Let's get the self-congratulatory bullshit out of the way first: WOW! 50 posts! It's like, I'm somewhat committed to this, or something. So, I'm averaging...what? 10 posts a month? What a trooper. Let's give it up to Ape Mummy, and his 4000+ page views. Woo hoo!
I saw Braid once on their "final" U.S. tour in 1999. It happened to be the same night where I saw Kind Of Like Spitting for the first time, as well as the night I broke up with my first serious girlfriend. She wanted to see the first Bratmobile reunion show; I wanted to see Braid. I lived in College Park; she lived in Monkton. It was star-crossed, and destined to fail. I guess it all worked out o.k., though. I got to see Braid, who'd I'd been feening to see for 2 years, and caught KOLS for the first time. I was pretty gay for Frame & Canvas, as well as the numerous 7"s I had picked up. I seem to remember the greatest criticism of Braid being that their best songs came on comps & splits. Is it true?
Well, what I can say is that the Please Drive Faster 7" is not only my favorite Braid recording, but also still probably their best record. The eponymous A-side is the perfect mix of early 90's Dischord and midwestern emo. I particularly love the interplay between Bob Nanna's lead vocals & Chris Broach's backups. "Circus Of The Stars" on the B-side is a perfect counterpoint: slower, with Broach on lead and Nanna in the background. This was Braid's last recording session as a band. They would break up after recording these songs in the summer of 1999, with 3/4 of the band reforming as Hey Mercedes the following year. They also got back together in 2004 and toured the U.S. I missed it because I was probably busy trying not to get robbed at gunpoint, or something stupid like that.
While the 7" itself it out-of-print, these two songs were collected along with all other Braid 7" output on 1999's Movie Music Vol. One, which is totally worth shelling out some bread for. Bonus note: if you buy it direct from Polyvinyl, you'll get it for a cool 6 bucks. Score.
P.S. This is also for John Ben Casey of Brooklyn, NYC, NY, who, if memory serves, turned 30 today, and who loved blasting around northern Harford County, singing along to Mssr. Nanna & Broach at the top of his lungs. Happy birthday, Benny boy. I'm in NYC in two weeks for ToyFair!
Braid - Please Drive Faster 7"
(click the record to DL)
RIYL: wonderful puddles, sky rockets, killing cameras