Song of the day – 482: The Groceries
Oh man, I don’t know if they ever even released anything, but this one CD-r they sent me was like one of my biggest band crushes the whole time I was living in Seattle and working as The Stranger‘s music editor during 1998-1999, beset by drink demons and outside factors that weren’t under my control. Quasi were awesome. There was a Randy Newman box I loved. The Foundations kept the party going many a long, long night. So many great live shows from Calvin Johnson and cohorts. So many fine bands from Olympia, WA. There was Rusty Willoughby. Pete Krebs. But The Groceries were my secret crush, mine and mine alone, and I never even knew what they looked like.
I think they were from Seattle.
The CD-r – Get A Handle On Your Groceries! – had nine songs, and listening to it today for the first time in a decade, I can certainly hear why I loved it. ‘Get Outta Town’ is pure Bettie Serveert sweetness and pacing and pleading, ‘Joyride’ has a handle on what made a band like The Breeders or The Walkabouts so fine without sounding much like either of ’em, ‘I Screwed Up’ is something darker again. I keep wanting to say Ed’s Redeeming Qualities somewhere but maybe you should discount that because I feel that urge on a rather alarming regular basis, or maybe you shouldn’t because The Groceries had a song called ‘Purge The Rat Bastards’.
It’s so weird seeeing the video below. Now I know what they look like!
2. THE GROCERIES “Danny’s Song” (from the Rosasharn CD Get a Handle on Your Groceries) Seattle’s answer to Australia’s delicate Cannanes. Deeply resonant trembling female and male vocal interplay. Contains a Delusion. (HUGS AND KISSES TOP 5,The Stranger, Feb 25, 1999)
8. All the quieter voices. Artists like the tremulous GROCERIES and robot-led OCTANT, English power pop wannabe THE KG and poetic NIKKI McCLURE, whose fragile, often gorgeous melodies are in danger of being submerged under the clamor of noise and drinking from the great churning, unwashed masses. These artists are the ones closest to my heart, the ones I feel most protective of. If I’ve listened to the Groceries flurriedly sing, “Never going to waste my time again” once, I’ve listened to it 100 times. If I’ve watched spellbound the multicolored lights and other-worldly sounds emanating from Octant’s drum kit, I’ve watched them 100 times–in my dreams. Likewise, MOCKET (Matt Steinke’s other, weirder, pop electronic band). (WHAT I’LL MISS ABOUT THE NORTHWEST, The Stranger, Apr 22, 1999)