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Mrs Grundy CD - Don't Pick It Up


Tom Capasso

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A while back BenLoy announced the release of the Mrs Grundy album "Don't Pick It Up". I bought it (even though Ben wasn't playing on it himself - he does the live work).

 

I received the CD sometime back, but it took me a while to write this up. My first task was to write a review for CDBaby (the distributor). Matt helped me edit that review (it's cool to be edited by a music professional). I've added to this review because the audience consists of musicians.

 

The music is alternative rock. It's not the same old stuff that some people complain about on the radio. The sound is driven - it's got the attitude, sound, and push that makes a strong, rockin' album without losing that alternative edgy thing.

 

The songs have their own personality. The imagery or lyric positioning (is that a real term) varies greatly. Matt has a lot to say, and he covers a variety of viewpoints. The sound is cool, but it's the songwriting that you notice first (especially when the opening song is titled "Booger"). I love the mix of juvenile and thoughtful, literate and crude. The music side of the writing is excellent as well. Matt employs interesting, left-of-center chord progressions and altered tunings, without losing the listener. This isn't just another cheapo power chord album. And even the interesting structure extends to features like bridges and codas. Real music.

 

For us at the Low Down, Matt's bass parts are solid, groovin, and interesting. On songs where he tends to ride the root, he finds opportunities to add some fills that fit in perfectly and really make the song better.

 

A few favorites:

 

"Booger" is one of a number of songs on the album deal with feelings of inferiority. You have to love a song whose refrain includes the lines:

"She's a looker, pressure cooker, craving her embrace

She's my sugar, I'm a booger, flick me into space."

 

"Cute" features an infectious call-and-response chorus. This is just one way that Mrs Grundy makes each song interesting (don't you hate it when all the songs on a CD sound the same?). My favorite part of this is when Matt goes into the bridge from the last chord of the progression. that chord is a minor, and he moves the third up to make it major and change the whole feel. The lyrics match the alteration with the lines "my bullshit detector's on, and you're way off the meter".

 

"Chia Punk" goes right for the gut with its lyrical take on privileged kids who have all the requisite piercings, ripped clothes and attitude, yet dont have the depth of thought or slightest inkling of what the term punk actually means..

 

"Morning" is one of a handful of ballads that give the record contrast, yet never come off as sappy or soft. The accented music gives it style and character.

 

Hard to pass up a song called "Mr. Happy Colon". It's a rambunctious sing-a-long

alternative rock theme. And though it starts strong, it just keeps building - for the whole

song!! When he does drop the volume, the vocals and bass are made to sound like you're listening through a telephone, and Matt does this cool slap part with some speedy work. And it ends with a guitar scream.

 

There is an attitude here that thumbs its nose at the world, but in a deliberately tasteful way - even as you watch the sarcasm drip off the CD cover.

 

Anybody else pick up this thing?

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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I agree, it's a great record. Matt continues to outdo himself with every new song he writes.

 

The next record is already in the works, and it's going to contain a mixture of tracks that he's recorded and tracks with the live band. Obviously I'm pretty excited about it.

 

I'll probably start a "session diary" once we start recording it.

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Tom, at first I thought you were telling us to not pick up the Mrs. Grundy cd. Then you recommended it. :confused:

 

Maybe your thread should have been titled:

 

Mrs. Grundy CD--pick up Don't Pick It Up! :rolleyes:

 

And my other question is what kind of pickups were used in the recording of don't pick it up. Or maybe the ttile means that no pickups were used at all. :eek:

 

I'm just goofing around here. :wave:

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Originally posted by Penguinsarebirds:

Now where can we find this CD for purchase?

One of the most fun retail experiences I've had is at www.CDBaby.com. You can find Mrs Grundy's albums, Cottonmouth DN and Mean Ether (from CMDN), and Michal The Girl (music-man).

 

They are great at customer service and funny emails that help you track your purchase.

 

Jeremy, this illustrates Matt's sense of humor and I wanted to make the most of it. The liner notes state that Mrs Grundy uses specific instruments and amps and wears certain clothes that improve the songwriting and playing (a great backhand at the over-endorsers of the world).

 

Thanks for reading the review, and we're all looking forward to Ben's diary. Which he won't be awake enough to write...

Ben - aren't you traveling with the band this weekend? Maybe some of our friends could show up? Plug it baby...

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Shameless plug here.

 

I'm at cdbaby, too.

 

Look for Jazz Express (my own group)

or Jazz on the Vine (I'm the studio bassist for this group) or Ella Mac (studio bassist for her)

 

The latest cd I played on is at:

adamamusic.net

 

Now back to your regularly scheduled promotion of the Mrs. Grundy cd.

 

Buy it! (That's an order!)

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Thanks for reading the review, and we're all looking forward to Ben's diary. Which he won't be awake enough to write...

Ben - aren't you traveling with the band this weekend? Maybe some of our friends could show up? Plug it baby...

Matt always says "boo-f--kn-hoo" when I complain about how tired I am. He works even longer hours than I do and he has a newborn kid. I'm genetically wired for whining, though...so there.

 

Yes I'm going down to Fredricksburg, VA tomorrow to play the opening of a new Guitar Center down there. Should be fun. I was particularly excited when I heard the utterance of my two favorite words in the english language: "Backline Provided" :D

 

Then I'm playing another gig at a local club that evening (I don't have the details here at work so I'll have to go home and update this post from there)...and then climbing ass-over-elbow back into the car and driving back to NY. Then I'm going to work. Then I'm we're playing a gig at the ACME Underground that evening.

 

Then I'll be tired! :D

 

Here's the scoop:

 

Thursday, June 26, 2003

7-9pm

 

Guitar Center Grand Opening

215 Spotsylvania Mall

Fredericksburg, VA

 

If you live close, come check us out. If you live far, come check us out also (but don't expect gas money). :D

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Originally posted by BenLoy:

Yes I'm going down to Fredricksburg, VA tomorrow to play the opening of a new Guitar Center down there. Should be fun. I was particularly excited when I heard the utterance of my two favorite words in the english language: "Backline Provided" :D

 

One would hope that a Guitar Center would be able to provide a backline!!! :rolleyes:

 

The question now is whether that backline will be, say, a Mesa 400+ head with tons o' tube juice and an Ampeg 8x10 cab (zowwweeeeeee!), or whether they'll really pull out all the stops and give you a Crate combo! :eek:

 

Have fun giggin' and bring back some GC goodies for the rest of us. ;)

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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