Black Lung Lucy – Thousand Men
Jeff Buckley, one of the greatest singers of the modern era, was once asked how he acquired his operatic voice. He told the reporter that it was nothing special. Everyone has a unique voice, he said. You can’t fake the honesty of your voice, Buckley claimed.
It’s interesting to note that decades on and with so many technological advancements, with production techniques that seem to be able to create a hit out of practically nothing, the human voice can still be used as an instrument that, on occasion, can sound downright terrifying.
Black Lung Lucy’s Thousand Men sounds like a murder ballad that Nick Cave might hum to himself while out on a picnic. Only that, as opposed to other pieces of Americana, the blues-rock duo opts to strip the fancy instrumentation and production in favor of a vocal duel that sounds like being summoned to hell by the Devil himself.
You can listen to this song on Bandcamp.
Forever X2 – Everyone is Famous
What did the original Grunge and Alternative rock bands of the 1990s think of groups like Third Eye Blind and Matchbox 20? Well, I doubt that they had posters of these groups adorning their bedroom walls. Hell, Kurt Cobain thought Pearl Jam were poseur, sellouts, and had gotten into the habit of listening to harsh Japanese punk. It’s doubtful he would’ve wanted to produce these bands.
So, why are these bands still part of the conversation decades later, and how did they find a place alongside the critically-acclaimed greats? Simple. They wrote a few great singles. You can’t argue with great singles. It sucks. I know. Critics would love to tear those bands to shreds. But, if you’re honest, and if you love the Ramones, Blondie, or Franz Ferdinand, you’ll know that a good single is a card to instant pop-music absolution.
Forever X2’s Everyone is Famous is a great single featuring an inescapable chorus. It could’ve been sold for cold hard cash to either the Backstreet Boys or the Foo Fighters. For good measure, it contains just enough distrust in the world of celebrity to make this qualify for slacker-rock playlists. But, make no mistake, silly as pop music seems a lot of times, a strong three-minute single is quite a find.