Every month I think to myself, this will be the month that no one has written a song about. Surely, there is an unloved month. February is the Paul Simon of months; it's so short. Yet this year it's going for a full-on 29 days! (Simon with lifts!) And yet it still falls short of every other month. (Damn you Garfunkel!) Somewhere here there is a metaphor that describes my life. (Still short after all these years? Wait, that's not a metaphor!) But enough about me. This is about songs that have found their peculiar significance in the month that proudly calls itself February.
"February"--Jesus Jones: Musician magazine once ran a cover that included a photo insert of the guy from Jesus Jones (Bob Jesus?) asking something like: Can Jesus Jones Save Rock n' Roll? Apparently, Jesus Jones couldn't even save themselves. For within a few short years, the band was finished and no one was asking them any questions other than the dreaded, "Where Are They Now?"
"February"--Television Personalities: Dan Treacy and his group Television Personalities have had a much longer career than anyone would have expected. But that's what happens when you decide one guy makes all the decisions. Treacy wakes up one day and says to himself, "Shazam!" and he is transformed into TP within seconds. "February" was recorded live on the radio while Dan was in the bathroom! and Jowe Head took over with his own tune. It first appeared on a 2005 compilation, and unlike most of the catalog is a little lacking as a title. Well, consider the competition: "God's Got A Grudge On Me," "I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives," "My Very First Nervous Breakdown." And then "February"? See what happens when you leave to go to the can?
"February Stars"--Foo Fighters: Let's hear it for the guy who got stuck in a crummy position and made it back to land safe and sound! With Kurt Cobain packing his bags for permanent vacation, Dave Grohl could've easily been collateral damage and suffered the pain and humiliation that goes along with once having been famous. But unlike child stars who often find themselves living in Hollywood mansions with a web-cam in every room, Grohl took to the frontlines and made himself into a consistently performing hard rocker now with over a decade of service behind him. For those who continue to rock, we salute you! Even if "February Stars" isn't exactly a rocker, but a mopey acoustic ballad Grohl's former employer probably would've enjoyed!
"Cold February"--The Incredible String Band: Ah, the Lamb of God fans never stop writing in asking why we don't spend more time on the Incredible String Band. This is now the third time these folks have graced our column. (Remember "October Song"? We do!) And again, it's great to have these fellas back. ISB may sound like something to see your gastrointestinal doctor about, but trust us, it's better!
"February Rain"--Susan Levine: Susan, we here at List Of The Day thank you. We've never heard your music. But in September 2007 you released a tune called "February Rain" (we're telling you?) and we'd like to think it's because you knew that we'd be looking for something just like this. We take it you're southern or from the southwest. Because, honey, most of the time it's February Snow in most parts. But we appreciate the effort and hope all your dreams come true and if you get around to it, start writing songs about, say, Wisconsin, Thursday morning hangovers, the month of June, a whale named Shamo! and about impending economic recessions. Don't ask, just do. Thanks.