May 28 — “Nancy and The Girdle Boy” by K.C. Accidental

K.C. Accidental

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Nancy and The Girdle Boy” by K.C. Accidental (1998, from the album Captured Anthems for an Empty Bathtub).

K.C. Accidental was a two-man post-rock band from Toronto. They released two albums between 1998 and 2000, before moving on to bigger (literally, much, much bigger) things. The two members were Kevin Drew and Charles Spearin. Both went on to be key members of the enormous musical collective Broken Social Scene, who put out their first record in 2001 as an eleven-piece touring band. They’ve had a who’s who of Canadian indie-rock stars in and out of the band in their 10 year existence. In the autumn of 2011, after touring their Forgiveness Rock Record, they announced that they were going on “indefinite hiatus”. Later that autumn, they announced that they had played their last show as Broken Social Scene.

Drew remained the defacto “leader” of Broken Social Scene throughout their existence. Spearin was a key member throughout, and also co-founded the post-rock band Do Make Say Think as a side project.

Like the first BSS record (Feel Good Lost), the two K.C. Accidental records are post-rock, and (mostly) instrumental. The songs on the two K.C. Accidental records were pretty much glorified bedroom demos without much in the way of fancy production values. They’re still very good songs, though. “Big”, anthemic, sometimes sprawling songs. I kind of wish that BSS had kept on that same path.

Without further ado, here’s today’s song:
“Nancy and the Girdle Boy” by K.C. Accidental

I love the way it starts off with the sound of crackly vinyl. I also love that it gets straight into it. There’s no slow build-up here. There’s no quiet/loud/quiet like there is in so much of post-rock. It’s just loud and right in your face. The busy drums and the buzzy guitars drive this thing. Oh sure, the first 1:48 or so is really same-y, but it’s really worth it to try to hone your focus on just the guitars or just the drums during that bit. It’s kinda fun and really challenging.

It takes a bit of a turn at about 1:50, when the same-ness of the guitar changes and the bass steps up. It weaves along for a while, then takes another turn at about 4:00. It starts winding down from there, and there’s something that resembles an extended drum solo. At the very end, almost humorously, there’s an acoustic guitar for just a short while. Then it goes back to the crackly vinyl sound. I love those bookends.

I really enjoy the drums in this song. For a low-fi bedroom recording, the drums are really crisp, and they’re not overshadowed by the buzzy fuzzy guitars.

Actually, I love everything about this song, except the length. At 5:01, I could really stand for it to go on for another four or five minutes. Or even another ten. I have a soft spot for epic-length songs. This isn’t that, but I think that it could have been.

Captured Anthems for an Empty Bathtub, which was self-released in 1998, then re-issued by Noise Factory Records in 2003, had a running time of close to 45 minutes. It featured six “blank” tracks tacked onto the end. The second record, Anthems for The Could’ve Bin Pills had a running time of 45 and a half minutes, and it had six “blank” tracks tacked onto the front. I guess they knew that someday, they would repackage the two albums as a single release. By 2005, both albums fell out of print. It took 10 years, but in 2010, Arts & Crafts repackaged the two albums as a “double album”.

I bought the A&C repackage when I saw BSS play a disappointing show at the 2010 Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh. Listening to Captured Anthems… on the drive home was the highlight of my day. Actually, in a day that was a series of disappointments, just getting home in one piece might have been the highlight of my day. Anyway, A&C did a good job, as they always do, with the packaging. Instead of going with the very popular gatefold cardboard wallet with side-opening pockets (which I really hate), they went with the six-panel digipak, with actual trays on either side of center. There’s not a booklet or anything like that, but I’m sort of picky about album packaging, and I’m disappointed when there’s not a tray. If I had the choice of EITHER a 50-page booklet with exhaustive details, lyrics, photos, etc. OR a tray for the cd, I’ll take the tray any day. Of course, I’d prefer both (hello, Jesus and Mary Chain deluxe remasters!), but none of this has anything to do with the actual music.

The original releases are long out of print, but you want the A&C repackage anyway. You can get that in the format of your choosing here.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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