Friday, August 26, 2011

Revenge of the Thirty-Day Song Challenge - Day 2

Day 2 – A Song from a Favorite Artist

During the initial Thirty-Day Challenge, I was asked to name off my favorite track by my favorite artist. This post is on a similar train of thought, but with much less pressure—do you have a favorite artist? Do you have a song you like from them? Bada bing. I didn’t get to talk about these guys last time, either, so here’s a good chance to bring up another one of my absolute favorite artists.

Goodnight Sunrise – “Sideshow Entertainment”

NOTE: This is seriously the only video I could find of this song. I'm half-considering uploading a video of it myself, when I have time.

Friends of mine know that I’m all up in these guys’ business. Strangers are about to find out.

Goodnight Sunrise is a power-pop band from the Helena area (several members graduated high school with my friend Meg), for whom my fandom is appalling. I first caught them at a literal basement show back in 2006, during my first visit home from college, and I’ve been crushing on them since basically the second song into their set. They’ve since moved to Los Angeles, but I still carry high the torch for my favorite Boulder-based pop-rockers whenever I can.

Today’s entry is a track from Close and Counting, the first EP released under their new name; for the first four years of the band’s existence, they went by the moniker Driven Under, and had a much heavier sound. With Close and Counting, Goodnight Sunrise shows a slicker, more accessible sound that nevertheless still boasts an infectious level of energy. The five tracks (and a remix) that make up this EP basically made me a fan for life; they could seriously never release a single lick of new material again, and I would be more than happy to count them among the ranks of my top-tier favorite groups.

“Sideshow Entertainment” is probably my favorite song from Close and Counting—it’s not necessarily the catchiest, but it simply makes me the happiest. The track plays more like a quality album-cut or a b-side, rather than a lead single, and its easy, unforced melody is enjoyable to simple let wash over me. I generally prefer lyrics in my emo songs to err on the side of opacity over beat-you-over-the-head-obviousness that lots of bands practice, and “Sideshow Entertainment” falls comfortably into the former camp; I’m not sure if I can tell you exactly what this particular track about, but I feel like the themes are well-enough represented that I can take the song in broad strokes.

Aside from any given number of sonic reasons, I think a good chunk of this song’s appeal is simply where I was in relation to it. Close and Counting came out during the summer of 2007, which was an especially manic and enjoyable time for one Andrew Testerman. “Sideshow Entertainment” was also featured prominently in a local Helena-based show on Carroll College athletics, where it was the theme song for the program, and damn me if I’m not nostalgic for either of those years. Lastly, I had the honor of attending the show where they retired this and several other songs from Close and Counting in favor of their new material, making it something of a sentimental favorite.

Bottom line: Andrew likes local music, especially local good music, and he urges you to hop on iTunes and purchase Close and Counting, along with the rest of their discography if you’re feeling generous.

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