Sunday, December 22, 2013

Song Of The Week: 12/22/13

Song: "Backseat"

Artist: Gardener

Album: "New Dawning Time"

Year: 1999

"Backseat" is a song that appears to be about a young couple who are still living at their parent's house. It seems they just decide to hop in the car and drive with no particular destination. They're just happy to get away. The whole journey seems liberating and totally spontaneous to them. Gardener's origins as a band date back to 1996, when the bands Seaweed and The Screaming Trees were embarking on a tour of the U.K. Seaweed frontman Aaron Stauffer and The Screaming Trees' Van Conner would write two songs together that would eventually turn into a full band effort, thus the birth of Gardener. By 1999, the two had enough material to put together a full album. That album would be "New Dawning Time" and it would be released through legendary Seattle label Sub Pop. Gardener would be far different in terms of musical style than the grungy aggression of both Seaweed and The Screaming Trees. In fact, the band labeled their sound as "shack" rock. Though it featured guitars, bass and drums, their music would also feature an array of other instruments including sitar, tabla, flute and mellotron. Besides "New Dawning Time", the only other release I know of is a 7" vinyl single of the song "Boys Of Summer", originally performed by Don Henley. Though Gardener did tour in support of "New Dawning Time", the band itself was a short lived project. Stauffer went back to Seaweed for a short time while also working on the brief project Not From Space and another odd sounding band, The Blue Dot. Van Conner went back to The Screaming Trees for a short period but that band disbanded in 2000. He did some session work for Mark Lanegan's solo album as well as some work for Queens Of The Stone Age. The current status of Gardener is there is no status. The band hasn't put out any new material and hasn't performed live for more than ten years now. Stauffer is back to touring with Seaweed and they have been rumored to have a new album in the works while Conner has a new alternative metal project called Valis in which he is the vocalist/lead guitarist.

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