A new feature at my blog is the Scooter Hall of Fame. SHoF will be a monthly award to one of my favorite form of entertainment. The first inductee into the SHoF is an album that formed my formative years, the Counting Crows' Augest and Everything After.
My first experience with the Counting Crows, like most people, was back in 1993 with the addition of Mr. Jones into the heavy rotation at MTV (yes kiddies, MTV once showed a lot of videos). I was hooked from the first guitar riff and the pseudo-Van Morrison Sha-la-la's. I'm sure everyone at the time thought they were the character singing the song and had their own personal Mr. Jones. Unfortunately, since I was underage at the time, there was no New Amsterdam, but instead I had the Cafeteria and I had to substitute dance team dancers due to the lack of flamingo or Spanish dancers. But I've lost count of the amount of times me and my Mr. Jones said, "She’s looking at you, I don't think so, she's looking at me." At the time, I didn't want to be Bob Dylan, I wanted to be Adam Duritz (and this was before I learned he dated 2/3 of the female cast of Friends). Then you add a video with some dreadlocks. How could this miss? So I rushed out as soon as I could and got the album.
The album starts off with the other song that was a soundtrack to the mid-90's, Round Here. How can you not like a song that references Elvis and a naked woman in the same song? And since hearing this song, for a long time I tried walking the edge where the ocean meets the land whenever at a beach. The one problem with the song is when I leaned that they do not sing "God laughs sometimes" as it was one of my favorite lines in the song. Rather the line, in actuality goes, "got lots of time."
The highlight of the album, and one of my favorite songs of all-time, is Anna Begins. The song includes some lyrics I still quote today. "I am not worried, I am not overly concerned." "Every time she sneezes I believe it's love." I remember at the time, me and my friends were obsessed with then line "Maybe I should snap in a butterfly net, pin her down on a photograph album."
Another song of note is Raining in Baltimore. I always a big fan of the piano, and this is the only song on the album that features the instrument. The song is horribly depressing (but in a good way) that I believe is about being isolated from everyone (or some one in particular) that you love. This is a great song to put on if you are in the same predicament.
The album closer, A Murder of One, gives us an insight into the band's name:
One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for the girls and four for the boys
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told
Of course the title does not to homicide rather a murder is a flock of crows. So a murder of one would be a crow.
The Counting Crows followed up August and Everything After with a potential SHoF-er, Recovering the Satellites featuring yet another instant classic, A Long December. Unfortunately, it has gone downhill for the Counting Crows since then. One would assume that dating actresses and models does not help with the depressing lyrics that populated the earlier albums. Thus leaving us with an ill-advised cover of Big Yellow Taxi and upbeat songs Hanginaround, American Girls, and Accidentaly in Love. So a message to all the models and actresses out there, please stop dating Adam Duritz so we can get the classic Counting Crows back.