August and Everything After… 20 years later

The Counting Crows released my favorite album titled August and Everything After 20 years ago. Although I was nearly 16-months old, this album is forever special to me. This 11-track masterpiece launched Adam Duritz’ career. He became a star after Geffen Records debuted the album. Duritz wanted “A Murder of One” to be the No. 1 single, but the label said only if Duritz would change around the lyrics. Duritz said no, thus creating “Mr. Jones” as a staple of the Counting Crows. “Mr. Jones” reached No. 2 on Billboard at it’s peak, while “Rain King”, “Round Here” and “A Murder of One” reached the charts. Aside from those four songs, “Anna Begins,” “Omaha” and “Raining in Baltimore” became favorites among Counting Crows’ fans. The lyrics dealt with emotion. “Round Here” was written and performed while Adam was the lead singer for a short-lived band titled The Himalayans. Marty Jones, the inspiration for “Mr. Jones,” was a bassist for The Himalayans. “Round Here” is about Adam. Like every Counting Crows’ song it is more than just the lyrics because to each their own. Anyone can feel a different emotion from “Round Here,” and that is the beauty of music. I’ve listened to “Round Here” after a family member has died, after a breakup or sometimes just whenever I need a moment to reflect on happy memories. Songs can do that. Musicians have the power to do that. Adam has said before that he mentions idioms from a fictional childhood. You know, things your parents would say to a child. “Go to bed early” or “stand up straight” are mentioned throughout “Round Here”. Duritz can literally relate to anyone. His lyrics are about life—about struggles, misconceptions, growing up, love, mental illness. That is the power of a beautiful songwriter—the ability to reach multiple audiences, not just a specific group. “Round Here” is without a doubt my favorite song live. I’ve never heard it in concert, but sometimes I find myself on YouTube searching for different live versions of it. Listen to the 1994 Paris or Howard Stern show versions. Music has that power, that magical ability to really make you think and appreciate everything you have. Every song on this album has that ability. Shit, any song I’ve heard from Adam Duritz has me thinking about how lucky I am. Music is that important. Music is that necessary. Music is that significant. Music is that worthy.

Here is the full album:

Track 01: Round Here

Track 02: Omaha

Track 03: Mr. Jones

Track 04: Perfect Blue Buildings

Track 05: Anna Begins

Track 06: Time and Time Again

Track 07: Rain King

Track 08: Sullivan Street

Track 09: Ghost Train

Track 10: Raining In Baltimore

Track 11: A Murder of One

             I wanted to be famous when I was younger, and maybe I still do, but I know now that you don’t need fame or even fortunate to have an enjoyable life. I’ve met some great people in college. I’m definitely losing more money than I’m making (at least for the time being) but I’m having the time of my life. And music helps in that way, especially this album. My friends don’t listen to the Counting Crows. The ones with good taste listen to ratchet-ass Miley Cyrus (whom I love), rap or classic rock. Counting Crows have always been mine. So many people say their favorite artist is Dave Matthews Band, or Eminem, but very few people, if any, say Counting Crows. To me, that makes it better. I know… I’m so damn hipster, but it is the truth. I feel some sort of connection with Adam Duritz. Maybe it has to do with his lyrics, or his awesome Twitter feed, but maybe it is something more than that. It could be how he thinks (or over thinks) about things, or how he isn’t perfect, but he tries to better himself and his friends. All Adam cares about his promoting other artists’ work. He knows bands and singers aren’t properly exposed because radio and mainstream fails to pay attention to lower-key bands. So, when I listen to Adam I don’t always listen to his lyrics, or David Bryson on guitar. I listen to something deeper, something more meaningful. I think about my life. I think about my friend’s lives. I think about happy times because I know how many of my friends think about those same happy moments. Moments become memories, and a memory fades away, but music helps a memory stay a little bit longer.

feeling just swell…

2 thoughts on “August and Everything After… 20 years later

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s