Monday, December 13, 2010

August and Everything After - Counting Crows

I love this album so much. I have been obsessed with this band for about the past month or longer. One of the things I really love about bands, is when they get really in to their music. I've known about the Counting Crows for a long time, but it was only a few months ago that I looked up anything of theirs live. The first thing I came across was a performance of Round Here, and that was when I really began to get in to their music. This performance almost made me cry, and it still gives me shivers. 

oh man... that part where he sits down at just a little past the 5 minute mark... gets me every time... When I saw that I realized there was probably more to the Counting Crows than I realized at first, and I've been trying to figure out how close these songs are to the actual singer, but I've actually been having trouble finding out much about their personal lives. The band changes the songs in this album a lot in all the live performances I've seen, and they tend to become more talking than singing like you saw in that last one a bit. Now I think of all of these songs as part of some bigger story. The band is constantly mixing lyrics together in their live performances, so it makes sense to me that their entire discography is just a big story

"Beneath the dust and love and sweat that hangs on everybody there's a dead man trying to get out." 
I think this song is about all the temptations that we have. Kindof along the same lines as Creep if you ask me. He knows that he has a ton of problems, and he wishes he could just be someone else and leave his old self behind. That's just the way I view it though, it could be about other things too. This whole albums seems to be about change, and trying to escape old problems just to find that there's problems wherever you go.

Sometime I want to just write out my thoughts on all the songs and see if they all make sense as a whole, because I'm pretty sure they would. I think this song is about falling in love again after a breakup. Maria is the first girl I think, and she was in Round Here. After nothing was turning out right he decided to escape, which is where the rest of the album focuses on. This song really makes you feel like he's completely fallen for this girl, but at the same time he can't bring himself to admit that he's fallen in love again. I love the line, "and every word is nonsense, but I understand and oh lord, I'm not ready for this sort of thing"

This song is getting to the end of the album, and it seems like the problems are being faced head-on now. I think this must be Maria in this song, "If she remembers, she hides it whenever we meet." This is the last song I'm gonna post, but if I'm right and this was meant to be a concept album, than it looks as if Maria is with someone else now and the singer doesn't think he is right for her. It really just kind of ends with that, and it's not a very satisfactory ending.

It's never said anywhere that this is a concept album, but it really would make sense if it was.... so that's the way I like to see it. That performance of Round Here has some other things mixed in to it, and if you listened to the actual song you'd realize it is really different. At the end of that performance he starts screaming "CHAAANGE!" and that's how the album actually ends, and that's why I think the greatest summary of this album is how he is trying to deal with change. I think he was trying to sum up the album in that performance, and it blows me away. 

I would highly recommend listening to this album if you like all that you heard. This album alone made the Counting Crows one of my favorite bands.

I hope I can get some of you to like the Counting Crows, because I don't have know enough people who love the Counting Crows. Most the time when I see the Counting Crows in people's collections they'll only have a few songs, and it's kinda annoying. Most people either have Mr. Jones, Holiday in Spain, or Accidentally In Love. I love those songs, but to only have those is really sad to me... 

If you're a fan of the band already, let me know if you think I did them justice. If any of you are just beginning to like them and want more suggestions go ahead and leave me a comment. Remember that I love comments


  1. It's odd how different our music tastes are. I think we look for the completely opposite aspects in music. You love this band so much because there's so much behind it. The lyrics are interesting to you and the story behind them is interesting. Also, you like their live performances.

    When I listen to music, it's all about the instrumentation and the music. 80% of the time I don't even know what the lyrics are about and I almost never go looking for live performances. I love to hear the swells in the music, the mood changes, and experience the thrills that the music induces. Hence my intense love for good soundtrack music.

    It's interesting isn't it? I can see why you like the music that you do and I'll delve into your musical world occasionally (and I really like your blog for that, btw), but I still like my music better :)

  2. Have you seen Music and Lyrics with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore? There was a quote in there that pretty much describes the way I think of music.

    "A melody is like seeing someone for the first time. The physical attraction...But then, as you get to know the person, that's the lyrics. Their story. Who they are underneath. It's the combination of the two that makes it magical."

  3. ahh, interesting. That's a neat quote. That makes sense. Most of the music that I listen to on a regular basis I do end up figuring out what the lyrics are about eventually. However, I don't tend to get to know the lyrics on songs that I don't find musically attractive. I wonder if I do the same with people...

    And it's true, it seams to me that you tend to get to know bands and their lyrics before you even really like their music. Is that what you mean when you say something like "it took me a while to learn to like this band" etc...? You just hadn't gotten to know them yet?

  4. That's exactly what I mean when I say that. That's why I'm constantly looking up lyrics. There have been some crazy songs over the years that I didn't like at first, but then after reading the lyrics and understanding why the music was the way they made it that I actually began to like it. I don't completely disregard music, I just think that when the music compliments the story that it really is a good song. I've been paying attention to the lyrics for so long now though that listening to music with stupid lyrics gets annoying. It's like listening to attractive but stupid people...

  5. Yes, I see what you mean. And I don't totally disregard the lyrics; I usually do have a tolerable idea what the song is about, but I don't tend to pay much attention to the finer details of the lyrics. That's probably something that's deficient in my musical tastes. I'll have to start working on that.

    I doubt I will ever wind up with nearly as much of an appreciation for the lyrics as you do and I'll always enjoy simple, yet elegant songs, but I do think I should cultivate a little more attention to the lyrics in myself.

    And I'll always thoroughly enjoy classical and soundtrack music where there are no lyrics. I think that soundtrack music will always be at the top of my music tastes.