THE SPRING STANDARDS: MY NEW MUSICAL STANDARD FOR 2009

  So, to follow up on my tease from yesterday (here is the link if it’s too much trouble to just go down an entry) … here is my “pick to click” to (hopefully) liven up the often bleak musical landscape for 2009 … may I present to you …

 The Spring Standards …

Little Better Spring Standards DC9.jpgwho you can check out and listen to at their MySpace page! 

  Meet the amazing Heather Robb … (pictured below on the left in festive green sparkly sweater and I can’t figure out why her picture isn’t as big as the guys, nothing personal!) …

 … James Smith … we call him “Dark James” to differentiate him from …

 … James Cleare  … aka “Red James” to us …

… “we” being me, my daughter Dana who adores them, and my honorary daughter Tricia who has come with us to the three shows we’ve seen here in the DC area since August …

 
Little SS Heather 1.jpgDana, who is at college in Boston now, has seen them four times since she also got to see them at Berklee’s Café 939 about two weeks after she started school, a nice welcome.

  So right before Dana left for school in late August, we went to see one of my old favorite bands, Squeeze, at the legendary 930 Club in DC (one of our favorite music clubs for many reasons, not the least of which was the amazing willingness of their terrific booker, Lisa White, to take a chance on Dana’s former band to play there twice, opening for Flogging Molly and then Rooney).

Little SS Dark James 2.jpg  We’d never heard of the opening act, but we knew that BEING an opener for a big-name act was a huge opportunity for a group to make a few fans, get heard, and get exposure so we always go in with an open mind. Much of the time we leave unimpressed but try to be respectful.

  So with our Squeeze-spots right at the balcony over the stage established, we settled in as the three members of The Spring Standards took the stage that night and launched into their opening number
Little SS Red James 2.jpg“Your Lie”   

It took, oh, maybe a grand total of 10 seconds before Dana and I looked at each other with our jaws slightly unhinged and eyes open wide (in a good way, even if that sounds ugly). I’d loosely sum up their style as alt-indie-country-folk but I couldn’t put them into a musical box nor would I want to.

  We were in total and immediate musical love. These guys (guys and gal, but we use the more generic “you guys”) were the whole package. They could sing. They could harmonize and blend. They could play their instruments (lots of instruments) … and their material was awesome.

  They are equally adept at upbeat songs you can’t help but dance to and gorgeous heart-stopping ballads 

  They got their big national media debut in late August on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” which we all waited up for instead of TiVo-ing it … you have no idea how big that is in our house, to actually WATCH SOMETHING WHEN IT’S ON!

  One of the coolest things about their musicianship/set-up was that they shared the front of the stage with their drumset split into three parts and all contributed to the percussion section. And their chemistry and stage presence was, on a baseball scout chart, an 8 (that’s as high as it gets). They were totally comfortable and funny and witty …

  They were, frankly, the closest thing we’ve seen to a band that could compare to our beloved Moxy Fruvous in all areas since the Canadian quartet disbanded in 2001.

  And here’s something funny … I took a chance on Saturday night after being blown away by them yet again at DC9 (great club, by the way, and great burgers) and while they were loading out (yes, they are their own roadies), I asked James Smith if by chance they’d ever heard Fruvous.

  Turns out they are HUGE fans (Heather was the enabler in this case) and he said that “Gulf War Song” was one of his favorite songs ever (ditto!). Somehow, while I am usually shocked to find out that anyone else has ever heard of Moxy Fruvous, this didn’t surprise me.

  I have been listening to their fantastic EP “No One Will Know” nonstop and never get sick of it, and cannot wait for their full-length CD, due sometime early-mid 2009 (hopefully early rather than mid-).

  You can buy the EP, check out tour dates, and learn all there is to learn about The Spring Standards here

  Anyway, no doubt about it, The Spring Standards were my most wonderful musical discovery for 2008 and I am hoping that 2009 will be the year that EVERYONE WILL KNOW about The Spring Standards.

 

20 Comments

Thanks for the tip, Lisa. I’m always looking for something new for my iPod. Happy New Year (almost).

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Thanks Lisa. I’ll have to check them out when they are next in the Boston area!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Good tips for sure. I needed a musical interlude anyway ;-)
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Interesting sound. You’re right it is tough to try and classify them and that makes them even better. I could hear some sergeant peppers at one moment and sara mclaughlin the next. Nice ensemble but it wouldn’t surprise me if Heather went on to leave them in the future and have her own succesful career.
tom
http://rockymountainway.mlblogs.com

i’ve been a fan of the spring standards for about 2 years now and i always love coming across blogs like this!
to respond to tom, heather would never leave the james’ for her own solo career. they have been playing together since they were kids and their bond is unbreakable.
i am so so happy you and your daughter enjoy them!
they are three of the nicest people you will ever come across.
-rachel (i was the birthday girl at the dc9 show)

Hey, just looking around some blogs, seems a pretty nice platform you are using. I’m currently using WordPress for a few of my sites but looking to change one of them over to a platform similar to yours as a trial run. Anything in particular you would recommend about it?
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