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 Why are 59S songs better?

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Reinvent good times
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PostSubject: Why are 59S songs better?   Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:24 pm

I went to the Cleveland show on Monday. Great show, by the way. My 6th time seeing them.

Had a personal observation and it's one that also seems to be shared by the crowd at this show, and I'm sure, many others.

One thing I was having trouble getting my head around--The crowd's best response or most interactive response to any song that night was 59 Sound, Backseats and Great Expectations. Coincidence or not?
They've put out two releases of music since 59 Sound, and most people would say those 59S songs are the zenith of their concert experience....Is gaslight not improving or getting better? One would think they could be able to write an equal to one of those songs, that is concert worthy, right? And I realize their mission is not necessarily to write a "Great Concert" song, but then again, they play live, so maybe it should be.

And don't misunderstand...I love HW and love AS...but there's a diff in a great concert song vs. great song while listening on the couch.

It got me thinking--are they not as good now as they were for 59S? Do the changes they've made to their sounds on AS and HW not as compelling? Perhaps. Just something to think about. Or are we as fans, stuck in a rut, where we don't embrace the other songs as well?

In 3 years are those same songs going to get the best crown response? Not sure...

And they only played one off AS Monday, so maybe that's the answer there....
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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:38 pm

Most of the crowds at these shows probably came on board with "The 59 Sound", and that will always be "their album". The same idea applies with Bruce Springsteen. Most people came on board with "Born to Run", or "Darkness". It is the album that made them know who they are, so they cheer when they get to hear it. It also works with Mumford and Sons. Granted, Mumford and Sons has only had two releases, but a lot of people are going to always cheer "The Cave", "Little Lion Man", "Winter Winds" etc, because that is the one that is their starter, does that make sense? It is not a matter of getting better or staying the same, it is the idea that those songs are "Home" to fans.
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kappanera
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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:32 pm

Well talking about AS and HW I probably agree with you if I understood right: cool songs , not always suitable for shows..for eample I really really like Queen of the lower.. but when they played it live last time I saw them it totally turned down the mood.
If you look at the tracklist at 59s tracklist there aren't those kind of "middle tempoed, melodic" songs (maybe Film noir) so that's pretty much the reason I think .
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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:41 pm

59 Sound has a "happy to be alive" quality to it. Even with the sadder songs like HLAYK and Film Noir you still feel that way because there's something beautiful about the nostalgic lyrics and music. That "alive" feeling isn't really present on Handwritten.

45 is basically made for a live setting, and Howl kinda is too. But the mid-tempo songs on the album are just kinda plodding, you'll nod your head to the riffs and sing along but you don't really feel anything.



PS do you remember the Cleveland setlist?
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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:18 pm

JimmyB wrote:
Most of the crowds at these shows probably came on board with "The 59 Sound", and that will always be "their album".

This is the point that came to my mind when i first saw the post. For a lot of fans, the 59 sound is THE album which made them fall in love with the band and, considering they have released more stuff since, people are happy to hear the older stuff as the latest, 'major label' stuff isnt what people FELL in love with even if they do love it.

Hope that doesn't make it sound like I dislike Handwritten or anything like that at all
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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:18 pm

JimmyB wrote:
Most of the crowds at these shows probably came on board with "The 59 Sound", and that will always be "their album".

Reinvent good times wrote:
...Or are we as fans, stuck in a rut, where we don't embrace the other songs as well?

I think it's a combo of both of those. The personal connection with T59S is stronger because it's the record that (for many of us) changed our lives and made us aware of this great band. It also set impossible expectations for the subsequent albums.

But I think some people flat out refuse to give later songs a chance. Maybe because they're waiting for another T59S or because they think only fast and wild rock songs are suitable for a concert setlist. I mean, Howl and 45 seem to get a huge reception from crowds so it might be that.

Also '59 Sound is more romanticized. This makes it more universal and less personal. People can make things connect to their lives and on the level that they want. I think AS and HW are more real and I think the way they expose those negative aspects of real life, scares people. It's the same reason happy pop songs are more popular than depressing and angry rock songs in the mainstream.

