From Stories from the Lower Leisure Class, due November 9 on Leppotone.
One of the luckiest things to ever happen to me was when Jake decided to go to Kalamazoo College. As his ne’er-do-well pal, I was not really in contention for higher education upon high school graduation and so was pulling for Old Man Brown to choose the University of Chicago and the hi-jinks a big city promises.
But K was the perfect choice. Not only because it provided a safe atmosphere in which we could explore and ultimately reject our hobo interests (in the confines of a mini-Harvard), but because Kalamazoo in the early 90s had an amazing music scene. At the center of it all (for my pals and I), was Leppotone Electrical Recordings, a consortium of local bands who pulled together into a musical co-op to share expenses and promote their scene. I’ve written about my beloved Sinatras at length, and two of them (or three when you count sometimes fourth member, Nathan McLaughlin) make up the latest Leppotone creation, The Lower Leisure Class. And it’s so good.
I’ve mentioned many times that I am a nostalgic fellow and one of the reasons I relate so well to The Sinatras’ music is their hinting at the edges of nostalgia while not being complete sad bastards. Songwriter Ron Casebeer often brings me to tears, even when in the middle of a thrash, and “7 x 7” is classic Casebeer.
“I’ve got a good feeling I ain’t had in such a long time…”
God, I just know I’ll be yelling this out through a choked up throat when they release this album this Friday, November 9, at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe.
I owe so much to Kalamazoo and the bands and people I met there. They not only inspired me to write my own music, but to also get my shit together and finally get through college so I could have a decent job that allows me to continue to make music to this day. If anyone should be singing “I need you, I need you, I need you,” it’s me.