Because Songs Matter

Flashback Friday: Sordid Humor

There are Jaguars in Mexico. Sordid Humor’s cd “Light Music for Dying People” was released posthumously by Capricorn Records in 1994.

It has been a while since I have done a Flashback Friday post. I dunno why, I guess I’ve just had other things to post about lately. Well, the other day I was out on the road bike and a Sordid Humor track came up on the iPod. It was one of those “I forgot I had that!” moments and I decided to do a Flashback Friday post about it.

I came across Light Music for Dying People the way I would assume most people did. As I’ve mentioned before on this here blog, I am an unapologetic Counting Crows fan and I was a huge fan of their first cd August and Everything After. When August blew up, my local record store stuck the Sordid Humor cd in with the Counting Crows cds and had stickers informing us that the cd featured Adam. I was sold. In all honesty Mr. Duritz only appears on the track Barbarossa and only as a backup vocalist then. So, while saying it featured Adam Duritz was technically accurate it was still a bit of a stretch but in the end it did not matter.

Light Music showed up in my life just as I got my first job in the engineering field and I was pulling a 45+ minute commute each way to work. Armed with a portable cd player hooked up via the tape deck and about 5 cds at the time I would listen to this cd numerous times a week. Sordid Humor had the typical “alternative rock” sound of the late 80’s/early 90’s with light laid back guitars, prominent bass and tight drums. Vocals were handled by Tom Barnes and it was probably the unique scrawl of his voice that initially drew me to the band.

As years passed the cd became a fall back for when I would bring girls home and there are a lot of late night and after party memories attached to the disc as well. Some foggier than others. After all these years I still have the actual cd on my cd rack which is more than that Counting Crows – August and Everything After cd can say.

You can read another really good article on Sordid Humor here.

Sordid Humor - Gun Man     

Sordid Humor - Barbarossa     

Sordid Humor - Doris Day     

After Sordid Humor broke up Tom Barnes went on to front the band Engine 88. After Engine 88 broke up it seems he release a solo cd entitled “Three Day Ditties” but I can not seem to locate it.


  1. August 21, 2008    

    Hey there,

    I was wondering if you could help me find a copy of Sordid Humor’s Doris Day. I’ve heard Counting Crows play it in A Murder of One and can’t seem to find the original anywhere.


  2. August 21, 2008    

    dude, seriously?
    the album is available used on Amazon for less than 2 dollars.

  3. August 21, 2008    

    Yeah, plus a few bucks shipping and up to two weeks waiting. Not worth it for one song that I just want to hear. I can trade some cool live Counting Crows for it if you want.

  4. Leigh Leigh
    March 28, 2012    

    did you EVER find a copy of Three Day Ditties by Tom Barnes? Im desperate for a copy, and need some direction.

    • andrew andrew
      April 15, 2012    

      Leigh, email someone off-site. andrew3cooper [at] gmail

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