Welcome to “ONE TRACK MINDS” with Erika Rae Owen from Band Bombshell and Chris Knauf, board member of the Des Moines Music Coalition. Each week, Erika and Chris take turns selecting a song of their choice, listen to it together for the first time, and document their reactions, thoughts and witty banter via instant messenger.
This week, Chris and Erika listen to “With You” and “Cat Tails” by Ira Grace & the Bible Belt Prophets.
Listen along while you read their commentary:
Chris: Some straightforward strumming coming at you. I admit that I might be suffering from a Lone Bellow hangover from last Sunday
Erika: Reminds me of Angus and Julia Stone a bit. With more twang.
Erika: I like that they didn’t go too far with the country theme. No crazy banjos or
Chris: Right? I haven’t seen any over embroidered wranglers yet either.
Erika: Or overalls.
Chris: I used to wear overalls. When I thought I might have a career in rap. In the early 90’s. We called them “bibs”
Erika: What would your rapper name be?
Chris: Big Pasty. Snow had already been taken.
Erika: HA. I just died a little bit.
Erika: I don’t really like this tempo/key change…but I do like the album art.
Chris: Agreed. They really don’t “color outside the lines” with this song.
Erika: I think I’d like it a bit more with some stronger guitar sounds. And a triangle.
Chris: And maybe some Maracas. I had to pick up Menomena from their hotel and take them to 80/35. I was able to spot them only because the drummer was carrying around Maracas. Not knowing what the band looked like, I figured it was a safe bet to approach.
Erika: Haha, that’s an awesome association. What color were they?
Chris: Yellow. And I wasn’t allowed to touch them.
Erika: Really?! Why?
Chris: Joking…they couldn’t have been friendlier.
Erika: Good. Because maracas are meant to be touched.
Chris: So I have to admit…I’m not entirely sold on this song.
Erika: Me, neither. I want to listen to more and see what the rest of their stuff sounds like.
Chris: Lets make OTM history…lets listen to one more and compare
Erika: Ok! “Cat Tails.” Sounds like a good Friday afternoon song. Play!
Erika: The intro chords remind me of commercial background music.
Chris: I would actually like to see this live
Erika: Me, too. It’s feel-good music.
Chris: It’s so much better when one of them takes the lead on the song
Erika: The first one was too divided. I like the lyrics better, too. Although, I think
NYC has gotten to me.
Chris: You need grit now, don’t you?
Erika: I didn’t think of the plant cat tails when I read the title. I’ve seen too many
terrible subway scenes…Haha.
Chris: I thought of Duck Tails.
Erika: Good. I’m glad I’m not the only one.
Chris: So let’s do an average of the two songs…1-5 maracas.
Erika: 3.5 yellow maracas. I’m just in the middle. I want them to either pull out some strong, long notes (Edward Sharpe-esque) or one of them to take the lower spectrum of vocals. They sounded too similar. But I like the guitar a lot.
Chris: I gave the first one a 2 because I feel I could have heard that in any coffee shop in any city in the country. Too comfortable. But the second I give a 4 for all the reasons listed earlier. And that’s actually one of the higher ratings I’ve given a song on first listen. I like the Ed Sharpe reference…the second song sounds like Alex Ebert and “Crash” era DMB had a child together. So all in all…I give Ira Grace et al a 3.
Erika: Good call.
Chris: And I look forward to hearing more (plug ahead) next Thursday, July 18 at the Vaudeville Mews when they open for Jenny Dalton.
Erika: Score! Nice segue.
Chris: I thought so. Go enjoy NYC and all the beautiful grime and character it has to offer on a Friday. I will sit in my new office with a beautiful view of Methodist West and a now defunct ATM machine in the parking lot.
Erika: This lady is gonna get her drank on.
Chris: God bless your 20’s
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