Under the Influence of Giants

You too can be cool enough to buy this album.

I have it on good authority (in other words, a well-spoken bar friend on his 6th vodka and tonic) that both the new Dixie Chicks album and the new John Mayer album will change your life. This may be true. But I’d like to point you toward something else entirely, a band called Under the Influence of Giants.

Being a public radio nerd, I eschew mainstream radio, especially Top 40 schlock. One of my more reliable sources of good music is Pandora.com. Just by having that site running in the background at work I’ve learned about a lot of stuff I wouldn’t normally hear otherwise. Check it out; it’s great.

One day I heard something that sounded like an incongruous mish-mash of The Killers, Michael Jackson and Led Zeppelin, filtered through an ’80s-tinted lens. The song, “In the Clouds,” was relentlessly driving, arresting, beautiful. I had no idea what it was about, but it sounded damn good to me.

That night I downloaded their entire album from iTunes and listened to it over and over for a week.

James Christopher Monger of All Music Guide once described a Jill Sobule song, “Cinnamon Park,” as “ludicrously catchy.” Take a listen and I think you might agree. It’s either catchy, or ludicrously annoying. And there is a fine line between the two, I think.

Anyway, “In the Clouds” is definitely in the “ludicrously catchy” category, and the rest of the album is just as gorgeous.

I don’t know enough about music or musical influences to write anything coherent or useful about these guys. For starters, they are nothing like Jill Sobule. So, let’s leave descriptions of their sound to the music journalists. Mainly, I want people to know about them and support them and buy this album. I am never ever on the edge of anything. Other people are always telling me about good new music, because I am so not plugged in. But I’m beginning to see these guys in magazines and they have 58,839 MySpace friends. Probably, I’m still behand the curve and you already know about these guys. Regardless, there’s a very selfish music-snob influence inside me that wants to have some satisfaction that I can actually make a good music recommendation for once.

Now that’s ludicrous.


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the untallied hours

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