SATURDAY SONGS TO STEAL FIRE TO
WARNING: non-metal below!!!
One San Francisco Summer day in Los Angeles some eleventy years ago, this guy wandered into Amoeba Music in search of new sounds.
Have you ever been to Amoeba? This “chain” of record stores (there are two in the Bay area and one in L.A.) seems to defy the impossible — it’s basically an efficiently-run, ginormous warehouse filled with CDs, vinyl, movies and books, expertly organized into careful categories (the L.A. store has a frickin “Black Metal” section, fer chrissakes! Check out the store map)……one could get lost for days in there and come out significantly lighter in the wallet, carrying a CD-filled fanciful tote bag (y’know, the kind that some lovely people seem to love).
At least that’s what it would be like if we didn’t all steal music via the internet.
Obviously such a huge type of store lacks the personality and distinct character of a place like SF’s own magnificent Aquarius Records, but Amoeba manages to offer up a blend of service and product availability that is pretty impressive and frankly hard to beat. Like if Tower Records had ever been cool. Knowledgeable music nerds await your banal questions about Ryoksopp or Hawkwind, Sufjan or Satyricon — chances are someone in the store knows somethin bout whatever it is you wanna know**.
**not a guarantee……the world can be a cruel place
Anyway, on this particular day I was driving my rented convertible (that time around I think it was the limited-edition super-slick sporty ride whose model unfortunately escapes me presently — as opposed to the standard Malibu or Sebring) through the smog, fake tits and hatred that is the city of Lost Angels, and decided to go to the record shoppe for some tunnes. And when I mentioned that I really dug that new Mars Volta album (De-Loused had come out that same Summer), asking for additional proggy rockin recommendations, some delightful music-mongering twerp led in me in several unexpected directions, one of which was to the lush, dulcet tones of The Fire Theft.
At the time I didn’t know that this was basically Sunny Day Real Estate minus one member, but regardless something about the songs cried of a delicate newness and evolved maturity. Of course even when he’s screaming Jeremy Enigk’s voice could still put a newborn to sleep, but this time around the band seemed to play right alongside his precious timbre, rising and falling with every ebb and flow (as opposed to Sunny Day often playing against the bloody gorgeous-ness of Enigk’s singing, which yielded a different kind of power in their musical success).
The band only put out one album, which my heart and ears instantly fell in love with.
They’re defunct now, but their music lives on in AllOfOurSpace.