Definitely Take in the Trashcan Sinatras – Brel is a Gem

My friend Rob and I bonded over many things.  One of the first was a similar taste in music.  Trading CDs and musical suggestions became a regular event… It still is.  Telling each other about a new band or a favorite artist was like an exchange of gifts.

I gave Rob, amongst other things, the gift of Thirteen Senses and Teenage Fanclub… a present I have already, and will gladly share again with all of you.  He gave me a plethora of stuff, two of the highlights being The Pearlfishers (fantastic Brit Pop band) and probably the best “discovery” of the last five years for me… Trashcan Sinatras.

The band was formed in Irvine, Scotland in 1986.  I was in Edinburgh in 1987, so it kills me that I might have been able to see them and didn’t.  And how I missed them throughout the ’80s and in general is a mystery and a point of sadness.  I adore this band so much and listen to them all the time.

They started as a covers band but quickly began to write and record their own stuff.  The lineup has changed a little, but is now:

Stephen Douglas (drums, vocals), Francis (Frank) Reader (vocals, acoustic guitar), Paul Livingston (lead guitar), John Douglas (rhythm guitar, vocals)… This is who I saw twice on the most recent, acoustic tour.

When they play with a full band (which I have yet to see) they add in Stevie Mulhearn (keyboards) and Frank Divanna (bass)

They “purchased a recording studio in Kilmarnock, naming it Shabby Road. Work began on their debut album, which was eventually released in 1990. Cake featured the band’s largest worldwide hit single, “Obscurity Knocks” as well as a couple other alternative music hits (“Only Tongue Can Tell” and “Circling the Circumference”).  The band was often compared to The Smiths and the success of Cake in the United States, where it spent three months in the Billboard 200, led to extensive touring in both the UK and North America in support of the album.

I am sure I heard a few of those songs, but how did they  not stick???  I guess I just wasn’t ready… Sometimes timing is everything in music.  I cannot imagine my musical life without Trashcan Sinatras in it.  Seriously.  They are that good and their music has been with me for both the good and the bad times… I made a mix CD of their songs and it basically lives in my car’s CD changer.  Awesome.

Trashcan Sinatras – Brel (Acoustic Performances From Glasgow)

You can learn pretty quickly about how good a band  is by their live performances… If they sound as good or better than the studio recordings, you know that they are the real deal and don’t rely on studio tricks and manipulation.  This band is the real thing.

This collection has some of their great, older material, but a lot of songs from the amazing, new album In the Music… Well, new as of 2009.  They are definitely due for a new one!

One of my favorite songs from the last album and so good live on this one is “Oranges and Apples”, a gorgeous tune written for and inspired by Syd Barrett, one of the founders of Pink Floyd.

This whole CD is lush and moving and something you will come back to again and again.  Man!  Their other live CD, Fezis a great companion piece.  I love what Amazon says about that one…

“There’s a delicacy about the Trashcan Sinatras’ sunny, thoughtful pop, a quality brought to the fore on their all-acoustic live recording, Fez. Recorded in New York on a cold December night, the Sinatras warmed up the place with a mix of old and new songs, all of which blend together here in a lovely, stripped-down blur… It speaks to the band’s consistency and the affection that their uncommonly buoyant sound inspires.”
There is not an album of theirs I would tell you to skip.  They are seriously that enjoyable.  I hope you like them as much as I do… That will be my gift to you… just like it was Rob’s amazing gift to me.


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Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

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