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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:21 pm

Also the problem for me is that because 59 Sound is more romanticized, there's a lot of digging into the lyrics you can do. This actually applies for American Slang too, but because they only play like 3 AS songs any more I'm mainly focusing on 59Sound vs. Handwritten. The Handwritten lyrics, they are what they are. Nothing is really open for interpretation, you "get" what he means with every song (a few exceptions, some ambiguous lines in Mae, for example). But on just about every song on 59 Sound, the lyrics are shrouded in mystery and romance. When he says "If we don't come through, they're gonna bury us alive" on Ferris Wheel it's up to you to figure out what he means, it becomes your own story. I think that romantic, mysterious vibe is what people respond to.


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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:12 pm

eagles1139 wrote:
Also the problem for me is that because 59 Sound is more romanticized, there's a lot of digging into the lyrics you can do. This actually applies for American Slang too, but because they only play like 3 AS songs any more I'm mainly focusing on 59Sound vs. Handwritten. The Handwritten lyrics, they are what they are. Nothing is really open for interpretation, you "get" what he means with every song (a few exceptions, some ambiguous lines in Mae, for example). But on just about every song on 59 Sound, the lyrics are shrouded in mystery and romance. When he says "If we don't come through, they're gonna bury us alive" on Ferris Wheel it's up to you to figure out what he means, it becomes your own story. I think that romantic, mysterious vibe is what people respond to.

I definitely agree with you there. Personally, I like the change and the directness too but I would hate to see them abandon the indirectness of the other albums entirely. I think if they go back in the direction of AS (aka, more direct than 59 but less than HW) for at least some future albums, that'd be great and then maybe some people wouldn't look at HW as a "step in the wrong direction" but more just a different kind of album.

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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:31 pm

StitchesOnTheRadio wrote:
eagles1139 wrote:
Also the problem for me is that because 59 Sound is more romanticized, there's a lot of digging into the lyrics you can do. This actually applies for American Slang too, but because they only play like 3 AS songs any more I'm mainly focusing on 59Sound vs. Handwritten. The Handwritten lyrics, they are what they are. Nothing is really open for interpretation, you "get" what he means with every song (a few exceptions, some ambiguous lines in Mae, for example). But on just about every song on 59 Sound, the lyrics are shrouded in mystery and romance. When he says "If we don't come through, they're gonna bury us alive" on Ferris Wheel it's up to you to figure out what he means, it becomes your own story. I think that romantic, mysterious vibe is what people respond to.

I definitely agree with you there. Personally, I like the change and the directness too but I would hate to see them abandon the indirectness of the other albums entirely. I think if they go back in the direction of AS (aka, more direct than 59 but less than HW) for at least some future albums, that'd be great and then maybe some people wouldn't look at HW as a "step in the wrong direction" but more just a different kind of album.


Yeah I'm kinda the type of guy that likes to look at the big picture when thinking about albums. Like if the next album has lyrics that blow me away and are either more like AS/59S or a new, original, weird risky/but it pays off, then I will look back at Handwritten fondly. Like in 5 years I can look back and be like "Hey it was cool when they did the straightforward big rock record." If the next album is more a Handwritten Part 2, then I'll be a little upset.

But if that Rolling Stone Interview from a little while ago is anything to go by, the next album will be the "weird one" where they "try to do something new with song structure" (Take that with a grain of salt, Brian likes to exaggerate w/ his album predictions) then I think we will be in good hands
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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:28 am

When I play Gaslight albums straight through (i.e not on shuffle) I always end up starting with 59S. I'm not sure why I did that, but I did. And I learned the first song because it would start when I hit play (duh.) Then I would subconsciously be listening and doing homework/surfing the internet/etc. When the album ended, I would recognize Backseats as the final song before the music went off, so I feel like those 2 songs have become 2 of my favorite songs just because when they come on, I am conscious about hearing them.

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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:36 am

i think on one level, a lot of us fell in love with TGA from 59S but also, those songs seem timeless. i've skipped some AS and a lot of HW songs just because i'm bored of them. i took a 59S break more or less when those albums were out and now all i want is 59S. those are just great songs, no real reason
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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:42 am

They aren't. But I feel like a lot of us are rediscovering it now that we've played AS, Elsie, and Handwritten to death in the past couple of years
I'm currently getting back into the 59 Sound now actually
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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:51 am

they have a great flow to them. nothing sounds forced or contrived.



