Link: Slate Names the 1O Best Songs of Mike Fenger’s Favorite Band

Screenshot 2014-03-05 16.19.35Our friend Mike F. will have to explain, but he has a hand in the modern day Little Feat, a much admired band from the 70s. Maybe he’ll reveal for us some lesser known gems.

A Slate writer has selected a pretty straightforward selection of their signature tunes, with YouTube clips right here.

I like the story about splicing the tapes and normalizing them, turning the rhythm irregular.

I also like the story about how they ended up spelling it F-e-a-t.

I always liked the Feat, spent lots of time listening to Dixie Chicken and Waiting for Columbus during high school and college days, but there was always something a little off to me, that kept me from the full embrace. Maybe it was the irregular beats.

Or the artwork.

3 thoughts on “Link: Slate Names the 1O Best Songs of Mike Fenger’s Favorite Band

  1. I saw Feat with Lowell in Berkeley in 1978 (in literally the absolute worst seat in the Berkeley Community Theatre), and though I was a big fan (agree that Waiting for Columbus was one of the best live albums ever), I came to appreciate them more in their post-Lowell iteration. There was a weird dynamic after the Dixie Chicken album — Paul Barrere and Bill Payne were moving in a direction that was a little more towards the jazz/fusion side, and Lowell at the time wanted a more rocking vibe. (Though his solo album, “Thanks I’ll Eat it Here” was more like Boz Scaggs at the time than a rocker.) One example was, when the band played “Day at the Dog Races” Lowell would be as likely as not to leave the stage.
    When the band re-formed in 1988 (with a new vocalist, Craig Fuller, and an additional guitarist, Fred Tackett) my initial impression was that the new material was stronger than the old. Since then, though, two things have happened. First, I think the members of the band have all matured, and dropped the drama that existed in the 70s. (Well-documented in Ben Fong-Torres’s new book “Willin”.) And two, Paul and Bill did some work with Phil Lesh and Friends, so Feat started jamming more. Obviously, depends on whether you like that or not. I also am really happy to hear weird covers; Voodoo Jam, Long Black Veil, The Weight, Mellow Down Easy have all shown up on setlists.

    I guess the thing that I like the most is that they really enjoy playing. I’ve gotten to know a couple of them (Bill Payne the most, have shared a couple of meals and once drove him from SFO to a gig in Napa, so had a nice two-hour conversation); the band likes each other, and enjoy playing off each other. They must play 100-150 gigs a year (though they’ve been on hiatus since early 2013, due to health issues with Paul Barrere), and don’t play the big venues they once did, nut I can honestly say that the 40 or so shows I’ve seen since 1988 have never been phoned in.

  2. Boy. I saw them in ’92 with George Thorogood at the Concord Pavilion (were you there Mike?) and was really disappointed. I thought they had lost all the Lowell funk.

    Completely agree on “Waiting for Columbus.” If i remember, it was not only great, and a double, but i think it was like $4.99 or something when i bought. i think it had one of those Columbia Records “nice price” tags on it.

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