Saturday, June 26, 2010

r.i.p. supergrass

I think I'm still in shock from Supergrass breaking up last month. A big part of me feels silly for loving a band so much and I'm trying to figure out what's under that feeling, so I think it's this: that a lot of people would think it's mental or at the very least dumb to mourn a band. But whoever would say that really doesn't get it. When I first heard Supergrass in 1995 I super liked them and then started to love them in 1998, but when I saw them play in 2003 I was gone. It was very much like meeting someone and hitting it off and thinking that you're cut from the same cloth. When I first heard Supergrass I just felt like I'd found old friends who were cut from the same cloth as me and who inspired me somehow and I couldn't listen to them enough. I first heard them in the movie "Clueless," you know, 1995, and I was watching it at my then-boyfriend's parents' house over Christmas break and we thought we were too cool for that movie but his parents wanted to see it. At the end he said "You have to see this video [for "Alright"] at the end of the tape, this band is really good but really ugly." I thought they were very non-ugly and so I had to break up with him. (Kidding, he broke up with me, but I don't think it was over that.) Then a couple years later I read an interview with Dave Grohl saying that Supergrass were the best live band he'd ever seen which affirmed me as I was in my Dave Grohl phase. That was around the time "In It For The Money" came out, 1998, and it's still my favorite album of all albums to this day. When I met David I put Supergrass on my first mix tape to him and he already loved them which I took as an excellent sign. In 2003 we saw them at the Showbox in Seattle and I was undone. My Supergrass fever peaked then and when they came through again in 2006 on their Road to Rouen tour I waited for them outside KEXP when they did their in-studio. I gave them all these presents (pressies, they called them) and beer (a bit of brew, they called it) and they asked us into the studio and I got this picture of Mick playing for our then-13-month old daughter.

Lolly & Mick at KEXP

Fast forward to 2008, Simone and I saw them in Seattle, Portland and LA and then in New York and NJ with our friend Kate. We are excellent stalkers, either that or Supergrass is really, really nice. We'd emailed with them and built a little rapport and they put us on the list at each show and took us backstage and to the afterparties and they're just such lovely lovely English gentlemen. Kate was saying the other day, as she and Simone and I are trying to process this, that we aren't crazy for mourning this band because they've put us in touch with the sublime. Here is how Kate very eloquently put it:
"My own opinion is that this thing we have each done has connected us to the transcendent; the sublime. This (music/experience/love) is -- for atheists, agnostics, and believers alike -- something that has transported ourselves outside of (for me at least) EVERYTHING. Remember all the times your heart just took off when a song started up? Your brain expanded? Everything alive? I think it's spiritual. To lose it is a gut-wrenching."
We fell in love with everything about their band, their music and style and writing and generosity of spirit and it's all affirmed in the way they've treated us, their rabid fans; they've been so so gracious. My abridged photo history with Supergrass is here and here are some of my favorite videos of theirs. I know they'll be back someday so I can't be too sad.

my feet with Danny & Gaz's backstage at Key Arena

"Richard III" (1997)

"Sun Hits The Sky" (1997)

"Mary" (1999)

"Kiss of Life" (2003)

"Grace" (2003)

"Seen The Light" (2003)

"St. Petersburg" (2005)

"Low C" (2005)

*See also "Pumping On Your Stereo" (1999), "Bad Blood" (2008), "Diamond Hoo Ha Man" (2008) and "Mansize Rooster" (1995) which had no embed codes but are each freakishly delightful.

1 comment:

Simone said...

Nice one, Stephles. Ugh, what more can I add. It sucks so much but we got so much out of it.