Ignored, Maligned, and Forgotten Music

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Hey Man (Now You're Really Living) - Eels

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Legbamel Not-Pop

Every time I listen to E I just want to hunt him down and give him a hug. That's as true for his work with Eels as it was when I first heard his solo work in 1992. If you know the story of Mark Everett's life you know that he's earned every bit of his melancholy and sorrow. But if you're familiar with his work you also know that he's put it into his music and spun it with his genuine desire to love life despite the awful things it keeps doing to him. His dark sense of humor and virtuosic way with words grab me every time.

It's usually the more up-tempo tunes that really grab me, like LA River and this wacky gem, Hey Man (Now You're Really Living), although in a certain mood I adore wallowing in the slower songs from both the solo and group albums. Say what you will about his voice (I think the Tom Waits and Bob Dylan comparisons are overstated but it does lack a certain smoothness), the stark emotion make Mr. E a joy to hear. At times he sounds like a much deeper precursor to Vampire Weekend, those unapologetic prepsters, sans the Paul Simon influence. If you like this one, have a listen to Going Fetal (performed with Tom Waits, for you trivia buffs out there).

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