Bad September: Retro-Futurist Rock
Bad September is a band that formed in 2009 and has been doing gigs at events around the Cities ever since. If you live around here, you might have seen them jamming out in their frock coats, waistcoats and aviator goggles. They describe their style as “retro futurist.” Translation: these guys write music about alternate history.
Bad September’s first full-length album came out about six months ago, and recently I got the chance to buy it and listen to it. This is very intelligent music. I know more about 19th and early 20th century European history from having listened to it. Ever heard of Robert’s Rules of Order, the codification of parliamentary law that was first published in 1876 and has since been adopted by most modern organizations? Listen to the album and learn.
And the music’s good, too. The songs have the occasional strained lyric (i.e., Calmly make emergency plans/disaster’s not quite rare), but that’s the only problem with the music I can find. The instrumentals are good, the singing is good (especially “Minister Rand Tells Us that Art is in Service to the State”). The melodies are hummable days afterwards. You don’t get the benefit of the costumes that you do in their live concerts, but on the other hand, the pre-recorded songs try some neat things with the sound.
The jewel of the album has got to be “Tesla vs. Edison.” Thomas Edison once had a bitter rival Nikolai Tesla. Edison went on to fame and fortune, credited with the invention of the light bulb, while Tesla died a pauper. Bad September imagines how things might have gone differently:
Their website is here: Bad September