Follow us:

Soundposts

A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

June 28, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Barenaked Ladies have something to grin about on their new album

Barenaked Ladies press photo

We can surely forgive Barenaked Ladies for celebrating their 25th anniversary with “Grinning Streak.”

The new album by the platinum-selling Canadian band made its debut at No. 10 on The Billboard 200 album chart, the fourth BNL album to do so – and the first since 2003. It’s another career achievement for a band known for its light-hearted live shows and engaging pop songs (“One Week,” “The Old Apartment,” “Pinch Me,” “If I Had $1,000,000” and “Brian Wilson”) — as well as the theme for the sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.”

The album’s success has been propelled by the new single “Odds Are,” which soared to No. 2 on the iTunes Rock Songs chart and is the top track on an otherwise uninspiring album.

Despite its latest round of chart success, the band isn’t doing much grinning on the new album’s cover, which depicts four, dour-looking, middle-aged guys in suits and ties.

The band’s current tour, which opened June 17 in Dallas, is the re-launch of the continuing “Last Summer on Earth” tour (since the world didn’t end according to the Mayan calendar in 2012). It includes a show (with Ben Folds Five and Guster) at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at the White River Amphitheatre, 40601 Auburn Enumclaw Road, Auburn; $36-$71 (800-745-3000) or  www.ticketmaster.com.

High school chums Ed Robertson and Steven Page formed Barenaked Ladies in 1988 in Ontario after attending a Bob Dylan concert, where (as the story goes) boredom led to some improvisation and the hatching of the name Barenaked Ladies. The pair’s interplay eventually led to the back-and-forth banter and improvised singing that became staples of the group’s live shows (Page left the band in 2009).

The group currently features Robertson (vocals and guitars), Jim Creeggan (vocals and bass guitars), Kevin Hearn (vocals and keyboards) and Tyler Stewart (vocals and drums).

Robertson explained the sound Barenaked Ladies created a quarter century ago.

“Pop is a form that I love – it can be high-energy and intricate,” he says on the band’s website. “When I think of pop music, I think of the Cars and Squeeze. Interesting, melodic rock is what I gravitate toward and what I’m always striving for.

“I want guitar-heavy pop-rock that’s intelligent, evocative and thought-provoking. I want it to be singable and relatable, and I want there to be other layers there for the people who want to go deeper. Because not everybody does. I’ve heard so many times, ‘I love you guys ‘cause your songs are just fun and easygoing.’ And I’m like, ‘I’m glad you enjoy them, but there’s a dark underbelly that  you haven’t mined.’ “

Robertson notes that the group built its career doing outdoor summer shows.

“To be out there with a couple of other great bands bringing a lot of music to people, hey, it’s a nice way to spend the summer,” he says. “After we put together the ‘Last Summer on Earth’ tour last year – tongue firmly in cheek, referencing the Mayan calendar – we thought it would be funny to just keep the thing going. Let’s live like it’s the last summer on earth. . . . Let’s party like it’s 1999.”

0 Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Barenaked Ladies

COMMENTS

READER NOTE: Our commenting system has changed. Find out more.

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►