Greetings once again Musicologists!
It’s August and the one-year anniversary of the first and mighty Green Monkey AotM. Summer refreshment time yousay? Okay then I say, let’s have a frothy month of the Young Fresh Fellows.
So wut’s the story this time?
Just in case you somehow missed out, The Fellows were jump-started in 1981 or ‘82 with Scott McCaughey on bass and singing, Chuck Carroll on guitar, and Chuck’s cousin Tad Hutchison on drums. They cut their first album Fabulous Sounds of the Pacific Northwest with Conrad Uno at Egg Studio a week after Tad landed in Seattle. By album two Jim Sangster was bass man. After #4, Chuck left and was replaced by the understated Kurt Bloch of the Fastbacks, brother of Al, who was our AotM a while back. Nowadays, besides the Fellows, Scott does the Minus Five, Jim plays in Roy Loney’s Longshots & in a few other bands I think and Kurt plays with 100 bands. Tad sometimes has a band with that guy from the Presidents. Whew!
Back in the day, to me, the Fellows always seemed to have their own planet in the Poplamma universe. They got a great review of their second record Topsy Turvy in Rolling Stone, who did not review indie records at the time. They were one of the first eighties Seattle bands to get some sort of out of town record deal (Frontier) and get out and tour America. They had a college radio hit with “Amy Grant” before anybody else in town post – Heart had hits and though their “new guy” has been in the band for twenty years now, they are still going strong at their self-defined pace. They put out one of their best albums, I Think This Is, a year ago and played in town just last week and of course were fabulous.
While the Fellows were definitely driven by the post-punk rock anybody-can-do-this ethos that was around Seattle (and everywhere) at that point, the truth is they were just plain irreverent fun back then and still are. The first time I saw them and watched Tad flail at a dancing wok on some sort of a fish pole contraption, I thought beer would fly out my nose. Scott writes beautiful and heartfelt songs that occasionally/often include Krispy Kreme employees and insects. Because of stuff like this, I think there can be a tendency for some folks to take them, shall we say, less than seriously. Those people are wrong! YFF rock. 99 Girls is the best Etiquette Records song put out since, well, Etiquette Records. End of Story.When I decided to take this AotM on, I knew I wasn’t gonna worry too much about “hits” such as they are. I have a fairly large chunk of their music in my house (and in my head) and I felt a more esoteric approach would be delightful. I tried to grab a pretty broad selection of my favorites, ranging from their first album to their latest. I know you true fans would all probably pick a different eighteen songs, but these are the ones I picked for August!
Raise a frothy beverage in tribute and enjoy!
1. Rock and Roll Guitars
2. Searchin’ U.S.A.
3. Power Mowers Theme
4. Big House
5. You Call That Lonely?
6. Where Is Groovy Town?
7. Hang Out Right
8. Three Sides to This Story
9. Everything’s Gonna Turn Out Great
10. I’d Say That You Were Upset
11. A Tribute to Music
12. Snow White
13. 99 Girls
14. Lonely Spartanburg Flower Stall
15. Mamie Dunn, Employee of the Month
16. Suck Machine Crater
17. If You Believe in Cleveland
18. I Don’t Let the Little Things Get Me Down
Scott McCaughey – Singing and various instruments
Tad Hutchison – Mostly Drums
Chuck Carroll – Guitar on the early stuff
Kurt Bloch – Guitar on the other stuff
Jim Sangster – Mostly bass
I think Scott wrote all these songs, but I might be wrong, but if he did they are Macnor Music, but if I’m wrong and Kurt wrote something they are Energy House Music and no matter what they are totally copyrighted. Dude.