When Was The Last Time You Played This Album?

Indie Pop

The Decemberists “The Crane Wife”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#156 in the Series) is The Decemberists, The Crane Wife.

The Decemberists are one of the more current bands that I’ve written up here on Cool Album of the Day. They have been a band since 2001 and actually began getting known about 2005. This coinciding with their move to a major label.

They hail from Portland, Oregon.  The band’s name refers to The Decembrists revolt in Imperial Russian.  Many, including band leader Colin Meloy view the 1825 revolt as a communist revolution.

The Crane Wife album was inspired by a Japanese folk tale.  And you thought Rock and Rollers were shallow people!

This was the band’s first album for Capitol Records.  It received a nice media push that included national appearances on shows like Late Night with David Letterman.

The Crane Wife, released in 2006, is a good old fashioned concept album.  I wish more bands would bring us back to that era.  The Decemberists have actually made a career out of that.  God bless ‘em!

Some of the highlights include The Crane Wife, Pt 3 (Which is actually the opening number), The Perfect Crime, Sons and Daughters and of course the superb, O’ Valencia!

The album peaked at #35 on the Billboard Album Charts.

The Perfect Crime #2 did well on the Billboard Dance Charts peaking at #3.

Here’s their rock solid performance of O’ Valencia on the Letterman Show. Note to Dave: You need more room for acts this size!  (Dig the vibes! ) I actually hadn’t listened to this song for sometime.  While watching this video I’m reminded just how great a song this is. PLUS…As an added fun bonus.. Check out The Decemberists jammin’ on Heart’s Crazy on You. Check it out.


Material Issue “International Pop Overthrow”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#146 in the Series) is Material Issue, International Pop Overthrow.

One of the finest rock and roll albums to come out of the Chicago area in 1990s, Material Issue, International Pop Overthrow.

Material Issue was a three piece power pop band that wasn’t around very long.  They did put out some wonderful music while they did.

They were led by Jim Ellison. He was Material Issue.  He wrote most of the songs, sang the songs, played guitar on the songs and found a record label to release the songs, etc.

When Jim Elison died in 1996 so did Material Issue.

Ted Asani and Mike Zelenko made up the rest of the trio.

International Pop Overthrow was released in 1991.  It contained three well known songs that were the highlights of their career.  They were, Diane, Renee Remains the Same and Valerie Loves Me.

The early to mid nineties was a hot time for Chicago bands.  Smashing Pumpkins, Urge Overkill and Liz Phair led the way.

I’d rather listen to Material Issue myself.

Here’s the video for Valerie Loves Me followed by Diane performed live on the Dennis Miller Show. Last up is Renee Remains the Same


White Lies “To Lose My Life”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day is The White Lies ‘To Lose My Life…”

I was starting to think that everyone thought I only listen to things that were recorded years ago. For that reason, I’ve decided to go with something current today. Why you ask? Well, because it reminded me of something that was recorded years ago!

This is called To Lose My Life by The White Lies. If you were a fan of bands like The Cure, Ultravox, Echo and The Bunnymen, Joy Division etc, then I think that you would like The White Lies.


Fanfarlo “Reservoir”

Today’s Cool Album of The Day is Fanfarlo’s “Reservoir.”

I was not familiar with this act until seeing them yesterday on Late Night With David Letterman. A little guitar here, a little mandolin touch there. All served on a bed of harmonies and melodies. Good stuff. London based. Keep your ears out for the song called, ‘Harold T. Wilkins, Or How To Wait For a Very Long Time.’