It is the one week anniversary of the Trashcan Sinatras show at the Troubadour. Since I got on a plane the very next night, I haven’t really had time to reflect on the experience – which, in a nutshell, was incredible. There was a bit of a rocky start to the show, which I think was more the sound guy’s fault than the band’s. It took them a while to figure out the audio levels so that you could actually hear the lead singer, Frank Reader. But, once they worked it out, it was fantastic and they sounded as great as I’d hoped they would. My biggest complaint was that they didn’t play a lot of old stuff and that the show was only an hour and fifteen minutes long. After all of these years, I needed a longer fix, but it’s still better than nothing.
Whenever I buy a new album from an artist I really like, I’m always a bit apprehensive listening to it for the first time. What if it sucks? I’d only had an opportunity to listen to their new songs a few times before the show (I only have them digitally since I am still waiting patiently for my signed copy to arrive from Scotland), so I wasn’t that familiar with them. Well, watching them perform the songs made me love them instantly. It is truly a great album These guys are now all on their 40s and the fact that they are keeping it together as a band is pretty impressive considering they get almost no commercial support. But I think that sort of helps them creatively. I am always disappointed by artists – such as the Dave Matthews Band – who start out incredible and kind of wane over time because there’s such a demand for what they do. True artists don’t create on demand, they create when they are inspired. So, while the Trashcans can’t afford to put out an album more frequently than every five years or so, the quality of their music is probably better off for it.
The history of the band is a simultaneously sad and sweet story. They formed in the late 80s and had some limited success with their first album (Cake), which then led them to make a second album (I’ve Seen Everything). It didn’t sell well for some reason (although it is still my personal favorite) and by the time their third album, A Happy Pocket, was due to release, their US distribution deal fell through and it never came out here. This was around 1995 or 1996, and if you weren’t paying attention, you would have just assumed that they fell off the grid completely and were gone forever. Personally, I had assumed just that until the day in 2005 when I was digitizing all of my music after getting my first iPod and thought to myself, “Whatever happened to these guys?” A Google search turned up their website where I learned they’d released an album the year prior and that I had just missed their US tour. Apparently, through love and support from their small but rabid fan base, and a grant from some Scottish council for the arts, they were able to scrape the funding together to produce Weightlifting. Bad luck has struck again with the release of this most recent album, and their US distribution deal has again fallen through, which means this tour is getting no press or promotion.
So, right now they are somewhere in the midwest and will be on the East coast sometime within the next week. Go check them out!! I promise you will not be disappointed. They’re also selling their CDs at their shows, or on their website www.trashcansintras.com (tour dates are also listed on the site).
Also, as an addendum to my previous entry on the subject, now that I’ve had a chance to listen to their new album In the Music, I have a list of my favorite tracks. They are:
* I Wish You’d Met Her
* In the Music
And if there are any Carly Simon fans out there, you should know that she is singing background on the track “Should I Pray.”