Oil painting titled "Seated Figure with Pink Background" by Nathan Oliveira, 1960
Sometimes my random Jukebox pick turns out to be very timely - for instance, it's interesting to look back over the decade of Eric Bachmann's work as Crooked Fingers now. Bachmann's '90s indie-rock band Archers of Loaf is reuniting for a summer tour - I'm already planning on seeing them at Sasquatch, and I'm pretty psyched. I remember seeing the Archers on the Vee Vee tour in '95, when I was sure that I'd never love anything more than I loved the gleeful vitriol of "Harnessed in Slums" and "The Lowest Part is Free!"
When the Archers broke up and the Crooked Fingers album arrived in 2000, I really was not expecting the violin- and sadness-soaked Neil Diamond/Leonard Cohen hybrid it turned out to be. I discovered a new favorite song - "New Drink for the Old Drunk" - that pushed "Harnessed in Slums" easily out of its slot in my "favorite songs ever" list. And then you had songs like "Juliette", which pairs a lonesome, aching melody with a lyric about a woman burning to death on her living room floor. How do you go from barking punk frontman to backwoods troubadour? And, more relevantly, how do you go back to being a punk again?
"Juliette" by Crooked Fingers