It List: Thursday
Happy Birthday/Residual Echoes/Fungi Girls (The Nightmare): Happy Birthday certainly seemd to be a band for the age of the MP3 blog, snapped up and signed by Sub Pop after a mere three gigs and a few tracks floating around the internet (most noteably "Girls FM," the song that earned them a lot of their early praise and buzz). Its a sensational overnight success story for sure, and its almost enough to make you forget that the group's music actually sounds like little more than a lo-fi Fountains of Wayne and Beulah rip off, but it all kind of makes sense when you think about it-- for bloggers and other industry fringe types, Happy Birthday is as sure a bet as you'll find: a brand new band of fresh faced goof balls doing a slightly off center version of very digestable pop music that's catchy enough to possibly result in a blogger receiving credit for "breaking" them to the world, but just "quirky" enough to maintain credibility if the group doesn't go over all that well, meaning that the "hey its just my personal taste bro" defense can be invoked if a blogger gets called out for promoting something boring and/or derivative. Just like a lot of the bands getting shoved down our throats these days (Best Coast, Tame Impala, The National, Titus Andronicus, etc.), Happy Birthday certainly has some things going for it, including a few stand out tracks and a boatload of good intentions, but at the end of the day, the experience of actually listening to them doesn't even come to close to what you'd expect if you read the sloppy, overenthusiastic fan-boy slop that constitutes much of underground music journalism these days. Who would have thought that the "democritization" of the media would lead to the promotion of such middle of the road music? And its good to see Fungi Girls back in town after a brief tour.