(This is our 3rd annual “Favorite Songs” series. It’s a forum for Range Life friends and family to share and celebrate the songs that moved us and meant something to us in 2010. Songs are presented in no particular order. We’re posting weekdays until we’re spent, so keep checking back. Submissions are welcome! Send a song link and whatever you want to write to email@example.com)
Song: “Conjunction Junction” by Cowboy Indian Bear
Song Link: HERE
Note: Cowboy Indian Bear plays this Saturday night, December 11th, at the Bottleneck in Lawrence
Each Other All the Time by Cowboy Indian Bear was one of my favorite records of 2010. The album has many charms, one of the foremost being the almost overwhelmingly melodic catchiness of the songs. It’s a really well-crafted pop record, each verse leading you effortlessly into the next verse, to the chorus, and so on. In addition to the band itself, the skills of the engineer/producer Josh Browning surely have something to do with it. (The engineering and mixing are some of the best on any Lawrence-produced record ever, in my opinion.) It’s a very welcoming album, sequenced to draw you in and through it all the way to the end. The song that has ended up being my favorite, “Conjunction Junction”, however, took the longest out of all the songs to reveal its greatness to me. First off, it’s more or less the same two musical parts, over and over until the end. Second, C.J.’s (Is it C.J. or Marty? Or both of them? I’m not sure, actually,) and Katlyn’s vocals are mixed really low, especially compared to the rest of the more immediately accessible songs. Third, while the singing itself is incredibly soulful, it’s more or less incomprehensible. They’re sort of mumbled mostly, and at one point, I always imagine that C.J. was really angry or drunk when he did the take. That is, until the “chorus” which is crystal clear: “So, get off your knees, look around you at what you’re gonna be.” It’s a really powerful moment, which wouldn’t have been possible if they hadn’t just grooved along and mumbled for a few minutes. The whole song up to that point is an unbroken tapestry of different sounds, none of which stick out in a conventional ‘lead’ role, except maybe the inventive drumming, a mix of electronic beats and real drums, something they do really well on the whole record. Beau Bruns is one of the best drummers in Lawrence, that is for sure. Go see them live, you will have to agree. The only time I’ve seen them play was in Omaha, and I was really impressed as I watched Beau fucking wallop the drums the whole time and take chugs out of a PBR in between fills at one point. It seems like he’s into prog-rock, which is a pre-requisite to being a good rock drummer in my book. Do yourself a favor and download this song, then head to Love Garden and buy their record and see them live.