Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Jeez Louise

Play it: Grandaddy Just Like the Fambly Cat
Play it: Best of Grandaddy + Odds and Ends
AOL Interface w/ Jason Lytle (on the passing of Grandaddy)
All my friends are home indoors, reading about me, feeling sorry for the guy who tried

- "Guide Down Denied" Grandaddy
As I posted awhile back, Grandaddy has called it quits, and their final release, Just Like the Fambly Cat, finally made it's way into Rhapsody yesterday. The album is weighted in death and departure, coming across as a far more personal album, and knowing it's the end for the group, makes it all the more heavy. The lo-fi/ELO/skater pop is still there, with an underlying sadness not unlike Grandaddy's best album, The Sophtware Slump. Songs like "Summer... It's Gone" and "Campershell Dreams" typify the best space-pop moments of their career, and the lo-fi pop of "Elevate Myself" harkens back to simple indie pop of their first (almost) hit "A.M. 180."

The way Grandaddy was working in the end was Jason Lytle writes and records all the music, and the band members all convene to play them live. This relationship was no longer working, as the bulk of what little Grandaddy pulled in went overwhelmingly (and justly) to Lytle. The extra touring for Sumday - opening for Pete Yorn and Saves the Day - really broke the band's spirit, playing for audiences that didn't get them and dipping deep into drug and alcohol abuse. So when Lytle broke off contact with the rest of the band to record Fambly Cat (and pull himself out of the drinking/drugs tailspin) it was assumed by the rest of the band that they were done. When Honda came knocking to purchase the rights to use the song "Nature Theme", Lytle jumped at the offer ($75K) so he could both finance Fambly Cat, and then make an attempt at some financial restitution for his bandmates left in lurch. The final album was able to be completed and the band parted ways, with Lytle vowing to finally get out of Modesto (heading for Montana?)

In the end, the band carved a nice niche for itself that unfortunately wasn't popular enough to keep things together, but influential enough at least for their beard and trucker hat look to become quite fashionable in indie circles. I'm anxious to hear what Lytle cooks up next... hopefully the ELO/Skater vibe will carry on in some fashion.

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drake leLane said...

Grandaddy Just Like the Fambly Cat

1. What Happened...
2. Jeez Louise
3. Summer...It's Gone
4. Oxygen / Aux Send
5. Rear View Mirror
6. The Animal World
7. Skateboarding Saves Me Twice
8. Where I'm Anymore
9. 50%
10. Guide Down Denied
11. Elevate Myself
12. Campershell Dreams
13. Disconnecty
14. This Is How It Always Starts
15. Shangri-La (Outro)

drake leLane said...

Best of Grandaddy + Odds and Ends

* "A.M. 180" - Grandaddy
* "Summer Here Kids" - Grandaddy
* "Hand Crank Transmitter" - Grandaddy
* "Hewlett's Daughter" - Grandaddy
* "The Crystal Lake" - Grandaddy
* "Chartsengrafs" - Grandaddy
* "Revolution" - Grandaddy
* "L.F.O." - Grandaddy
* "Best Of All Possible Worlds" - Grandaddy
* "Now It's On" - Grandaddy
* "The Warming Sun" - Grandaddy
* "El Caminos In The West" - Grandaddy
* "Nature Anthem" - Grandaddy
* "Pull The Curtains" - Grandaddy
* "Dance of the Inhabitants of the Palace of King Philip XIV of Spain" - Grandaddy
* "Elevate Myself" - Grandaddy
* "Summer...It's Gone" - Grandaddy

J Shifty said...

As if to drive home the melancholy, personal vibe in this record the first time I heard Elevate Myself I happened to be staring at stacks of paper by an IKEA light while the world goes by...

Maybe I should shave the beard, sell my trucker hat, and head for Montana, too!

So far nothing stands far out from the rest of the Grandaddy oeuvre for me, but these things always take repeated listen to really settle in and start to unfold.