Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Feeling

I recently discovered Brit band The Feeling. Or rather, re-discovered. The quintet had a free single on iTunes a whiiiiiile back (their Twelve Stops and Home album opener, "Sewn"), and I half-listened to it, in the way I half-listen to even the most decent free singles (to go off on a tangent: is it me, or have the free singles lately been lacking? I'll save that for a later post. Mental note). However, this past October I met the fantastic Nick Hornby, and asked him about some good music and he recommended The Feeling's song "I Love It When You Call," which is an uber-catchy ode to love, or falling in love, or being not-so-sure about love, just as the rest of the songs on their album Twelve Stops and Home are. That is in no way a move to say they are plain or boring. Each song's catchiness and melody is independent of the other, and yet the album feels like a cohesive unit, with not too many ballads, not too many rockers, and enough catchy hooks to last you until Chinese Democracy is released (and I mean that in a "it-will-last-forever" way, not a "Chinese-Democracy-will-bring-more-catchy-hooks!!" way). Despite loving Nick Hornby's choice, my two favorites off of Twelve Stops are "Never Be Lonely," a doe-eyed ditty full of "b-b-b-baby's" and "c-c-c-crazy's" and "Helicopter," a piano-laden tune that harks back to the Beatles (the way all Brit-pop bands do).
So what separates The Feeling from every other melodic/hooky/Britpop band? Well, you could argue nothing. In my opinion though, they stand out for their shameless longings for love, their just-enough dose of Morrissey, and their boy-band-but-not-in-bad-way harmonies. Think of them as Travis+Backstreet Boys+Fratellis+Beatles. Just really pleasant, fun tunes with lyrics you may have heard before, but won't mind hearing again.

Cigarette Smoke and Mirrors

In a recent issue of Rolling Stone, there was a fold-out feature titled the Indie-Rock Universe. It was cartoonish, made to look like a bored teen scribbling and doodling in their notebook. It was pointless and fun, and that seemed about it. But then the ad on the outside of the folds, there was a similarly colored and styled Camel cigarette ad, which itself promoted indie music, and their new site (which has since been shut-down). Harmless advertising or planned ploy? To me, it seemed like the latter, and many agree. The "Indie Rock Universe" seemed like a part of the Camel ad, and vice versa. Many have noticed, and Rolling Stone and Camel both seem to be in some hot water.
Another bone I have to pick is in Camel's sponsoring of many indie concerts. These are clearly aimed not only at the young concert-going crowd but the younger concert-going crowd, those young impressionable teens like myself. The bands who have had their concerts cig-sponsored defend their ways by saying that they just want to sell affordable tickets to their fans, but I ask this: Won't your fans be dead if they smoke too many cigs??? WELLL?????

Below are some great articles about the topic. What are your views?

Paste article
The Daily Swarm article