Friday, December 12, 2008

Song of the Week 12/12/08

Letters to Cleo - "Because of You"

Perhaps it's seeing that dreaded age of 40 coming up in less than 11 months, or just acting like more like an adult this entire year that has made me a fan of reunions. The latest reunion to hit the SOTW is Letters to Cleo. The band hadn't played together in over a decade (and I hadn't seen them in over 11), so I was rather excited when their gig at Bowery Ballroom on December 11th was announced. I let my old roommate and fellow huge fan Joe S. know immediately and we grabbed tickets. Once again, this was a reunion that did not disappoint. Kay Hanley might just be a better frontperson now than she was a decade ago. Her voice has a warmer tone nowadays, which made songs like "Co-Pilot" and "Awake" sound better than I remembered them. She seemed to work the crowd more easily, which she might have picked up having to entertain thousands of kids as one of Miley Cyrus's backup singers. (Um, and she has gotten hotter in the past 10 years too.) The rest of the band (minus original bassist Scott Riebling) now plays with more confidence in their own abilities and material. Drummer Stacy Jones (who happens to front a great band on his own called American Hi Fi) is just a monster behind the kit. And it wasn't just the great performances that made the night so much fun. It was the chance to reveal in the memories the band's music brought back (their 1997 album Go! was in heavy rotation at 288 5th avenue that year) and to catch up with some of the band's friends (like Jed and Pete from The Gravel Pit). Yeah, I guess getting old can be fun sometimes.

I'd like to give LTC guitarist USA Mike (Michael Eisenstein) the last word on the Bowery show with a post he left on the Kay Hanley message board:

"What a great night. I haven't done an official ranking, but that was in the top 10 (maybe 5) Cleo shows of all time."

I'd have to agree. Below you can see why. I love how Kay smiles as the crowd sings along:


Anonymous said...

I freakin' love Letters to Cleo. And I usually keep that to myself, because, well, because who's familiar with Letters to Cleo? Not enough people, that's for sure.

From the Catskills,


patient boy said...

Kay Hanley is both talented and cute, but wearing that shirt at Bowery is just poor form.