"let it out, let it out, let it out, you're doing alright"

even though that line is from Sink or Swim, i think it works well as a motto for the 59 Sound.
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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:57 am

Primarily its a matter of lyrical content. The lyrics in The 59 Sound are packed with vibrant imagery, metaphor, nostalgia and romanticism. You run into characters like Mustang Sally, toss kiss laden stones onto your lovers roof. There are diners and classic cars and movie screens. The whole thing feels incredibly real and personal like your getting a first hand experience of these stories. Its something that most bands just don't do, and why so many of us were drawn to Gaslight in the first place. Its a world you can lose yourself in with lyrics you constantly find something new with. Its also partially the pacing. There are no where near as many booming choruses on HW as there are on T59S and those tend to be the best parts live. So ultimately, its a vastly superior musically and lyrically to the stuff that came after it and its little wonder fans enjoy it more.

Hopefully Gaslight will release this and make an album of songs like Blue Dahlia instead of continuing their trend towards generic modern blah rock.
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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:00 am

They were the hungriest during 59.
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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:50 am

I don't want to diminish Brian's ability to write, however I don't think he's really evolved as a writer since the 59 sound. The band has done a great job changing the sound album to album, however I think lyrically/thematically he's going back to the same well for inspiration which is sort of the problem with Handwritten. So much of the album feels like a patchwork of SOS/59 sound/AS/Elsie and it isn't that unique or remarkable except for the big rock n' roll sound. Obviously this isn't a shot at his work ethic since I realize he works hard, but I just think it's a matter of him attempting to rework the same idea(s) for the nth time and it becomes pretty stale and he just need to move onto something new to write about which I hope he does on his solo album.













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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:31 pm

greasylake wrote:
I don't want to diminish Brian's ability to write, however I don't think he's really evolved as a writer since the 59 sound. The band has done a great job changing the sound album to album, however I think lyrically/thematically he's going back to the same well for inspiration which is sort of the problem with Handwritten. So much of the album feels like a patchwork of SOS/59 sound/AS/Elsie and it isn't that unique or remarkable except for the big rock n' roll sound. Obviously this isn't a shot at his work ethic since I realize he works hard, but I just think it's a matter of him attempting to rework the same idea(s) for the nth time and it becomes pretty stale and he just need to move onto something new to write about which I hope he does on his solo album.

I have a feeling that, lyrically, there will really be a change with his solo album. (I have no complaints about Handwritten, though). I have no doubts that musically and lyrically, it will be brilliant. I don't want to hold it up to Horrible Crowes standard because I don't want to be disappointed. I love Elsie so much that few records could ever reach it's greatness.










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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:31 pm

matkins wrote:


I have a feeling that, lyrically, there will really be a change with his solo album. (I have no complaints about Handwritten, though). I have no doubts that musically and lyrically, it will be brilliant. I don't want to hold it up to Horrible Crowes standard because I don't want to be disappointed. I love Elsie so much that few records could ever reach it's greatness."
[/quote]

I don't dislike Handwritten, i think it's good, i just think its relatively forgettable compared to the other albums. I'm sure as an artist Brian doesn't like being pigeonholed into this punk heartland Springsteen rock genre or whatever new genre name they want to create to describe TGA, but I think it might not be a bad idea for him to "copy" springsteen by doing a Nebraska type move by making a solo album that deviates completely from the expectations people have set for him.











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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:44 pm

Punk frontmen going folk is so cliched now though
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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:57 pm

A_Regular wrote:
Punk frontmen going folk is so cliched now though

I mean with the style of his lyrics + the amount of acoustic performances and even tours he has done, it's more like just as much like he's a folk singer in a punk/rock band.

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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:31 pm

CluckyB wrote:
Primarily its a matter of lyrical content. The lyrics in The 59 Sound are packed with vibrant imagery, metaphor, nostalgia and romanticism. You run into characters like Mustang Sally, toss kiss laden stones onto your lovers roof. There are diners and classic cars and movie screens. The whole thing feels incredibly real and personal like your getting a first hand experience of these stories. Its something that most bands just don't do, and why so many of us were drawn to Gaslight in the first place. Its a world you can lose yourself in with lyrics you constantly find something new with. Its also partially the pacing. There are no where near as many booming choruses on HW as there are on T59S and those tend to be the best parts live. So ultimately, its a vastly superior musically and lyrically to the stuff that came after it and its little wonder fans enjoy it more.

Hopefully Gaslight will release this and make an album of songs like Blue Dahlia instead of continuing their trend towards generic modern blah rock.

