Thursday, August 30, 2007

Band Crush -- The Miss Alans

First a short definition. A "Band Crush" is a quickly developed love for a band based on a single album (or in some cases a single song) followed by championing the band to anyone and everyone who will listen. It means carrying a copy of the CD (or back in the day a tape) at all times so you could spring it on someone who was looking for something new. Band crushes usually apply to little known bands that only you and about 6 other people have heard and often result in ridicule by people who "just don't get it."

The problem with band crushes is that they blind us to the faults of the artist. I give you THE MISS ALANS as a case study. This band was four piece from Fresno, CA who released their second record, "Blusher", to very little fanfare. But I remember hearing it and instantly falling in love. Did the lead singer sound a little off key in some places, sure. Did the music scream "We Love The Velvet Underground" a little too much...absolutely. Did I give one lick about any of that. Hell No!!! I was determined to make these guys stars all by myself. I played every single song on the record on my college radio show. I managed to convince the school to book them to play our campus (a disaster where only 30 people showed up). I copied and copied the record and actually canvased the dorms at one point handing out tapes one Wednesday evening. But I didn't care, I believed in these guys.


Sad to say, the band is no more. They recorded one more record, broke up and formed another band. But I still love this album. I can't really say why, I just do. As I listen to it today I see that it is deeply flawed and some of the songs are really not very good. But a few still get me excited. "El Dorado" is a great rock song that combines Luna and Jesus and Mary Chain but with a dose of sleeping pills to ease the guitar feedback. "Supercharged" was their attempt at the big stadium anthem, with the slow build of lyrics and guitars to a crescendo at the end (and who isn't a sucker for a good crescendo). The rest of the record lacks the beauty of these songs and shows a band that just didn't have the real stuff. But what a wonderful crush it was.


Feel free to share any band crushes you have had or are having...


8 comments:

Shawn Gatlin said...

Wow, good to hear I'm not the only one that misses The Miss Alans!!!

Anonymous said...

i'm related to the singer,..let me say GENIUS and far from flawless to the average ear that only 12 notes can play,..but in life one close to Perfect human being with a GOLD Spirit,..Manny,..omg well he use a pick with thumb and index and arpegio's with the other three fingers,..here's a little somethin' you wouldn't know,...Scott and Manny would dedicate licks to paticular people and if you knew which lick was yours, you couldn't help but get a Blusher(my grandma on cover) when you heard the lick,...the song might not have said your name or was about you,..but if you were a die hard MISS ALAN,.you always had A ROOM WITH A VIEW,...JAY virtuoso since the age of six,..and Ronnie might as well be related to KRUPA!
Put that in you BAND CRUSH and smoke it!

Anonymous said...

sorry one last thing,...these guys stayed playing as a group for over 15 years,...imagine now that of which was defined as a BAND CRUSH,..for you was only a College FLING,...for me A LIFE experience,...oh and you'd have loved the band they were prior to Miss Alans,...the we're
The Wayne Foundation,....these are true rock god super hero's to the all hail discordia!

ty adam evola
www.youtube.com/featuredband

Anonymous said...

Hi Jon,

I'm listening to "blusher" right this very moment. I'm making a list of music to sell and am including this one (not to worry -- I have other copies.)

Thought I'd google the band and came across your review. I'm a sucker for hushed/whispered vocals.

A big band crush album of mine is Gold by Starflyer 59. What a masterpiece! Ahem, try as I might I'm not so crazy about the direction Jeff has taken.

I have a HUGE crush on Freedy Johnston's This Perfect World which is a zillion times better than anything he put out later. I mean yuck. Plus I saw him in concert here in Vancouver, it was so depressing I left. Sob.

Hey, what band did The Miss Alan's turn into? Lemme know if you can.

regards, Judith beeman@istar.ca

Tatum said...

I miss the Miss Alans...great memories from my youth. Dancing and sweating at the Olympic Tavern. :)

Anonymous said...

Wish I had a copy of the La La Song. Loved it.

nickswift498 said...

It just so happens that I know the drummer for this band. He's an excellent English teacher at the high-school I went to. I graduated, but he still teaches there.

He doesn't talk about the band too much, though he mentioned it a few times.

Anonymous said...

Adam 0 I still have my Duper Happy cassette. You guys rock/rocked?

And Smack the Horse is the best Miss Alans record ever. A million years later and it holds up.

<3 from one in particular. lol

In Re:
sorry one last thing,...these guys stayed playing as a group for over 15 years,...imagine now that of which was defined as a BAND CRUSH,..for you was only a College FLING,...for me A LIFE experience,...oh and you'd have loved the band they were prior to Miss Alans,...the we're
The Wayne Foundation,....these are true rock god super hero's to the all hail discordia!