#20 on the 2010 Musical Bacon Calendar
Here’s To Taking It Easy by Phosphorescent
Me, from a month and a half ago:
There are many bands out there performing facets of “classic rock” as it once was, but none of them are doing it nearly as well as Phosphorescent. Matthew Houck, the driving force behind the band, is one of those great lead singers — the ones dripping in charisma and can do no wrong, even as they proceed to get staggeringly drunk and stumble around the stage.
The beauty of Houck’s songs is that each one tells a story. There’s a lot of similarity to what Craig Finn of the Hold Steady does with his songs — short stories, with musical accompaniment. Along with the great story, the songs come with the requisite guitar solo and/or keyboard solo, and you’re left remembering songs you love from the 70s.
While a lot of the band’s sound reminds me of other current “alt.country” acts (Clem Snide, mostly), it’s the classic rock influences that resonate more. More so than the other classic-rock revival acts, Phosphorescent seems to have found the right mix of story, music, and drinking to pull it off correctly.
And I meant it. Whenever you’re driving in a city unknown to you, if you find yourself strangely drawn to the classic rock station for lack of anything else to listen to, then you’ll like Phosphorescent. The video above, for “It’s Hard To Be Humble (When You’re From Alabama),” the first song from Here’s To Taking It Easy, is unfortunately the only video that’s been put out for a song from this album. It’s unfortunate, because this isn’t nearly my favorite on the record, and I don’t think it showcases the album very well. It’s not a bad song, per se, but it’s just not indicative of what you’ll get on the rest of the LP.
But man, I do love me some Southern rock. The Allman Brothers, the Charlie Daniels Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd — this is the music I grew up on. And Matthew Houck’s songs take me back there. Won’t you go down memory lane with me?
21. This is Happening by LCD Soundsystem
22. The Mistress by Yellow Ostrich
23. Halcyon Digest by Deerhunter
24. Been Listening by Johnny Flynn
25. The Wild Hunt by The Tallest Man on Earth
26. Lisbon by The Walkmen
27. Scratch My Back by Peter Gabriel
28. All Day by Girl Talk
29. A Storm – A Tree – My Mother’s Head by Bobby Bare Jr.
30. 03 to TEN by Knathan Ryan
31. In This Light On This Evening by Editors