Friday, April 28, 2006

Random Ten

"Heavy Rotation, Week 2" Edition

1. “Marching Band,” Death Cab for Cutie
2. “Girl in the Way,” Josh Ritter
3. “I Am Damo Suzuki,” The Fall
4. “Factory,” The Vines
5. “Stormy Weather,” Echo and the Bunnymen
6. “Hurt,” Glass Candy and the Shattered Theatre
7. “I Love to Boogie,” T. Rex
8. “Love Train,” The Woodentops
9. “Fadin’ Away,” Green on Red
10. “Though my Door,” The Muckrakers

Part of the Heavy Rotation project is getting acquainted with bands I’ve been hearing about for years, but haven’t heard much by – Yo La Tengo, Guided by Voices, Woodentops and Green on Red, for example. The liner notes of my Green on Red best of quote a Guardian critic proclaiming them “The second best bar band in the world.” Setting aside the absurd hyperbole as applied to G on R – maybe they crack the top 50 – it got me wondering: Who’s # 1? Who’s the best bar band of all time?

Some guidelines so the discussion doesn’t just become Best Rock Band. To me the fundamental characteristics of Barbandedness are first, rough edges. The Beatles could never be called a bar band, at least not after Stu Sutcliffe left. Second, a degree of amaturishness in instrumentation and/or vocals. Richard Thompson is almost a cartoon of grittiness, but is entirely too fine a guitarist to be in a Best Bar Band. Third, a sound that fits comfortably in a confined, smoky, sticky-floored setting. In researching this post I found a blogcritic citing Cheap Trick as the Best Bar Band. No. Cheap Trick are arena rock incarnate.

I’m still working on my candidates. I have one in particular in mind, but am wondering if they are too good or too BIG for bar bandage.


k-pho said...

I read your description of barbandness, and I thought 'Pho is talking about the Replacements.' Am I wrong?

I would also say Murmer-Reckoning era R.E.M. would have a case.

redhorse said...

Pho, did you mean "Girl in the War"?

54cermak said...

Guided By Voices will always be the ultimate bar-band for me. Especially the classic pre-97 lineup.

Pho said...

k -- I think the 'Mats have a claim. I hadn't thought of them before I found someone making the case after Googling "Best bar band."

Red -- Yes, it's Girl in the War. My MP3 program reads track info off a user-supplied database and errors occur. I'll fix it.

redhorse said...

That's a fantastic song and CD. Ritter is easily among my favorites, if I haven't beaten that to death yet!

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