good music and they’ve carved out a sound all their own. You pretty much know it when you hear them. Here’s a track called “Things Ain’t Like They Used To Be” from the new album. Enjoy!