January 16, 2008

New from Counting Crows, crossing our fingers

Berkeley band Counting Crows remain firmly ensconced in my top bands close to my heart, having soundtracked a good portion of my life. They are planning to release their fifth studio album Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings on March 25 through Geffen/Interscope. As previously mentioned, the two-part album is divided into the louder and fiercer “Saturday Nights” first half which was produced by Gil Norton (The Pixies/Foo Fighters), and the acoustic “Sunday Mornings” finish with Brian Deck overseeing the controls (Josh Ritter, Iron & Wine, Modest Mouse).

Adam Duritz (who has recently lost 50 lbs and is looking good) shared some thoughts about the album: “[It's] about dissolution and disintegration. It’s about when Saturday night happens and you lose all sense of yourself. And it’s about when you wake up Sunday morning and look back at the wreck you’ve made of your life and you think, ‘How can I possibly fix this? How can I ever climb out of this hole?’ And then you start to try and climb.”

He also notes, “Our album may not have much redemption in the end but we got all the sin I could live with and at least an attempt to try for something better.”

. . . for your Saturday night:
1492 – Counting Crows

. . . and your Sunday morning:
When I Dream of Michelangelo – Counting Crows

That last tune is certainly an interesting one, whole-cloth revisiting and reincorporating a lyric and a sentiment from another one of my favorite tunes, “Angels of the Silences” from 1996′s Recovering the Satellites.

From a personal standpoint, the sensual strength of his figures and his surprising use of color make Michelangelo my all-time favorite artist. My best semester ever included taking a breathtakingly in-depth course on all of his known works while I was studying abroad in Florence. Therefore, I’ve always smiled wider at that lyric, “I dream of Michelangelo when I’m lying in my bed,” than any other one because that action and that thought is one of the best feelings ever — because I’ve done it. I never thought I’d hear that line again in a new song. I am excited about this album, hoping for really amazing things that I know they are capable of.

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14 Comments »

  • Heather,
    Once again our parallel tastes don’t surprise me much. I latched onto the Counting Crows years back, as another band produced by T-Bone Burnett…he’d also produced the BoDeans among many others, and his solo stuff is well worth investigating…I’ve seen him in concert several times and he never disappoints…

    Best,
    David M.

    Murgs — January 16, 2008 @ 1:50 pm

  • Heather,

    Nice post. You mentioned all the lyrical references in Michelangelo to Angels, which was on Recovering the Satellites. I think 1492 is also the type of hard rocking sound that could have easily found its way on to that album. In fact, I think it was recorded, or at least played live right around the Recovering the Satellites time period.

    Also, one more plug, Counting Crows will be playing some type of pre superbowl event this year. Its the night before the game. And I am not sure if it will be televised.

    Also, Adam is playing a solo benefit show in Baltimore on Feb 2nd and last time I checked there were some tickets left for the show.

    nice post.

    Kev in St. Louis.

    Anonymous — January 16, 2008 @ 2:10 pm

  • THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY! Counting Crows albums are so few and far between that they fall off my radar… pushed away for newer discoveries. but i re-fall in love with them everytime they release a new one. it’s always like, “oh yeah, i LOVE these guys!”
    I saw them in concert a few years back on a split bill with John Mayer, and as much as i love JM, the Crows were definetly the best part of the evening. Totally worth driving to concord in rush hour traffic. ;-)

    Jillian — January 16, 2008 @ 2:17 pm

  • 1492 is actually an old song that got cut from a previous album. A live version from 2001 can be found at http://www.annabegins.com

    Anonymous — January 16, 2008 @ 3:20 pm

  • Hello-

    I wasn’t sure how to contact you except to leave a comment on an unrelated post…

    Anyhow, I only recently discovered your site but have enjoyed reading through your great posts. I was delighted to see my man Paul Westerberg under your highlights. Thanks for the great b-sides, but there’s one I’ve been looking to hear forever. It was on a benefit album “For New Orleans” or something like that. I can’t even remember the name of Paul’s song, but it was credited to PW and the Honky Heartattax and was titled something having to do with “money.” Do you or have this tune? I’d love to hear it. I’ll look for a response to this to see your answer. Thanks.

    Gregg

    Anonymous — January 16, 2008 @ 3:40 pm

  • Maybe it’s just me but I really can’t stand the Counting Crows. I dug August and Everything After, but then I am stuck with the thought about how I couldn’t stand A Long December

    Asian Kid A — January 16, 2008 @ 5:36 pm

  • Hi Heather…great post… just wanted to ask, are you sure it’s a double album? I thought I understood it to be a single disc divided in two parts (like a 2-sided record), and amazon.com lists it as a single disc.

    Don’t get me wrong, I hope it is 2 discs! I’m just not so sure

    Pete — January 16, 2008 @ 6:04 pm

  • CC did an in-store at the record store I ran back then, just when August broke. I have been a fan ever since! They refused to do the sit behind the table and sign thing, and wandered out into the masses to be with the fans. Amazingly, everyone was cool. What could have been a security nightmare ended up as one of my best memories. I can’t wait to capture some of that magic with the new record!

    Ruralgurl — January 16, 2008 @ 6:31 pm

  • Thanks for the update on the release as I’m anxiously awaiting it.

    Stephen Kuykendall — January 16, 2008 @ 7:09 pm

  • Hi Pete,
    Thanks for pointing that out – i went back and checked and it looks like you are right – just one disc, two parts. Awww man.

    heather — January 16, 2008 @ 7:22 pm

  • Heather,

    I am a huge fan of “Angels of the Silences.” Probably my fave Crows tune, but it constantly battles for that honour with “Einstein On The Beach.”

    Have you heard Dashboard Confessional’s cover of “Angels”?

    Very cool.

    Jay — January 16, 2008 @ 8:23 pm

  • hey! thanks for the CC heads-up. i am a huge fan of the first 2 albums and even some songs, here and there, afterwards, but it’s felt like a steady decline in quality since “satellites.” it sounds like they are getting back to the original sound. i hope so, at least. no more pop songs for shrek movies! :)

    Jamie — January 16, 2008 @ 9:16 pm

  • hey heather,
    I too did my time in florence living on Via de Pucci for a year, a block from the Duomo and clung to the thought of trying to think about how michelangelo would have see that city.
    While I was living in seattle for a few years my aging car wouldn’t relinquish my “August” tape and was the ONLY thing I could listen to while I was driving ( not even the radio)s so now It’s ingrained in my head and is literally the soundtrack of life in seattle as well as the cross country trip back and forth from NY.

    can’t wait to hear the new songs.

    -kelly

    Anonymous — January 17, 2008 @ 7:20 am

  • This is very exciting news! Looks like they are doing what Ben Harper did on “Both Sides of the Gun”, releasing a 2 cd set, but not a double album. I’m always upset how long it takes Counting Crows to make albums, but I’m never disappointed with the final result. Maybe one day we’ll get a “Lost Dogs” album from them as well. Their b-sides and unreleased songs catalog must be massive.

    - Neil

    Anonymous — January 17, 2008 @ 9:26 am

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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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