Wednesday, May 10th, 2006
Where I'm Anymore
With the release of Just Like The Fambly Cat yesterday, that was the end for Grandaddy. Sure, Jason Lytle is doing a compact solo acoustic tour in support, but that’s more like a roving wake than it is an actual promo jaunt. Undone by financial and personal pressures, they – and by they, I mean Lytle, the man who actually writes, plays and records the albums – elected to call it quits with this final album.
It’s tempting, given the circumstances, to read between the lines of songs like “Rear View Mirror” and “Disconnecty” than they actually merit, but all of Grandaddy’s albums have had an inherent sense of dreamy wistfulness so it’s hard say if Lytle was feeling especially elegiac when writing this final record. But that said, it’s hard to misread the intentions behind closing track “This Is How It Always Starts” with Lytle singing, “I’ll never return” over and over again. I’ve no doubt that closing the door on the ‘Daddy and hightailing it out of Modesto, CA will do wonders for his state of mind, at least from the press I’ve read.
But considering the music on its own, it sounds pretty much like a Grandaddy record. Lytle’s soft voice, thick pads of synths punctuated by fuzzed-out six-strings… If you liked them before you’ll find something to like here. If you didn’t, well this won’t change your mind. I’ve never been the biggest Grandaddy fan but I’ve got a few of their albums and seen them live so I’m informed enough to agree with those who say that Fambly Cat is their strongest effort since The Software Slump (like everyone at Metacritic). Of course, that’s just two albums ago so it’s not like they’ve been lost in the wild for years, but whatever. Fans will no doubt be saddened that one of the more unique bands on the indie scene has called it a day, but at least they go out on a high note. There’s a sense of purpose to this record that takes it up a notch, even if that purpose is to ride off into the sunset.
Dose and Paste have brief chats with Jason Lytle about the band’s dissolution and The Irish Times have a far more expansive one. And if you want even more Grandaddy dirt, I recommend picking up the current issue of
Magnet for which Grandaddy are the cover story.
But while this may be the end of Grandaddy, they’re going out in (digital) style. Check out this eCard where you get to play vaguely creepy Tamagotchi with Lytle and AOL is streaming the album in its entirety. There’s also an MP3, a video and a MySpace page so you can be friends with Jason for a long, long time.
Update: Gorilla Vs Bear has pics and a live track from Lytle’s Dallas in-store last night.
As a footnote, I’m a little alarmed about how often I’m hearing “Meow meow meow meow meow” as lyrics. Okay, it’s just Grandaddy’s “Where I’m Anymore” and Margot & The Nuclear so And So’s’ “Paper Kitten Nightmare”, but really – isn’t two already two too many?
Some shows – Man Man are at the Silver Dollar June 5 ($10.50) and The Buzzcocks are at the Phoenix June 10 as part of NxNE, tickets $22.50. David “Don’t Call Me Pedro” Bazan is at the Music Gallery on June 17, tickets $17.50. He’ll release an EP called Fewer Moving Pieces’ on June 13 while The Meligrove Band are at Lee’s Palace June
26 22 and Gomez play The Guvernment June 29 ($27.50). Mission Of Burma bring The Obliterati to the Horseshoe on July 26 – they damn near destroyed Lee’s Palace back in October 2004 so fear for the structural integrity of the ‘Shoe by the time they’re done with it. Somewhat less likely to destroy their venue are Matmos who have two dates at the Music Gallery on October 8 and 9.
And it may well appear that Toronto is getting screwed out of a Wilco presale. Fuckers. Update: Presale goes tomorrow at 10AM. Fingers crossed that a) Wilco has good seats put aside for their own presale and b) that I’ve got some good birthday mojo goin’ on…
SFist wants to know all about Champaign, Illinois, according to Erin of Headlights. The band continues work on their debut full-length due out in August but found time to stop in at WOXY and do a radio session for them.
np – Shearwater / Palo Santo