Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Family Thang

The day started off nicely today when I received the long-anticipated CD from the Austin, Tx band Pompeii in the mail. I was doubly-pleasantly surprised when I put the CD in and hit "play." Hey, you know what. They're good. No, really. They're really, really good.

I see that furrow in your lovely brows, my little puzzled readers. You're asking yourselves, "Why would she actually spend money on a CD when she wasn't even sure she liked the band?" Well, it's like this. It's a family thing. The cellist in the band (an alt rock band with a cellist -- top that, Green Day!) is my first cousin, Caitlin Bailey. Caitlin was raised in Austin and because I've never been particularly close to her father (my uncle, Chris), we've never met. No family feud or anything... it's just one of those "travelled in different circles, hung out with different people" kind of things. Here's a photo of Caitlin, taken with my other uncle's (Marck's) daughter, Piper, (photo at left -- I trust I don't need to tell you which one plays in a rock band). Marck is the uncle I'm close to, because we're closer in age (they're my mother's half-brothers). (In the photo at right, I'm on the far left, flashing a goofy peace sign, and Chris is laying on the floor behind his father -- my grandfather -- looking bored out of his ever-loving mind. The aforementioned Marck, now the father of two darling girls who do positively horrid things to him in the name of beauty, is the squirt in the front.)

But back to Pompeii. An amazing band. But don't take my word for it.

From "as I watched Pompeii I realized that for thefirst time, I was seeing a band who was using that ubiquitous (and utterlytiresome, usually) Radiohead influence in the right way -- chiming, lovelyguitars and sweet, sad boy vocals and modestly epic and darkly uplifitinglyrics, over the driving clatter of emo drums and Peter Hook-ish melodicbass lines -- all hoisted up by the deep, raspy scraping of Caitlin's cello.I'm hesitant to know what to call Pompeii's music -- because it's not indiepop, or indie rock, or straight up goth or emo. It's all these things, andin the end, I think that's why Pompeii's music is so affecting."

I have absolutely no idea what any of this means, because took French in high school, and not "music reviewerese." But I'm sure they like it bunches over at So, head over to the band's My Space, where they have several cuts from their debut album, Assembly. You, too, will be won over by their "emo drums and Peter Hook-ish melodicbass lines" (who wouldn't, after all?).

Pompeii. Not just a band, but family, goddamit!


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