Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Picasso or a Garfunkel

#6 Gordon: Barenaked Ladies. I know what Trevor's thinking....I waited 100 days for this? But this is my list, not his. And Gordon transports me back to a place and time. This was released in the Summer of '92, and I was on my way driving X-country to Seattle -- after living my whole life in NY, I was breaking out and driving solo to a far away place, and this album was my companion. BNL were from Toronto, where they were cult heroes -- their popularity extended across to Buffalo, from where I had just graduated college. I had never heard a CD that was such a complete mixture of fine musicianship and side-splitting humor. This CD is just so much fun. The snarky humor of Be My Yoko Ono and $1,000,000, the absolute goofiness of Grade 9 and King of Bedside Manor, and brilliant, brooding songs like Hello City and especially the beautiful Brian Wilson. It was the soundtrack for that cross-country trip - full of hope and fear and laughs.
Another gem on that album is Box Set, where they chronicle the life cycle of a pop band that hits heights and crashes down. The story of Box Set almost came true last year, as BNLs lead singer Steven Page became a cliche with a bizarre drug bust in NY and then getting booted from the band. They are not the same without his soaring vocals and biting satire. But they are still one of the most fun bands live you will ever see - just dont forget to bring the macaroni and cheese!

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