Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Music That's Making Me Happy Today, vol.34

This post is not about one group or song but instead a potpourri of music that has captured my attention and is certainly worth yours.

The Morning Benders. I don't want to jinx anything, but I have a feeling the Morning Benders will soon become my favorite local band. Or at least they'll tie for that honor, if the rumor I heard about the Maydays reforming comes to fruition. Anyway, my unbridled love for the Morning Benders is just a suspicion at this point because I've only heard a few of their songs. I discovered them on MySpace (I know, I know, but that site is a good source for new music) in June, and I love what I've heard so far. However, I've yet to hear an entire album, and I've never seen them live. This Berkeley/Oakland-based outfit plays all the time, but for one reason or another over the last six months, I've always had to miss their shows. I've had to work, or I've had other plans, or they play in L.A. a week before I visit and are playing in San Francisco while I'm in L.A. You get the picture. But a few days ago I bought their two EP's online, and in a few weeks, I'll actually have the opportunity to see them play.

I have a feeling that once I hear more of their music and see them perform, I'll fall completely in love. At least I hope so.

"Understanding Jane" by Icicle Works. Have I written about this song on this space before? Well, my apologies, if I have, but I just adore it. I was first introduced to this most excellent power pop ditty when I heard it on my local radio station in 1987. I guess not many people loved it as much as I did, though, because it never became a big hit and seemed to disappear... probably to be remembered only by serious Icicle Works fans and music industry types working in the late 80's. But it has always held a place in my heart. About a year or so ago I began to seek out a copy of the song, and my search took me to places like Amoeba Records and You Tube. Sadly, I always came up empty. Until the fateful day a few weeks ago when I decided to check Amazon. It seems so obvious that I wonder why I didn't think of Amazon before, but whatever... success! Now, "Understanding Jane" is enjoying heavy rotation on my iPod.

Sassy!!! Another local band discovered, accidentally, actually, on MySpace. And it's not just their name that endears this band to me. From what I've heard, Sassy!!! sounds exactly like the kind of band I would have formed as a guitar playing teenager. Had I formed my own band back then. Talk about power pop. They recently played with the Dickies at the Red Devil Lounge, but I was otherwise engaged and couldn't make the shows. Also, the idea of the Dickies at the Red Devil Lounge, of all places, truly frightens me. But I'll catch the girls of Sassy!!! soon, I hope.

In other news, I have a big few days ahead of me. Tomorrow I have a singing lesson and a pedicure followed by opening night of Danny Hoch's new show at Berkeley Rep. On Thursday, it's another singing lesson and then Katrina's birthday party. And after work on Friday, I'm going to a private karaoke party. Imagine the rock star possibilities!

So much to do, so little me.

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