One thing I don't get is how people say Brian use to use "characters" in their songs? Just because he says a name rather than a pronoun doesn't really mean he's a storyteller using characters. Spanish Johnny in Incident on 57th Street is a character, the Magic Rat in Jungleland is a character. They're at least semi-developed. Angry Johnny is just a name he throws out instead of "he", probably just thought it was a cool name. Mustang Sally isn't a character, it's a reference to the 60s soul song Mustang Sally. Is Mae a character because he says "It's been so long, Mae"? I don't know, I just always thought this was a weird way to describe Brian's writing. If you read some articles you'd believe he was crafting these epic Springsteen-esque tales, when most of the songs are actually more personal and if they are "stories" then they're in the first person
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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:26 pm

eagles1139 wrote:
CluckyB wrote:
Primarily its a matter of lyrical content. The lyrics in The 59 Sound are packed with vibrant imagery, metaphor, nostalgia and romanticism. You run into characters like Mustang Sally, toss kiss laden stones onto your lovers roof. There are diners and classic cars and movie screens. The whole thing feels incredibly real and personal like your getting a first hand experience of these stories. Its something that most bands just don't do, and why so many of us were drawn to Gaslight in the first place. Its a world you can lose yourself in with lyrics you constantly find something new with. Its also partially the pacing. There are no where near as many booming choruses on HW as there are on T59S and those tend to be the best parts live. So ultimately, its a vastly superior musically and lyrically to the stuff that came after it and its little wonder fans enjoy it more.

Hopefully Gaslight will release this and make an album of songs like Blue Dahlia instead of continuing their trend towards generic modern blah rock.

One thing I don't get is how people say Brian use to use "characters" in their songs? Just because he says a name rather than a pronoun doesn't really mean he's a storyteller using characters. Spanish Johnny in Incident on 57th Street is a character, the Magic Rat in Jungleland is a character. They're at least semi-developed. Angry Johnny is just a name he throws out instead of "he", probably just thought it was a cool name. Mustang Sally isn't a character, it's a reference to the 60s soul song Mustang Sally. Is Mae a character because he says "It's been so long, Mae"? I don't know, I just always thought this was a weird way to describe Brian's writing. If you read some articles you'd believe he was crafting these epic Springsteen-esque tales, when most of the songs are actually more personal and if they are "stories" then they're in the first person

They don't have to be completely fictional to be characters. Of course Mae is still a character (and incidentally one of the best songs off HW). Part of what gives T59S the romanticized feel is the use of references to describe the characters.
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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:38 pm

eagles1139 wrote:
CluckyB wrote:
Primarily its a matter of lyrical content. The lyrics in The 59 Sound are packed with vibrant imagery, metaphor, nostalgia and romanticism. You run into characters like Mustang Sally, toss kiss laden stones onto your lovers roof. There are diners and classic cars and movie screens. The whole thing feels incredibly real and personal like your getting a first hand experience of these stories. Its something that most bands just don't do, and why so many of us were drawn to Gaslight in the first place. Its a world you can lose yourself in with lyrics you constantly find something new with. Its also partially the pacing. There are no where near as many booming choruses on HW as there are on T59S and those tend to be the best parts live. So ultimately, its a vastly superior musically and lyrically to the stuff that came after it and its little wonder fans enjoy it more.

Hopefully Gaslight will release this and make an album of songs like Blue Dahlia instead of continuing their trend towards generic modern blah rock.

One thing I don't get is how people say Brian use to use "characters" in their songs? Just because he says a name rather than a pronoun doesn't really mean he's a storyteller using characters. Spanish Johnny in Incident on 57th Street is a character, the Magic Rat in Jungleland is a character. They're at least semi-developed. Angry Johnny is just a name he throws out instead of "he", probably just thought it was a cool name. Mustang Sally isn't a character, it's a reference to the 60s soul song Mustang Sally. Is Mae a character because he says "It's been so long, Mae"? I don't know, I just always thought this was a weird way to describe Brian's writing. If you read some articles you'd believe he was crafting these epic Springsteen-esque tales, when most of the songs are actually more personal and if they are "stories" then they're in the first person

Angry Johnny's a strange example to use, since he's mentioned again on Cowgirls. But I do get what you're saying, even if I don't entirely agree with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Why are 59S songs better?   Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:56 pm

the references really create a sense of shared context and make the songs easier to connect to. i remember thinking, "this guy loves Springsteen and Counting Crows just like me." makes it really connectable.
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