April 19, 2007

Friends, lovers, and bread.

I literally woke up with this Josh Rouse cover in my head this morning, and laid there barely half-awake with the sun streaming in between that crack in the blinds, these crystalline opening notes running on repeat. It really is a sunrise kind of song. So I decided to temporarily preempt what I was going to post in favor of this cover-licious compilation.

What would possess a bunch of modern-day indie rockers to contribute to a cover album of ’70s AM-radio deluxxe group Bread? All of their stuff forever sounds like it should be listened to on a big ‘ole 12″ vinyl LP whilst wearing platform espadrilles and a loudly patterned shirt. Or maybe just nothing at all. But if you can get past the overarching soft-rockness, the harmonies are tasty, the music has definitely affected the generation of fine music that I like now, and there is a laid-back goodness oozing all over this stuff.

Josh Rouse’s lovely cover is pretty much note-for-note faithful of this ridiculously sad-sap, “please walk all over me because I love you, you goddess” song, but it absolutely works with his striking tenor, and is nice to wake up to on brain radio:

It Don’t Matter To Me (Bread cover) – Josh Rouse

It Don’t Matter To Me – Bread
(add that to the list of worst band names to Google, along with Cake and Live)

Friends and Lovers: The Songs of Bread was released in 2005 (actually, two years ago to the day as luck would have it) and in addition to Rouse also features Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer of The Posies, Cake, Erlend Oye (of Kings of Convenience), Oranger, Rachel Goswell (of Mojave 3), and Bart Davenport (of Honeycut).

Friends and Lovers (Bread cover) – Erlend Oye

Man alive, listening to this stuff –the originals and these covers– makes me feel like an 8-year-old again, riding my bike really fast, or sitting on the cracked tan vinyl backseat of my dad’s dusty green Datsun with the radio on. You don’t realize how much Bread you’ve probably passively absorbed in your childhood. Rhino Records recently released a Best Of Bread album as well, if you just can’t get enough.

And if you’re still too insecure to fully bask in side of your brain that wants to love Bread, let John McCrea of Cake excoriate you as he defends their cover of “Guitar Man”:

Yeah, why make fun of a well-written song unless you’re an insecure person that needs to use music almost like insecure middle-age people use fine wine,” he said. “You’re using music as a badge. And simultaneously I think what you do is drain the actual joy out of it, and it becomes somewhat of a calcified exoskeleton of your pathetic and, I guess, not fully defined ego.”
- John McCrea, Cake

So there.



  • worst band name to google is hands down !!! (chk chk chk)

    -tom — April 19, 2007 @ 12:49 pm

  • Try Googling “X” some time.

    DJ Cayenne — April 19, 2007 @ 1:11 pm

  • Thank you for posting that Josh Rouse cover. I’ve been looking for that for a long time.

    Andy — April 19, 2007 @ 1:26 pm

  • I didn’t realize Rouse had such a vocal range. Nice.

    I always thought ‘Free Beer’ was the worst band name… talk about false expectations… yet that band lives on.

    Yon — April 19, 2007 @ 1:58 pm

  • I echo McRea’s sentiments. I’ve realized, in my “old” age, that a well-written song is a well-written song, whether Cole Porter or Neko Case, and a great version of a great song – it really doesn’t matter who’s singing, as long as they’re good. Let’s face it; most people who have a record deal don’t “suck”, they’re probably good at what they do, and you just like it or don’t. Hence, I can enjoy Radiohead, and Billy Joel, and sleep like a baby most nights.
    Bread did some great songs.

    Eric — April 19, 2007 @ 2:46 pm

  • this is a pretty good comp. heads and tails above that awful America comp that came out a few months ago.

    Satisfied '75 — April 19, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

  • been looking for josh rouse cover too. they have the entire album on emusic minus that song. i sent them nasty mail for it. although i keep letting them charge me for music every month…nevermind…

    theyeck — April 19, 2007 @ 5:19 pm

  • I was 16 when in the Bread was playing on the radio. My friends and I were in high school. We’d drive around Toronto in my father’s car, just like in “That 70′s Show”. We’d always be listening to a mix tape (a real one) that included Bread. Thanks for reminding me. Great blog, I read it daily. Still in Toronto, Mark.

    Mark — April 19, 2007 @ 7:15 pm

  • Bread and Cake…I’ve blown all my carbs at this one post.

    There was a time when this was one of those slow-dancing, dim the lights, end of party, last dance type of song. There was a time when I felt this way. Sweet (more carbs).

    Thanks for the comfort food.

    debs — April 19, 2007 @ 7:49 pm

  • I Want To Make It With You was my jam when I was in 8th grade and making out for the first time. Bread rock. I challenge any hipster indie rock band to have a catalogue 1/2 as good as Bread’s in 30 years

    Bruce — April 19, 2007 @ 8:57 pm

  • Actually I don’t mind Bread, but does the McCrea comment imply that if one honestly doesn’t like something like that he/she’d better shut up or be called names? Not nice!

    Greg — April 20, 2007 @ 7:10 am

  • I interpreted the McCrea comment more as USING music “as a badge” as he says — that is, liking what is likable or cool but not fully experiencing the joy of the music, or not liking what you like with no regard for how it makes you look, drains the joy and speaks to your own insecurities. McCrea is a pretty wordy guy, I love his vocabulary. Also he is very opinionated.

    heather — April 20, 2007 @ 7:14 am

  • Mmm, Bread. There must be millions of people walking around today who were born in the 1970s and conceived to the sound of the “Best of Bread” album.

    Try it on the one you love. It works. Take it from me.

    jb — April 22, 2007 @ 8:12 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

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