In The Music We Rise Above
Glasgow Popsmiths, The Trashcan Sinatras, formed in 1986, are sighing at the sign of the second quarter of life. Once college radio darlings, they have continued off the radar to release clever melancholy pop songs. Rabid fans help to keep their creative fires burning. On this tour in support of their latest album, In The Music, and with strong followings on both coasts, they made stops throughout the Midwest as to ply their craft and build their fan base. The Detroit show took place at a half-full Magic Stick where the loud applause registered surprise on the bands’ faces. In answer one reveler shouted out, we’re a 'small but passionate group of fans'. The band's response was to give these fans the best show they could.
Their 1990 debut, Cake, broke them here in the States, cracking the Billboard Top 200 while drawing comparisons to The Smiths. I personally consider it their best offering to date. Live, they featured only 1 track from Cake, their hit single, Obscurity Knocks, which drew swoons and sing-alongs from the crowd.
My 2nd favorite TCS album is A Happy Pocket, recorded in 1996, and never distributed in the U.S. (I paid a pretty penny for this mail order import in the pre-download days). Sadly, the setlist included no offerings from A Happy Pocket.
It is a testament to their overall catalog, their songwriting and musicianship that they were able to put on a stellar show, while drawing a total of 1 track from my 2 favorite albums. How many artists could you say that about?
The setlist drew heavily from their latest offering, In The Music (People, Prisons, Easy On The Eye, Oranges and Apples and the title track) as well as a handful from 2004's Weightlifting, including standouts like (All The Dark Horses, Freetime and Got Carried Away), and highlighted by several classic tracks from 1993's I've Seen Everything (Send for Henny, Easy Read, Hayfever).
The encore opened with a crowd favorite, Bloodrush, followed by the brilliantly smooth track from In The Music, I Wish You'd Met Her. The encore continued with a bonus track from the new record (Astronomy), the title track from 1993's I've Seen Everything and concluded with the title track from 2004's Weightlifting. Frank, the lead singer, perhaps moved by the earlier comment dedicated the final song to the fans who showed up in spite of the economic times in this city.
It was unfortunate that the band didn't draw the crowd they deserved. However, it was nice to know that every patron was there because they loved the band or had come because of someone who did. I doubt a single person was disappointed. If you want a display of witty songwriting and the classic pop sensibility of Crowded House, The Beautiful South and The Smiths, I suggest you introduce yourself to The Trashcan Sinatras.