Whadya know? Eef Barzelay’s modern-life-is-rubbish lyrics sound as good stripped down to just him and a guitar as they do with the full Clem Snide players behind him. Granted, Clem Snide is never more than half-dressed anyway, but it’s quite nice hearing the intricacies of Barzelay’s fractured wails so intimately. Pretty, insightful, lovely.
Robert Schneider has a special place in my heart. It’s not just the perfect pop he has cranked out under the monikers of the Apples in Stereo, the Marbles, and Ulysses. You see, he’s such a swell guy. Many years ago, I left Utah with my girlfriend to drive to Denver under the guise of visiting my sister, when in fact, I wanted to see the Apples. By the time we reached Denver, my girlfriend was my fiancée, and the first thing we did upon arriving was head to the Lion’s Lair (oh yeah, it was a dive) to see the Apples with special guests, The Drags. While we didn’t tell them we just got engaged, we did tell them we made the trek from Utah just to see them (and my sister, in case she’s reading). They embraced us as dear friends. The love affair will continue when the Marbles play Memphis on March 24th supporting their new album Expo and Clem Snide.
For a group that has sounded so methodical for so long, this new, Tennessee Waltzy pace is nearly euphoric. Likewise, there’s a sonic sheen to “Fill Me With Your Light” that seems almost…polished. But beneath all of the unassuming hoopla is the same old song: the guys who come across as more down on themselves than anyone else have this strange power to make us feel a whole lot better about ourselves.
3hive is more than just a good time, it’s an education. Today’s lesson covers one of the classics. If I may share, the very first t-shirt I made myself (designed and screened!) as a skinny 16 year old was a Camper Van Beethoven t-shirt. The second was a legendary Memphis band, Think as Incas, but that’s another story. CVB — while one of the founding fathers of indie rock — was really all things to all people, genre-hopping as they felt so inclined. ‘Cause, you know, it really was all about the music. The new album from the re-united CVB, New Roman Times, comes out in October.