I know I'm kind of peculiar.
I realize that normal people don't forget to eat for entire days.
Clearly, I'm clueless at life.
However, I think I've got a vague idea what I'm doing when it comes to music.
Aside from a few glaring sore thumbs (Chevelle among them), I think I can typically tell a good band when I hear them.
So why were there only a handful of people at the Life And Times show here in Cleveland on Friday? That band is ridiculously awesome. Am I crazy?
(It's a rhetorical question.)
(Okay, fine. I'm crazy.)
Still, I'm always astounded that certain bands aren't more popular.
So I dug through my CDs to come up with 6 bands past and present who I think deserve(d) a little more attention….
The Life And Times
This three-piece was founded by Allen Epley–who knows a thing or seven about underrated bands, since he came from now-defunct K.C. math-rock geniuses Shiner. When Allen came back with the similarly angular yet overwhelmingly vast-sounding Life And Times, I thought for sure I was gonna all of a sudden have to stand in the back of packed venues just to see them. But three EPs, a full-length and a seriously entertaining DVD later, I still coulda reached out and easily pulled Allen's pedal board out from under him. Of course, I would never. But I coulda.
You need: Suburban Hymns
This husband and wife duo have seen a lot of love from advertising execs. But not a ton from us people with souls. You can hear Viva Voce's lush brand of electronic/orchestral/Postal Servicey indie rock in commercials for Microsoft, Motorola, Pontiac and (yes) All detergent. They've even toured with Jimmy Eat World. So why is it that I was able to find their 2004 effort The Heat Can Melt Your Brain last weekend in the $2 bin at the used CD store? Lunacy. That's why.
You need: Lovers, Lead The Way
The Jazz June
If you've got the rhythms of every Braid song ingrained in your temporal lobe and you find yourself constantly lamenting the lack of bands who sound like the Promise Ring, I have no pity on you–unless you already own everything by the Jazz June. They were under the radar during their heyday and pretty much off any radar when they went on hiatus. They've been playing out again over the past couple of years, and if you happen to see their name on a flier near you, you need to follow it.
You need: TheÂ Medicine
I get a lot of shit for championing Matchbook Romance's second and final full-length Voices. Apparently I stayed on the bandwagon one album too long. But I don't give an eff. That just left more hyper-melodic, ultra-dramatic anthems for me. But I guess making an album that only one potentially crazy person likes isn't enough to keep a band together. And you people made them break up in 2007. For what? Feist?
You need: Voices
Jump, Little Children
Okay, so I kind of get why Jump, Little Children weren't that huge. Meandering cello and lyrics that are actually poetic isn't everybody's favorite. (If it were, then explain Breaking Benjamin.) Still, this mainstream glossy yet artsy sort of precursor to the likes of Anathallo deserved more than just "cult" status before their 2005 break-up. And nobody will ever think of a better band name than this. So just stop.
You need: Vertigo
There's just no excuse for this one, everybody. Far-Less are easily the best band you've been missing out on. And you really don't have an excuse, because they've sounded like three different bands over their career–starting out with pretty standard screamo, then morphing into a melodic/occasionally screamo unit with more than a few similarities to Thrice, and then settling on their current incarnation–a scream-free outfit with a definite Muse vibe. Whatever era you land on, you're sure to thank me.
I won't say anything (to your face) about how late to the party you were.
You need: Turn To The Bright EP