How did I end up writing about Counting Crows? Well, what happened today is I allowed myself to listen to them again for the first time in a while. It was good. There’s a lot there I would have hated to throw away.
We had a falling out. It was one of those times when you catch a glance behind the scenes at the stuff you’re not supposed to see, in this case the inner workings of the gigantic machine that grinds music into money. I saw, or rather heard, because I knew somebody who knew somebody who told them some awful bullshit story about the band which I could not take, it was a time in my life when I wasn’t processing anything at all on account of me being rather recalcitrant towards myself, and of course the story’s not true, well yeah it’s true but it doesn’t matter, why would it matter? Of all the things people do in the world every day, myself included, why would it matter?
It’s hard when you realize your heroes are just as frustrated and depressed and fucked up as you. So I quit listening to them and filled the gaps in my playlists with other music, because there’s always other music. You’re never going to run out.
We’re back on, I think. All it took was 10 seconds of “Accidentally in Love”—a strong contender for Best Pop Song of All Time—and I wondered why I’d ever left.
The best song on their best album—”Hard Candy” on Hard Candy—is a funeral dirge wrapped in a pop song:
When you sleep
You find your mother in the night
But she stays just out of sight
So there isn’t any sweetness in the dreaming
And when you wake
The morning covers you with light
And it makes you feel all right
But it’s just the same hard candy you’re remembering again
I can recall seeing them on Saturday Night Live and thinking what a big deal it was to see them playing “Round Here” in a totally chilled-out way. They were cool for writing that song, and getting it on the radio, and now here they were achieving next-level cool by deconstructing their own song on live TV. They never play a song the same way twice. Their live records are some of the very few live records that are worth a damn.
This is, I think, part 1 of my take on the 90s, because that’s what’s hot right now, right? The 90s are in? I gotta go scan some hashtags and make sure I’m up on what’s in. Ciao.