Saturday, March 10, 2012

Jonathan Segel -- All Attractions

Back in 1985, David Barbe of Mercyland sang,

A three-man band is bound by natural limitations. 
How bound must we be?
Is there a rule that says we bank on imitation
And limit songs to only three
Minutes and parts, that is?

Jonathan Segel has an answer to that question.

I am completely unfamiliar with Segel's work in Camper Van Beethoven. All I know about that band is that David Lowery is in it, and, frankly, he seems like kind of a douche. So kudos to Segel to putting up with him, I guess. In the interest of transparency, this album ended up in my inbox for "editorial consideration," and I'm really glad it did.

Only one song in this album clocks in at 3 minutes, and that's the shortest one of the lot. I don't know what kind of music he plays with his other projects, but here Segel states rather emphatically that rock songs -- even catchy ones -- don't have to be short to be sweet.

I've never been one for jam bands, but I've felt that rock and roll doesn't always need to be so curt in order to pack a punch. Segel manages to find the balance between self-indulgent noodling and legitimate musical exploration. The songs float across genres, and the theme that unites them -- searching for that one person who understands you -- is eloquently expressed without sounding hackneyed or corny. For this, Segel deserves a huge round of applause for risking -- and attaining -- what many rock'n'rollers shy away from: an emotionally honest, deeply adventurous, and profoudnly satisfying album. And since the digital download is only $5, that's definitely money well-spent.

(Ever And) Always
Hey You (I Know You Know Me)

Jonathan Segel -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp, CD Baby

Sorry for the late update, y'all! Starting THIS week, Adobe and Teardrops will now be updating on Sundays, MONDAYS (new!), Wednesdays, and Fridays. This week I'll feature Japanese bands in memory of last year's tsunami/earthquake.

1 comment:

  1. I have met David Lowery on two separate occasions, and both times he seemed like he was too cool for the situation he was in. That and his (obviously) high maintenance wife/possible manager keep the "regular people" away from him. So yeah, he might be a douche, but I'm not sure it's entirely all his fault. When his wife isn't around, he seems like a decent guy.

    Putting that aside, Camper and Cracker are two of my favorite bands mostly because of Lowery's sharp wit.

    But, since this is a Segal post, and you aren't too familiar with his work in Camper Van Beethoven, expect to see some Segel infused CVB in your inbox within the next day or so.