Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Stay Cool

When I interviewed Nic Haracourt, of my favorite radio show Sounds Eclectic a couple weeks ago, I asked him what makes one out of the 400+ CDs he receives weekly stand out enough to feature that artist on his show. He said that it had to evoke something; it had to be crucial and different. He said that I should know.

I stuttered, and sort of said, uh huh sure, and then after I got off the phone with him, really thought about what he said. Yes, I now have the ridiculous luck of receiving a new CD in the mail everyday (quite a step down from Haracourt's weekly 400), and I do obviously listen to each and everyone, but I couldn't tell you whether a CD is crucial or not. Does it have to be? But I suppose I can say when it is different. I've been mocked for being too nice and always liking everything I listen to, which is sort of true. I defend myself in that I like some things better than others, and yes there are terrible terrible bands, but Joe Schmoe out in Kentucky could really dig them, so who I am I to judge? That whole critic/fan thing gets in the way, and yes I know I can be critical without judging, but I'd rather not. Why? Because maybe I am too nice.

Anyways, one of the CDs I received a few weeks ago that I can call different, and perhaps even crucial, was from a local Washington DC band The Hard Tomorrows. Their five song EP has been in heavy rotation as of late, and I've come to determine that EPs have significantly improved over the last few years. They are conceived on a much higher level, and it really becomes a stellar introduction to new bands. This EP is no different.

The perfect mix tape (and you can quote Nick Hornby's High Fidelity on this) has to kick it off with a killer. I say the same goes for en EP. On The Hard Tomorrows they had me at "Put Yourself Out." The beginning guitars resemble the beginning of Cloud Room's "Hey Now Now" and it’s that same intensity and happiness, mixed with carelessness that I love. And this song that takes you somewhere (is that what Haracourt meant by crucial?) and has movement. It'll pause one crafty second and then build up and let down in one swift line. By the end, "how do they do it?" may be the one and only question you'll have in your mind. The rest of the EP is equally as impressive, however I found myself initially tracking back to the first song because I am easily addicted to greatness. But since then, I've found myself cruising along for the whole ride.

For this past issue of the magazine we has planned on having "Sounds Like" boxes so that readers could easily reference new bands. But I began to pull my hair out trying to think of appropriate comparisons for a lot of bands that were ultimately trying to do something different. Like those, The Hard Tomorrows cannot and should not be put into any genre or compared to any other band. They have created the start of what I think will be quite a career, standing on their own two feet.

Okay - have a gushed enough? Just listen. And if that's not reason enough, their EP comes with 5 different covers that you can choose from by a very cool artist Becky Schmidt. This one is my favorite, probably because I've always had a soft spot for yellow ducks and guys with skull t-shirts. How lucky am I?

MP3s (right click, save as)
Put Yourself Out
Dear Mary

You can purchase the complete EP, 5 Songs here. They are currently recording their first full-length album to be released this fall.


Chris said...

great post! i'm definitely intrigued...can't wait to get home and download

Chris said...

i'm loving this! i think my favorite track so far is 'dear mary'...thanks for the tip.

superinkygirl said...

How do I get a get a free cd to listen to everyday? Sign me up!

Once again, a sophisticated, well thought-out blog entry.

I, too, have a hard time really dissing any band, mainly because I'm impressed with the fact that they are willing to put their music out there, even if it's not up my alley. Dig?

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