Wednesday, December 17, 2008
For ny number 7 record of the year, I'm gonna have to choose The Meeting After The Meeting by Greensboro, North Carolina's Citified. This is a seven song EP that came out at the very beginning of the year, and had me coming back for more and more. I wrote a lengthy review of the album on this very blog, that you can find here. If I hadn't been living in Greensboro at the time, this album might have sounded like a boring indie rock album, but as I drove around the streets and avenues of Greensboro with this CD blaring through my speakers, it seemed to perfectly paint everything that was going on around me at the time, using bright colors, reflection, melancholy, and crucial fender twin reverb guitar tone as well.
The songs seem to perfectly describe tense, small-town, everybody knows everybody anxiety, where monotony can easily set in and the same faces occupy the same dive bars night after night. Greensboro is on few if any maps that measure hip-ness or thriving music scenes. It's an unassuming town that seems to lie off the nation's radar, which is exactly what makes this band and this EP work so damn well, and in addition seems to create an environment with many terrific local bands. There's something to be said for living in a town with an awesome band like this, when you know the street corners, dive bars, strip malls, water towers and highways that inspire them is the same physical geography that you experience, observe, and interact with day after day. Maybe their album was no particular commentary on Greensboro itself, but I believe a piece of art such as this cannot be removed from the environment in which it was created. It seemed as though, through sound and through their melancholy lyrics, they were describing everything about my life at the time. I couldn't help but feel a connection with this, Greensboro was too small of a town not to. It was the soundtrack to the thaw, a goodbye to winter and a hopeful, crossing-your-fingers welcome to springtime.
You can read more about the sounds of the album in the old review, but this is definitely not something to sleep on, even if you're not from Greensboro. The album proved to stick around and its relevance and impact have not faded away all year. I actually listened to this a lot when I was in California in August, walking around the streets of San Francisco and contemplating a home I had just left behind a few months earlier. The deeply reflective, wistful sounds, will strike you with instant nostalgia, for things and people you never thought you'd be nostalgic for. Once the drummer of this band was hitting on a friend of mine and I interrupted to tell him how much the record meant to me and how I had listened to it often on my travels throughout the American west this summer, and he seemed rather annoyed with me. That was pretty funny.
Anyway, enjoy the video below and check out their myspace to hear the songs "Read Like A Number," "KL Gala," "Weddings" and "Line The Streets," all amazing songs that make for great singles as well.