Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Best Band Ever*

*according to me, at this moment, subject to change.

I think I decided this would be a good band to profile/highlight (whatever) yesterday because they are a really really really good band that I have no idea why they weren't bigger than what they were. But when I woke up this morning I felt like shit, hadn't slept well and didn't really wanna try too hard and so maybe I should pick a more popular artist, but then I would have to worry about being more accurate and no doubt incomplete, and I was kind of down and so I didn't want to go to Thom Yorke land right now, or contemplate and discuss a Blind Melon "reunion" and so I just wanted to go back to sleep because once it took me half an hour to find my glasses this was quickly turning into the worst September 11th ever.
But then either providence or persistence took over, and as I played their songs this morning in bed, they stuck with me and I remembered just how great this band was, and also how optimistic the songs can lift your spirits. They've deserved it. Plus Macca (not to be confused with Macaca) likes them. And so Steadman is the Best Band Ever*

I first heard of Steadman my freshmen year, when one of my friends, Julia (not Hubby) was I guess working for Elektra's college street team or whatever, because she had bags of cds she was to spread the word about. I of course took advantage of such a situation and got 2 cds from bands I had never heard of but was willing to take a chance on (especially for free) JET and Steadman. The album from JET, I'm sure you've heard about but I really was equally if not more impressed by the Steadman album Revive. It was actually their second album but their first on Elektra (Loser Friendly was their first album released independently as Steadman, which you can definitely tell was independently made [ that makes it "realer"] but is still really good and is kind of growing on me more.)
The album, Revive, was full of upbeat melodies, catchy choruses, swelling harmonies and optimistic (uplifitng) lyrics. It was like a last gasp of a mature BritPop (and in fact they have been called Oasis without all the assholeness.)
Reading the lyrics again this morning I was struck by their positive energy and their (kind of cliche to write about not in lyric form) belief that everyone can be better and can and should try to live life on your own terms and enjoy every moment of it, come what may, "what matters most is how well you walk through the fire"-like (Come Alive, Create Your Fate, Live It Up, No Big Deal, and Revive have this vibe the deepest.) It is actually hard for me to pick a favorite track from this album I really dig them all, except for maybe Sun Lotion, and perhaps it's just nostalgia or rooting for the underdog and tragic unheralded artist that I once trumpeted and so it may difficult for me to view them objectively but it is a truly truly tremendous album
I was not the only one who was impressed: Paul McCartney after hearing this album (he was especially moved by Carried) and seeing them live slipped them a note:

High Praise from the High King of Pop. But maybe such lofty words weren't really a boon, even though there is no way anyone who hears this band can be disappointed or think they didn't live up to the hype (hype, hype)I still have no idea why this album did basically nothing, especially in the era of Coldplay, Starsailor, Travis and the like, and so you have probably never heard it ( I blame Elektra's marketing department for causing this band to be dropped.) I had somehow lost my cd a couple of years ago and couldn't find this album anywhere so I was incredibly incredibly happy (almost embarrassingly so) to find that you can download or stream the whole album (and in fact their whole catalog) from the band's website. But it's sort of disgusting how this band has really just fallen through the cracks, seriously how are they unsigned? ( it's sort of like the SLJ quote from that new movie I didn't see "I went from up and coming to has been with nothing in between.") And this live video is the only thing the mighty youtube can offer, but enjoy it nonetheless- it's Wave Goodbye off of their album Revive

As I was doing "research" for this I listened to more and more of their stuff and they may actually be better live. At times like this I thank the internet and Archive.org for having, in this case 6 concerts for download and enjoyment.I'm not sure if the still tour but if they do take a chance.
And so for all of these reasons, for justice and because you'll love me later, Steadman is the Best Band Ever*.

Steadman-City of the Living Dead (download)
(if you're really lazy you can download the album here as a zip file, I guess, but seriously that's pretty lazy-not that I judge. At least go to their website and check out everything else. And of course spread the gospel.)

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