"There are only two ways of telling the complete truth—anonymously and posthumously."Thomas Sowell

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Google Traffic Deluxe: I Discover Michael Been!

Several years back I caught a film on cable starring Willem Dafoe, Susan Sarandon, and Dana Delaney. I didn't see all of it, but what I did see was nearly hypnotic in its effect on me. Over the years I hoped I might run into it again, but I didn't know the title and didn't think about looking for it.

Recently, though, I found the film late at night. The title is Light Sleeper. It's a 1992 movie directed by Paul Schrader. Dafoe is fabulous as a drug dealer who has kicked his own addiction and is now looking to escape the essentially destructive life he's led. Five stars.

What got me this time around -- more than the story -- was the music, particularly a number by Michael Been titled "To Feel This Way." I had to do some digging to figure out the title of the song and the artist, but I did and ended up ordering the entire CD, On the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough, of which it is a part. Wonderful, melancholy stuff. I just want to lay on the floor and listen to it, particularly the track that arrested me in the first place. Hits all the right mood notes, especially regret.

I also discovered (S.T. Karnick is somewhere going "No, DUH.") that Been was the main man behind the Christian band, The Call. I purchased some of their stuff which I don't like quite as well as the Been solo album. It's still good. One of the cuts was apparently used by the Al Gore 2000 campaign! Also found out Bono is a fan of the band.

We'll see if any other TRC types knew these interesting secrets before I did.


S. T. Karnick said...

Hunter—I've long liked Been's work with The Call (esp. the anthemic songs such as "Let the Day Begin" and "The Walls Came Down"), and have been thinking about getting a hold of Verge at some point. I'm mot a big fan of melancholy things, so maybe I'll hold off a bit longer. Glad to hear that you like it, however. Been and the Call are underappreciated, I think.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Google is the enemy, at least Michael Been's.

Be a worthy artist but identified only by outreaching universialities/commonalities like "Michael," "been," "the," and "call," and you are pritnear invisible forevermore. Word up.

(Hey, I know all about it. In the pre-Google age, we named our band The Cookies. We're now at about #480,062 on Google since "cookies" seem to be something that live inside computers. Who knew?)

In a round of desperate midnight channel flipping, I happened upon Xtian music TV sometime in this past year and Michael Been was on.

I liked "The Walls Came Down," so I stuck around and enjoyed him thoroughly.

Here's a little more on him, no thanks to Google.

"I Still Believe (Great Design)" was a Hunter Baker-type tune, unless I miss my guess...

Kathy Hutchins said...

Google is the enemy, at least Michael Been's

I suppose the time has already come when this is a serious consideration in publicity and marketing. I don't think this affected the naming, but my favorite local medieval/Renaissance/chant vocal group (yes, that's how weird I am, I have a favorite Gregorian chant group) is called the Suspicious Cheese Lords. Now there's some rockin' Christian tunes.

The Classic Liberal Anonymous said...

In an AHA! moment, I did a google search on "the call" + "michael been" and was led to amazon.com.

There I noticed under the "Customers who bought this title also bought" was the album: The Alarm - Standards.

I have been looking for the name of that group and that album for weeks, but I could not remember it for the life of me ... a college rommmate owned it and I could not remember the title.

Thanks TRC! :)

Hunter Baker said...

Interesting you say that, CLA. I thought about The Alarm when I was trying to come up with the name of The Call. The brain makes its associations, doesn't it?

By the way, CLA, I have a guess at your identity. How about looking at my blogger profile and emailing me?

illustrationISM said...

BONO & T-Bone Burnett sing on a CALL album called