Tuesday, August 08, 2006

And Do I Detect A Hint Of Juniper?!?


Hazel "Lazy H"
Hazel "Green Eyes"
Hazel "Blank Florida"
Hazel "Chasing After James"

[right click to download, ctrl click if yr a mac!]

I call the 90s the 'indie rock heyday'. I call it that because despite the fact that a lot of my all time favorite bands (Pavement, Guided By Voices, Sonic Youth, Sleater-Kinney, etc.) were at their creative peaks, there were a shitload of bands coming out with one or two albums that were just as good, specifically on the Matador, Touch & Go and Sub Pop labels. Bands like Pond, Helium, Come & Hazel.

Hazel's "Are You Going To Eat That" was given to me by brother, I guess just because he had too much to listen to at the time. It quickly became one of my favorite records. Hazel hailed from Portland and played on bills with bands like Elliott Smith's Heatmiser, never really getting in on the spotlight like other indie darlings.

What set Hazel apart from other bands was the fact that they had two lead singers, a male and a female. Now I know that doesn't sound so different nowadays with bands like Mates Of State and Postal Service harvesting hits with the same method, but Hazel's brand of power-pop (especially on "Lazy H") stills sounds rather off kilter to me. A good off-kilter.

Also, looking at the CD booklet for "Are You Going To Eat That" right now, I remember that the band looked like yr usual indie rock nerds except for one guy who appeared to be about thirty years older than the other members. Another no-no in the indie world. Yr not allowed to have old guys in the band anymore. They all have to be skinny guys in ironic t shirts or super hot girls who every kid in the audience wishes was their girlfriend. Hats of to Hazel for shattering indie rock's strict, gestapo-like set of guidelines.

Some good information on what happened to Hazel can be found here.


Blogger BigShemp said...

Hey, better late than never.

I dug Hazel too. They got that John Doe-Exene vibe from X down pat. And that old dude was apparently some sort of "performance artist" who danced when the band played. Sort of like Bez from the Happy Mondays crossed with that old guy Richardson from "Deadwood." Good stuff.

1:40 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work

2:40 PM PST  

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