So I've been listening to this record a lot lately. Maybe it's just that the mood is right for me these days, I dunno.

Crooked Fingers is, essentially, Eric Bachmann better known by some as the main vocal chord abuser of Archers of Loaf, a Indie Rock favorite from the 90's. Many of us were in college when these guys were making the rounds and I'm fucking ashamed that I've never seen them in concert and even more ashamed that I own none of their records. I have no excuses and plan to purchase them on my next trip to amoeba (Anyone have any suggestions? Should I just get them all?).

[Update: I know own All Our Nations Airports and Icky Mettle -- Vee Vee is next on my list.]

Anyway, for those of you who haven't heard Archers of Loaf, I found the video for "Harnessed in the Slums" on Yahoo.com. The guy barking into the mic, that's Eric and he is Crooked Fingers. It's worth going and listening to this to hear the transformation of his vocals from Archers to Crooked Fingers. Archers of Loaf along with Polvo created songs of guitar mastery and were dubbed the Kings of Changes (i.e. song and chord changes) by epitonic.com co-founder Mr. Scott Bilby. They're really good. Like I said, I'm ashamed.

Anyway, in 1999 towards the end of Archers of Loaf's career Mr. Bachmann started a solo project that was only sorta solo. It included several musical friends who contributed to a self titled album of quiet and somber songs in 2000 that I've heard (but don't yet have), and the first album I know very little of (which showed up in 1999 and is called Red Devil Dawn). The most recent release, which I do have, is called Bring on the Snakes and Bachmann's voice has captivated me as much as Mike Taylor's voice (of The Court and Spark and Boxharp). His (Eric's) vocals remind me of Neil Young, Neil Diamond, and Tom Waits. His voice is incredibly sincere and conveys a wisdom and age that is shattered when you actually see him (you can find a video on launch I think of one of their songs). He looks like this mid-30's indie rock geek but sounds like methusala. The lyrics mix pain with resignation and I find myself discovering new turns of phrase every time I listen to them.