Musical T.S. Elliot references that don't involve cats

A friend of mine introduced me to the Loud Family's Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things a few years ago through a live recording of her singing the song "Inverness" with its writer, Scott Miller. I immediately wanted more, and found the album, which has since become one of my favourites.

I couldn't tell you much about them-- California-based, I assume, from their website and lyrical references-- but all I know is that each song on Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things, their 1993 debut album, grabbed me in turn. Scott Miller just has this way with melodies. I like his bitterness, especially when it's laid across the bouncier tunes. I like his literary references, when I finally catch them. I even like the cheesy use of thunderstorm sound effects on the studio version of "Inverness".

I really, really like 'im. And that's pretty good for one of my rare forays away from the world of musical theatre...

(So rare are these forays that I didn't realize until later that the name of that debut album was taken from that America song. You know the one, don't make me say it. Why didn't they name the horse?)

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Blogger Pete Galub said...

Scott Miller is a GREAT pop writer and "Inverness" is one of my faves also. I saw Aimee Mann cover it years ago, though knew about The Loud Family and owned "Plants and Birds.. " (by that time they were on their second album)
But, perhaps, EVEN BETTER than the Loud Family was Scott Miller's previous band Game Theory. Game Theory put out some great stuff, their best and most acclaimed being "Lolita Nation" There's a fantastic comp. of Game Theory stuff called "Tinkers To Ever To Chance" It's a great span of their excellent career.
If you like Scott Miller's writing a lot I also suggest some early works of Chris Stamey, esp. "It's A Wonderful Life", the dbs (Stamey's band) first 2 records "Stands For Decibels" and "Repercussions" (Both conveniently reissued as a 2-for by Collector's Choice) and anything by Sneakers (Stamey's band with Mitch Easter of Let's Active and Producer of Game Theory and Loud Family records) which Miller has stated was a big influence on him. Enjoy!

3:39 PM, March 31, 2005  
Blogger d said...

dang pete! I know that you've got your own blog rant space now but you must contribute something to soft communication! you are too knowledgeable, sensei! ...perhaps a playlist? or I can make it super easy for ya...a breakdown of your holiday mix? pretty please?

3:50 PM, March 31, 2005  
Blogger Pete Galub said...

I sent that mix to you! You didn't get it?!!!! I was wondering!!!

3:54 PM, March 31, 2005  
Blogger d said...

I did get it & I loved it (especially the left banke), I'm just using it as a playlist example...

4:02 PM, March 31, 2005  
Blogger Tavie said...

I have all the Game Theory stuff and the rest of the Loud Family stuff on my Amazon wishlist but I never seem to have time/money to buy these things... you've got my hankerin' for them again now. I've worn that CD out long enough...

And Scott Miller stuff is DANG hard to find on Limewire! (Worse yet, there's some country-singing dude wiht the same name who is apparently more popular.)

Thanks for the recommendations!

4:31 PM, March 31, 2005  
Blogger Pete Galub said...

you may find Some Game Theory stuff on CD, for cheap even, at Downtown Music on Bowery across from CB's (or like a block away and across from it) Great music store and always good prices! Good luck! By the way, are you personal friends with Aimee Mann? Please tell her it's okay about the $20 she owes me, because our friendshipt is worth at least 30.....;)

5:13 PM, March 31, 2005  
Blogger Tavie said...

Ooh nice. It's been awhile since I rifled through CD bins.

I knew her online from years ago because we had a mutual friend, and had never heard of her, and then I found out who she was and listened to her music, and I reeeeeally liked it, and so I became a supahfan afterwards.

5:28 PM, March 31, 2005  
Blogger Pete Galub said...

By the way, Tavie, I do believe the MP3 of "Inverness" that you linked to is the exact show I saw in SF some years back at Bimbo's (1997 maybe?) when the Loud Family opened. Surreal..

9:06 PM, April 02, 2005  

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