All posts tagged: Andy Sturmer

Sugar Water: The Best Album of the Decade

Per Second, Per Second, Per Second … Every Second (Aware/Columbia), the 2003 album by Boston-area band Wheat, is the best album of the decade. Now you know. This is a totally subjective opinion, of course. I haven’t listened to every album that was released between January 1, 2000, and today. I’m not a professional music writer or critic. I’m not even one of those audio omnivores whose ears devour everything they come across, though in the past ten years, the vaguely named decade some call “the aughts,” it’s become easy for anyone with access to the Internet to consume more music than ever before. “File sharing” via programs like Napster was still in its infancy in January 2000; the record industry had no need to panic yet. But one year later Apple’s iTunes software had arrived, and soon its iPods were irrevocably changing people’s listening habits. Then CD sales plummeted, and blogs giving away free music (entire albums — entire discographies, even!) multiplied, and record stores disappeared at an alarming rate, and now, ten years …

Bootleg City: Jellyfish

According to an article I found on Magnet magazine’s website, Jellyfish’s lead singer, Andy Sturmer, wasn’t afraid to sting people. “I was told that Jellyfish would be an equal three-piece, with us writing and playing everything,” said the band’s original guitarist, Jason Falkner. “That turned out to be a total joke. I felt like I was duped.” And keyboardist Roger Joseph Manning Jr., whose 2006 song “You Were Right” will never leave your brain once you let it inside, had this to say: “Except for Andy, we all speak to one another. Some of us make music together. But nobody is interested in working with Andy in a personal or creative capacity. It would serve no purpose, but I don’t say that with any animosity or sadness.” Yeah, but it’s still sad, because the band’s second and final album, 1993’s Spilt Milk (an appropriate title, it seems), left me wanting more. Then again, a smart band is supposed to leave its fans wanting more. Roger Joseph Manning Jr., Andy Sturmer, Chris Manning, and Jason Falkner, …

Dw. Dunphy On… Everything That Happens, and a Little After That

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to see David Byrne live in concert. It was purported to be a celebration of the work he did with Brian Eno, famed producer and musical renegade, encompassing Eno’s production on classic Talking Heads albums as well as their collaborations like My Life In The Bush of Ghosts and a new, currently digital-only release Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. The show was composed of Byrne, a backing band, a trio of backup singers and a trio of interpretive dancers, and while that sounds like a bad, pretentious idea the whole thing came off very entertaining and ended up being a fine night of live music. Another big plus was the lack of squirrels in the road. Come on, if you go to see bands with an extensive and memorable back-catalog you know about the squirrels. A pace is building, the classics are rolling out and the audience is having a grand old time, then suddenly the performer announces, “We’d like to play something from our new …

Hooks ‘N’ You: The Merrymakers, “No Sleep ‘Til Famous”

Even since Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus first realized that they had a knack for writing songs together, it’s been an accepted fact that there’s something in the water of Sweden which gifts the residents of this kingdom with the abilities to write inconceivably catchy pop hooks. I mean, I’m not saying anyone’s actually done any sort of chemical analysis – or, at least, I haven’t, anyway – but given the sheer hummability of the average Swedish composition, it seems like as good an explanation as any. As late as the mid-1990s, however, my knowledge of Swedish pop was limited to two groups – ABBA and Roxette – and neither were exactly the height of cool – but, then, neither was I, which is why I had ABBA’s Gold and Roxette’s greatest hits, Don’t Bore Us, Get To The Chorus! (Even if you don’t like Roxette, I think you have to admit that that’s a really awesome title.) It was right around this time that a man named Bruce Brodeen entered my life.