Smile Politely

Now Hear This! The Lassie Foundation — “All Together Now” (2001)

With summer waning, there are few things left to keep the warm sun firmly in place. For me, one of them is to keep listening to The Lassie Foundation’s split CD with Duraluxe, I Duel Sioux and the Ale of Saturn.

I’d argue that the first five songs on this album qualify as the most depthful pop music to come out of the west coast in this decade. Those who had the pleasure to watch the band perform can attest to frontman Wayne Everett’s enthusiasm on stage, lifting is index finger to the air every time he felt it was reasonable for him to do so. That was often, as his lyrics shimmer with optimism and hope while singing of endless California summer days.

This track, “All Together Now,” brings the best of these notions into one perfect pop gem. Perhaps the finest moment of the tune is at the 2:45 mark when guitarist Jeff Schroeder (who went on to fill James Iha’s shoes in Smashing Pumpkins) capitalizes the finish with an octave shift to a consistent one stoke riff on his telecaster, highlighted by three part vocals. As Everett details his life as a struggling musician for us as the only solution to his worries, he sings “It’s time for singing/The greatest gift is a sound/Cuz music’s the only way out.”

You believe him; and you want to raise your finger, too — point to the sky — and hold on to that moment.

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