Because Songs Matter

MICAH EXPLAINS THE MEANING/INSPIRATION BEHIND "LYDIA":


As everyone should know by now, Two Cow Garage‘s new album Sweet Saint Me is getting released next month. Having heard the album already I’ll advise you to go pick up a replacement face in the coming weeks cause your current one is most definitely gonna get rocked off. That said, last week the band released the album’s lead single, “Lydia” (purchase here) and there has been plenty of scuttlebutt about the source of the lyrics. Well, I caught up with Micah last week at the Suburban Home Records Anniversary Party and asked him that very question. Here is the video and I apologize for the low light conditions but the quality does improve as the video wears on.

2 Comments

  1. September 17, 2010    

    Byran, thanks buddy. I meant to post this sooner, but as you might recall, I went to Great American Beer Fest last night and got a late start to my day. Thanks for shotting and posting this video. Love you guys.

  2. Gary Gary
    September 23, 2010    

    A story on TCG and their CD release party Sat. in Ctown

    BY LISA MILLER • Telegraph-Forum correspondent • September 23, 2010

    BUCYRUS — One of central Ohio’s best kept musical secrets is rolling out CD No. 5 this fall.

    Two Cow Garage will celebrate “Sweet Saint Me” with a CD release party Saturday evening at the Rumba Cafe in Columbus. Bucyrus natives Micah Schnabel (guitar and vocals) and Andy Schell (keyboard), along with Marion drummer Cody Smith, Shane Sweeney (bass and vocals), of Lancaster, and Chris Flint (guitar,) of Columbus, will then hit the road in support of the CD that saw its first single, “Lydia,” released this month.

    That “freaking awesome” tune about a “punk Lolita,” as one enraptured blogger recently put it, primes the pump for the rest of the album that rocks with Schnabel and Sweeney’s vivid and hyper-literate lyrics. Schnabel’s trademark rasp and Sweeney’s gravely tone provide the perfect getaway vehicle for tragic tales such as “Lucy and the Butcher Knife” and “Angelique.”

    After almost a decade criss-crossing the U.S. and Europe, Schnabel hopes this release on indie label Suburban Home Records is going to be the big one. “The goal for this record is to make a pretty big jump up on the food chain,” he said. “Over nine years we’ve cultivated a really strong fan base. We’d really like to see this record pop beyond that base into a larger audience.”

    A Marion Harding High School graduate, Smith was touring with the band Koufax when he joined Two Cow Garage after longtime drummer Dustin Harigle of Bucyrus left the band. Smith, 30, still plays occasionally with some buddies in the band The Cinema.

    “This was the first record that I’m on the whole thing,” Smith said, noting that after three years with Two Cow Garage, he finally feels settled in with the band.

    Schnabel, who released his first solo CD on the Suburban Home label last year, said, “Shane and I both write songs for the band. It’s a you-write-it, you-sing-it kind of thing.”

    “It’s definitely been a natural evolution,” Schnabel said of how Two Cow Garage’s sound has moved away from the “cow punk, alt-country” label it started out with. “I wrote the first record when I was 17 and 18 years old,” he said. “I’m 28 now and have done and seen a lot of things in those 10 years. I think the sound has evolved naturally with our life experience.”

    With references to Bob Dylan, J.D. Salinger, Bruce Springsteen, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Robert Frost all on one record, it’s evident Schnabel is a student of music, pop culture and literature. “I’m always reading and writing,” he said. “These things just can’t help from making their way into the songs and characters.”

    Schell and Schnabel, both 2000 graduates of Bucyrus High School, began playing together when they were 15. Schell began playing with Two Cow Garage in 2006 in support of the aptly named third album, “III.”

    As for this effort, Schell said, “The best way I can describe the album is straight up the middle rock ‘n roll.”

    His relationship with touring is a bit more complicated. “I’m an emotional rollercoaster before we go out. Half of me is so excited to get out there and play, and I am very fortunate for being able to call it my day job.” But the grind of being away from his family — fiance Judy and his children, Jackson and Layla. Still, Schell noted, “Skype has really changed being out on the road for the better.”

    Sweeney went to Lancaster High School, which he confesses “seems like a lifetime ago.” This is his one and only band after previously performing as a solo acoustic act. “The first Two Cow practice was my first attempt at seriously playing bass,” the 32-year-old said.

    How would he describe the band’s music? “It’s a hard thing to describe something you’re so deeply and emotionally involved in, and, to be honest, I’m not very good at self-promoting,” Sweeney said. “I’ve always thought of us as a rock and roll band that makes rock and roll records. That sounds redundant, but we make records with no pretense, just music that we believe in.”

    With lyrics about broken hearts and blackened eyes, this record isn’t Justin Bieber’s “Baby” or your dad’s Beatles 45s. Whether or not it’s darker than the last album, “Speaking in Cursive” is up for debate. “Well, I wouldn’t say that it’s darker,” Sweeney said. ” ‘Speaking in Cursive’ comes from a very dark place for me, and it was a dark time for the band. Maybe it doesn’t sound that way in retrospect but we started recording ‘Cursive’ around two weeks after our original drummer Dustin (Harigle, also a Bucyrus native) left the band. Being in a band is like being in any emotional relationship, breakups and all, and that was a hard breakup. So the ‘Cursive’ record will always be reminiscent of that ‘break up’ time period. To me, ‘Sweet Saint Me’ is a bit more fun, though, in the end we’re all using this as therapy so the songs probably mostly come from dark places on this one as well.”

    In a kind of rock ‘n roll lullaby, Schnabel wrote “Jackson Don’t You Worry” for Sweeney’s baby son. The bass player described it as “an explanation from Micah to Jack about what Micah and I have been doing for the last nine years, and about why we do it,” Sweeney said.

    “Most kids never really get an explanation of their parents — they just exist almost existentially,” he said. “So when Jack is older and begins to question things, for instance, why his dad was traveling all of the time, he has this song and maybe it will comfort him and help him understand a bit more about who all of us are, and why we do the things we do.”

    If You Go

    # What: “Sweet Saint Me”CD release party.

    # When: Saturday night. Ghost Shirt and Scotland Yard Gospel Choir will perform at 9:30 p.m.

    # Where: Rumba Cafe, 2507 Summit St., Columbus.

    # Details: Call the Rumba Cafe at 614-268-1841.

    DISCOGRAPHY

    # 2002: “Please Turn the Gas Back On,” 2002

    # 2004: “The Wall Against Our Back,” 2004

    # 2007: “III,” 2007

    # 2008: “Speaking in Cursive,” 2008

    # 2010: “Sweet Saint Me,” available at the CD release party and next month on iTunes and from Suburban Home Records.

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