Saturday, August 21, 2010

cd saturday: sloan's one chord to another

when i was younger i traded a vinyl copy of this album for sloan's award winning one chord to another.  i thought it was a steal of a deal.  i ended up playing that album over and over and over again (and still do on occasion).

maybe it was the blue (my favorite color) tilted rendition of the band on the cover, or maybe it was the fact that they were canadian, but what i really liked most was the somewhat quirky nature of this group.  for starters, their songs sounded like they were pulling on musical influences from classic rock to jazz, from big band to grunge.  each of the four members of the band took turns taking the lead vocal for every new song, and they traded instruments with a flourish.

One Chord to Anotherbut i think it was the music that spoke to me loudest.  the album opens with the crashing "the good in everyone", a song with lyrics as punchy as the guitar-driven sound.  it features musically tongue-in-cheek songs like "g turns to d", and the laid back sounds of what may be their biggest single hit ever, "the good in everyone".

sometime after college i was visiting a friend in washington dc.  he mentioned that sloan (a band he knew i liked) were playing that night at a venue around the corner.  i couldn't believe it.

it was a surreal experience.  at the peak of their popularity, sloan was playing in some of canada's biggest venues.  however here we were in a tiny club in dc with about 50 people - many of whom were canadian ex-pats like myself.  they played all of my favorite songs, and performed with the same energy and enthusiasm that i fell in love with back in high school - yet, i couldn't help but feel a little saddened by the experience.  here was a wildly popular canadian band that barely made a dent in the lucrative american market.  in toronto that show would have sold out weeks in advance, but in dc their show was an afterthought.

regardless, i will remember that night with a smile on my face.  it was an experience that i'll never forget.

1. u2 - the joshua tree
2. dave matthews band - crash
3. cake - comfort eagle
4. blue rodeo - five days in july
5. the beach boys - pet sounds
6. coldplay - viva la vida
7. weezer - pinkerton
8. mates of state - re-arrange us
9. radiohead - ok computer 
10. nickel creek - this side
11. u2 - how to dismantle an atomic bomb 
12. the beatles - the white album

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