Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Do you ever...

think about why you like certain bands or types of music? I do. I often wonder what effect my brother playing Bruce Springteen and the E Street Band's Tenth Avenue Freeze Out to me when I was 8 did to my perception of music as sound. Or for that matter what my older sister playing Men At Work's Business As Usual meant to me. When I say "music as sound", I mean that I have a certain affiinity for songs composed in certain keys (usually minor), singers who don't have perfect voices (I think Bruce and Colin Hay fall into that category), songs constructed with soaring choruses of an anthemic nature ("Sixty Eight Guns" by the Alarm still makes me smile). I think I'm kind of circling my point. Because I do, in fact, have a point. My point is Bill Janovitz. Bill was originally a member of the late greatBuffalo Tom, a band that always seemed to play the right notes at the right time. I just loved those guys and, I think, here in lies my point. Buffalo Tom wasn't super original, they played good solid indie rock, good songwriting and they plugged away at it for years. I loved Big Red Letter Day and still crank up "I'm Allowed" in the car and sing at the top of my lungs. There's just something about the way Bill Janovitz constructs songs, about the imperfection of his voice and his turn of phrase. There are plenty of people who will just shrug their shoulders at the mention of Buffalo Tom, who greet them with indifference. Perhaps the worst thing you can say about the band is that for some people they produce no strong emotion at all, one way or the other. But for some, me included, they just did so much right. They sounded right. They played live shows right. They put energy and enjoyment into what they did. They were (and this has become a dirty word for some reason) influential.

After Buffalo Tom broke up, Janovitz released a couple of fine solo albums. Both Lonesome Billy and Up Here lean more towards a folk/country sound away from Buffalo Tom's more rocking moments. This brings me even closer to my point and todays musical offering.

Last I checked Bill Janovitz had stopped playing music with any consistency. His website said that he had gotten a real estate license and was selling houses in the Boston area. Evidently that has changed. Janovtiz just released Fireworks on TV under the name Bill Janovitz and Crown Victoria. It's good. It's good in the way that Buffalo Tom was good. In fact it sounds alot like Buffalto Tom at its best, though I think that Janovitz might resent that remark. None the less it's chock full of power pop morsels. Please enjoy and support Janovitz as he's one of those indie rock originals:

One, Two, Three


Blogger DT said...

Great post!

7:02 AM  

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