Tie: “Fakey Fake” and “Don’t Forget About Me” by Earlimart.
The night before my friend Michael and I hopped into the car and headed to Coachella we stopped off to see Earlimart christen the Echoplex in Silverlake. It was a stellar lineup. Opening for them were The Watson Twins, Sea Wolf and (that portable festival of exuberance) The Parson Redheads. When Earlimart took the stage they did so with a small string section (The String Dream Team) in tow. Earlimart have no problem creating a full, luscious sound, but having the string section up on stage kinda pushed them into a critical mass and helped bring their meticulously crafted album tracks to life.
Now, I’m an Earlimart fan. That’s a strange thing for me to say because in these days of music saturation, where every week some new indie band is popping from the woodwork and every previous band ever formed is releasing a new cd there just isn’t time to develop a fandom. I’m not certain how that happened, but I picked up the vibe way back in 2002 when I heard the Avenues EP. Treble & Tremble, with its gorgeous post-Elliot Smith essence and its seamless construction pretty much sealed the deal. That, and then seeing them burn through a marvelous set in their stomping grounds at Spaceland three years ago (did I really drink that many margaritas?)
So the interminable wait between that album and the release of Mentor Tormentor in August seemed even longer then the nearly four years it took. It also made the first notes of the album, as I finally got to sit down and listen to it, all the sweeter. That’s why the album’s opening cut, “Fakey Fake,” is here. As Nick Hornby writes about mix tapes, “you’ve got to kick it off with a corker,” and that’s just what they do. It’s the kind of song that says, “Hey there, did you miss us? Cool. Well, buckle up.”
The other cut, “Don’t Think About Me” is here for another reason. Which I won’t get into. Because it’s private.
Oh, fine. It has to do with a girl. But only barely, so shut up.
The album isn’t on any other year-end lists that I’ve seen (alright, there are a few exceptions.) I consider that a crime, but then that’s what fandom is all about. Catch them live if you can.