Something a little different finds its home at Number 19. The 31 Days of Music:Best of 2013 adds Chandler Travis Three-O's This Is What Bears Look Like Underwater. Not sure if this album is on any other best of lists, but I have been digging it all year. With each spin a new tasty musical nugget is revealed keeping it fresh.
The Chandler Travis Three-O (3-O) is yet another musical outlet for Mr. Chandler Travis to let loose the musical build up in his head. Never one to be confined to one single style of music Travis has once again assembled a crack team of players to deliver This Is What Bears Look Like Underwater (Bears). It is a collection of tunes that pulls the listener in every possible direction while keeping them glued to one spot waiting to hear what come next. Utilizing everything but the kitchen sink, which could be included I am not totally sure, Bears is a collection of tunes that harnesses everything from jazz to rock.
Opening Bears is the jaunty tune “Little Things”, a catchy instrumental that could double as backing music to a big budget movie or a quirky low budget cartoon. One part jazz, one part orchestral, one part chamber music and one part experimentation it is the perfect introduction to the world of the 3-O. The musical landscape of this record is so diverse and contains so many layers that the lyrics almost get lost, almost. Utilizing quirky lyrics the catchy “Make The Small Things Pretty” entails a message about enjoying the small things and the big things will be a breeze. On “The Person You Deserve” Travis warbles on about personal faults, his or someone else’s, listing things he could have done to be a better person. The song “Zoe” is 3-O’s shot at a love song, as they run down a list of various offerings trying to win over a valentine. My two favorite tracks are “Camel, Passing Through The Eye Of The Needle” and “I Still Drink My Coffee Blue”. Camel is a percussion heavy instrumental that wobbles along weaving in and out of exotic jazz and with a bit of funk and Coffee possesses a 50’s rock-a-billy flair. They close things out with a couple of creative covers. 3-O does NRBQ’s “Things To You” justice and do things to the Beatles “In My Life” that give it new life, not that it needed it.
Bears is one of the most creative and entertaining records I have listened to this year. Falling somewhere between Nick Lowe and Tom Waits the album swings left and right leaving the listener guessing what is around the next corner. If you want everyday cookie cutter music then this is not what you want, but if you want an album that takes you all over the musical landscape then pick his up now.
31 Days of Music: Best of 2013
31 - Futurebirds - Baba Yaga
30 - Mike Snowden - One Man Cigar Box Guitar Band Live
29 - Teen Getaway - Hits and Missives
28 - Barrence Whitfield & the Savages - Dig Thy Savage Soul
27 - Robert Pollard - Honey Locust Honky Tonk
26 - Camper Van Beethoven - La Costa Perdida
25 - Je Suis France - Coleslaw III Drymouth
24 - Dorado - Anger, Hunger, Love and the Fear of Death
23 - Ezra Furman - Day of the Dog
22 - Hymn For Her - Lucy & Wayne's Smokin' Hot Flames
21 - Patrick Sweany - Close To The Floor
20 - Tedo Stone - Good Go Bad
19 - Chandler Travis Three-O - This Is What Bears Look Like Under Water