Rock Plaza Central‘s …At the Moment of Our Most Needing, or If Only They Could Turn Around, They Would Know They Weren’t Alone plays like a dusty old book. That’s not to say that it sounds dated, but it’s got a way of telling a story as the classics would have it.
Chris Eaton’s lyrics paint a portrait of wartime, the fall from grace, wanderlust, and endless pondering. If Mark Twain, William Faulkner, and even, perhaps, the stodgy old Charles Dickens aren’t to blame for this imagery, it’s the blues men and Texas troubadours of the ’40s. It certainly helps that they have the aide of a banjo and a haunting horn section to make the entire album sound more weighty and dire.
But what’s for sure is that aside from being master storytellers, they’re an excellent band. Plus, they did an excellent cover of “SexyBack.”
Rock Plaza Central – “(Don’t You Believe The Words Of) Handsome Men” (from …At the Moment of Our Most Needing, or If Only They Could Turn Around, They Would Know They Weren’t Alone)
Catch RPC at the Bottom Lounge on Sept. 25 with The Weakerthans. Here’s a list from Eaton.
1) The McGuire Sisters – “Banana Split” – “But only on the wrong speed. When I was six, my sister and I had no idea that the record player had two speeds, so we listened to lots of singles very slowly. This one would slay us every time. Probably listened to this song more than any other in my life.” (Ed. note: With computer magic, here’s the original version and the slower one, respectively.)
(45 to 33 1/3 rpm):
2) Stina Nordenstam – “Soon After Christmas” – “Could have picked anything by her, really. This one is interesting, as I recall, because it still feels like Christmas without mentioning it in the lyrics.”
3) Smog – “Your Wedding” (from Julius Ceasar) – “Best use of repeated lyrics ever.”
4) T-Pain – “Church” (from the Step Up 2 The Streets soundtrack) – “Half of the songs on Step Up 2 The Streets slay me, but this one has the brilliant rhyme about shutting your pie hole or you’re gonna get your eye swole.”
5) Gravity Wave – “Footprints” – “This song may be about love gone wrong. Or killing God. Or is just about awesomeness. Great undiscovered band from Toronto. I could have picked any song by him, too.”