The Bad Ends

Last week while I was out walking the dog in the evening, a neighbor stopped me, took of his headphones, and showed me his phone.

He’d been listening to a new track, All Your Friends Are Dying, by a “new” band out of Athens, The Dead Ends, that just happens to be fronted by the lead singer of Five Eight and features Bill Berry in his first post-R.E.M. ensemble.

My neighbor was grinning ear-to-ear so I typed “The Dead Ends” into my phone, confirmed I had the right album art, and walked home with a promise to listen to the single that precedes their forthcoming full album. You can too, below:

Now I’ve probably listened to this song about 20 times since then and it’s still excellent. I thought it sounded like a unreleased Big Star or Cracker song, which is fitting since it’s about a Big Star show:

The song and the video are a celebration of Athens. The song is also a tribute to Big Star and The Glands. I’m really singing it to a friend who missed this special performance of the Big Star Third album and I’m warning my friend not to miss stuff because life doesn’t last very long. We thought there was only cell phone footage of the show, but our friend Dan Jordan ended up having three cameras rolling that night. We were able to grab shots of Jody singing ‘Thirteen’ and Frank playing his guitar (which was a telecaster that night, which is why he plays an SG in the van, as namechecked in the song).

If that doesn’t get you excited about live music, the impermanence of everything, and Athens, GA then you may not be wired right.

I also recommended the song to a buddy who is going through a rough patch and I hope it brought him some joy. I know the message will resonate with him and I hope he received it in the manner it was intended.

It’s also gratifying when one of the best UGA bloggers on the internet mentions a track you’ve been binging. His post today spurred me to share the love here as well.

Anyhow, if you like power pop, jangly 80’s indie, “college rock”, or “alternative” and want something contemporary that plays in that space, give this one a listen.

Happy Monday!

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