Friday, October 8, 2010

Teenage Fanclub On Its Way

RARELY has a band gone from overrated to undersung so quickly. But when the air went out of the "alternative" boom in the mid-'90s, some great bands got lost in the flood. Teenage Fanclub's Gram Parsons-flavored Songs From Northern Britain, from 1997proved that this group was made of more than just feedback drenched irony. But almost nobody in this country heard it.

So it's a real pleasure to have the Glaswegian band back in Los Angles for the first time in five years: They play the El Rey on Monday night. Their new LP, Shadows, on Merge, is low-key and bittersweet, like most of their recent work, with some great songs in "Baby Lee," "The Fall," and "When I Still Have Thee."

HERE is my interview with the band from when they last visited our shores.

Oh -- and LA's Radar Bros. open the show.


Pete Bilderback said...

I was a big fan of Teenage Fanclub from their first album and Bandwagonesque. Then 13 came out, it didn't make a particularly positive impression on me, and I kind of stopped paying attention to them.

I totally missed Grand Prix, Songs From Northern Britain and Howdy, all of which I consider excellent albums now. It wasn't until after I picked up Man Made that I realized how much great music I had missed out on by tossing this band aside.

Listening to 13 again, I'm not sure why it would have turned me off on the band. It is still not my favorite release by them, but it's quite good.

I'm not sure I agree Bandwagonesque was over-rated, BTW, maybe it was just the only time the world gave the band their proper due.

Scott Timberg said...

Having just championed TFC, I will not pivot to denounce them now. Bandwagonesque is a wonderful album and almost every song on there is burned into my mind.

Was it the best record of the year, as Spin deemed it? Well, okay, maybe it was. But they seemed a but hyped back in the day. Like a lot of of indie types, I generally preferred the more raw, ragged "Catholic Education" of their early LPs.

And my experience with "13" resembles that of my correspondent. Some great stuff on there. It sort of presaged a turn that I (and many others) were not ready for.

In any case, a great body of work.