Once upon a time (from 2004 till early last year), Roy Trakin and I had a site called musicsnobs.com (with no www), sponsored by Sony Connect (soon to be defunct), on which we dia-blogged using IM. Indulge us now as we relive those carefree days, comparing notes on what I’d been anticipating as THE guitar-pop bill of the summer: Squeeze with Fountains of Wayne. It started with an aside...
Bud: Squeeze was really good at the Greek.
Roy: they were... i thought fountains were pretty good, too. very enjoyable....
Bud: They have a lotta memorable songs, and the band still cooks.
Roy: I met Bret from Flight of the Conchords backstage... My big thrill of the night.
Roy: "Brit... Brit... Best show on TV!!" No Jemaine in sight, though. But I love Bret.
Bud: Me too. Interesting seeing all the power-pop connoiseurs there last night. Including Glickie and Julia.
Roy: Ahhhhh... good for them... It was definitely a night for the savants. It's hard to put over good pop music in a setting like that, but they both did, I thought.
Bud: Yup. FOW suffered a bit from semi-obscure song choices and murky sound, apart from drums. But the patter was hilarious—Adam Schlesinger is a very funny dude.
Roy: FOW's comment about giving 70% in a venue that was 30-40% full was pretty funny.
Bud: Loved that 30-40% line.
Roy: funny... Michael Hartman said it was one of the most self-deprecating things he'd ever heard a band say onstage.
Bud: In truth, I thought they gave a solid 85%, which is the best you can expect without the energy of an adoring crowd.
Roy: neither band are what you'd call powerhouses live, though... that was my only problem... It really was just about the music.
Bud: Omigod, we’re unconsciously doing Music Snobs!
Roy: i was just thinking the same thing.
Bud: I'm saving this, just in case.
Roy: Difford and Tilbrook... Scoppa and Trakin... together again.
Bud: There you go.
Roy: those two really do have a nice chemistry with their vocals... very distinctive. Chris and Glenn, that is.
Roy: The high and the low.
Bud: Love the contrast. To me they're a power-pop Steely Dan—very dry and acerbic.
Roy: I thought it was a good show, but it was hard not to be "bored" a little by it all... Just my take. But Squeeze was good... It's incredible to realize none of those hits ever really crossed over to the Top 40 here. They seemed ubiquitous to me.... I dunno. There were at least seven-eight songs I remember... even album cuts.
Bud: They were central to my life. Loved that they went to "I Think I'm Go Go." But then, I was their A&M product manager in the beginning.
Roy: When was that song from? I didn't remember it.
Bud: Argybargy. Great album. “Mussels,” “Nail,” “If I Didn't Love You.”
Roy: That was my favorite, too... The only comparison I can make is to Hall & Oates... Same kind of R&B/Motown feel...
Bud: They're my fave kinda pop band—one that grooves. That's what I loved about the Odds. You have to be able to really play to pull that off.
Roy: the band was pretty impressive when they stretched out.
Roy: I argued with Hartman afterward... I thought they were second-tier, but underrated as opposed to Elvis Costello, who's better, but overrated. And first tier.
Bud: I rate Squeeze higher than you do.
Roy: that's all... they certainly write better pop hooks than Elvis. Kind of a B+... is my assessment. Just below the pantheon level.
Bud: They're part of my parallel universe HOF, along with the Tubes, Todd, Dolls, Gram Parsons, Little Feat, Roxy Music...
Roy: in an Andrew Sarris vein. I can see what you mean... very underrated... I mean, classically so.
Bud: Far Side of Paradise is a reasonable category to put them in.
Roy: there you go.
Bud: Love the Sarris categories. Lightly Likable is very handy.
Roy: he was always one of my favorites when it came to lists... sort of the original Nick Hornby
Bud: He was indeed… By the way, I watched Friday Night Lights on your recommendation. Just watched the first-season finale.
Roy: did you get a copy of that FNL DVD?
Bud: No, I DVR'd a bunch of episodes and just finished last night. Awesome show.
Roy: what a wonderful show... put a lump in my throat at least several times per episode...
Roy: The relationship with the Coach and his family is so real.
Bud: It starts there.
Roy: I don't think there's a better depiction of the modern American family.
Bud: Big Love, mebbe—by exaggeration.
Roy: well, that is the nuclear family times three. it just explores the various sides in an unusual situation. This season of Big Love has been superb, also.
Bud: It has indeed. This is the new golden age of TV, that's for sure.
Roy: I heard one of the ESPN commentators last night on Sports Center calling referencing Flight of the Conchords. Someone got a clutch hit to start a rally, and the anchor went, "It's business time..."
Bud: Love it. Bret and Jemaine are taking over.