Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Boys, feelings.

Feelings. If we are not dolts, how do boys get them out in our formative years? Do we opt for the all-out arty sensitivity of The Cure? Or do we try something just slightly tougher, like Rites of Spring?

In the mid-nineties, there were plenty of bands who were finding a middle way, a way that tamed the manic angst of hardcore and twisted it up with the heartbroken poetry of more mainstream alternatives, all tightly tucked beneath an almost fifties-era clean-scrubbed boyish exterior. These guys verged on being boys you wouldn't mind bringing home to mom, and their music made sensitive boys and girls (present company included) get all clenchy-chested (even if present company happened to already be too old for that shit).

But generally speaking, Crank! and Jade Tree managed to strike the gold vein just at the right time, unleashing boy-bands of the tolerable sort on confused suburban teenagers from Omaha to Austin to Chicago.

From Crank!:
Mineral - Parking Lot
Buy it!
Cursive - Downhill Racers
Buy it!

From Jade Tree:
Cap'n Jazz - We Are Scientists!
Buy it!
The Promise Ring - Red and Blue Jeans
Buy it!

Of course, these were bands that kept on giving. Cursive is the only one that survives somewhat intact, but half of these guys started playing together when they were like ten, so they have all kinds of years left in them, having played in multitudinous ensembles from then until now. Many of them have also learned how to sing, which may be a plus or minus, depending on which book you read. I lean toward "plus" as I slide into my Adult Contemporary years.

Didn't plan on a bonus, but why not catch up with some of the boys...
Make Believe - Say What You Mean Tim Kinsella's latest (Cap'N Jazz, Joan of Arc, etc.)
Zookeeper's (Chris Simpson from Mineral, Gloria Record)MySpace consulate.
Maritime - Calm Davey von Bohlen (Promise Ring) continues to make it count.
And, because JB once said somewhere that that Maritime song recalled this band for him, why not a dash of K.O.D.?
Kitchens of Distinction - Within The Daze of Passion
Buy it!
And with that, I believe I've come full circle.


  • At 9:53 AM, Blogger jbreitling said…

    "Red And Blue Jeans" is one of those desert island tunes. It is awesome in its own right, but also a worthy and sufficient proxy for literally dozens of records.

  • At 7:33 PM, Blogger unknown said…

    great to see K O D getting some time of day.... terrible name, but such great guitars! they had a 'song of the day' over at my place (in scotland) not so long ago... 'when in heaven'... later...

  • At 10:20 PM, Blogger jbreitling said…

    Oh man, w/ K.O.D. it's all about "What Happens Now."


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