Corey Cunningham’s recommendation: “I always have a thing I tell people when I talk to them about this group: No band has ever made such a perfect and complete discography. Even The Beatles had their Let It Be. But not The Feelies. Every record is as good as the last. And, most surprisingly to me, every record almost sounds like it could have been recorded the same year as the last. How many artists have a 16-year, 4 album career that is seemingly untouched by the trends of the time? They made it seem easy and so exciting. Yet if you’ve ever tried to rite a song that sounds like The Feelies you’ll find it a good bit harder than expected. They built a vocabulary that was smart, that came from so many others – Velvet Underground, Modern Lovers, the first Talking Heads. Yet what they did was so Feelies-like it could never be duplicated.
I know what you’re thinking.. their covers of other artists, right?
Surely that’s a blemish on this perfect discography (all but one of their four albums contains at least one cover). But to me their renditions always redefine the song and often surpass the original. I can’t count the number of crummy, pointless covers that bands often feel inclined do. The Feelies played them as if they were theirs all along.
And when I say their whole discography I’m including their side-projects as well. Listen to Yung Wu, The Trypes, and The Willies. Same quality control. Same use of tasteful restraint. But not exactly the same band. I still think that Yung Wu album is one of the best albums of 1987.
My biggest debt to them though? I learned what to do on stage from watching a video of them live at Maxwell’s from 1979. What moves!”
About the guest author, Corey Cunningham:Corey is the guitar player for the San Francisco band, Magic Bullets. They formed in 2004 and have since played shows with The Walkmen and Cold War Kids. Amplifier.com praised the band by saying that “…guitarist Corey Cunningham‘s brittle, swooning riffs suggest Johnny Marr, while singer Philip Benson‘s sphinxian lyrics come in bursts of poetic beauty.” Hear for yourself on the mp3 for “Lying Around” below (and if you like what you hear, buy their new EP here. The band is on tour, so check the Magic Bullets web site to see where to catch ’em.
MP3: Lying Around by Magic Bullets