MICAH SCHNABEL-THE TEENAGE YEARS OF THE 21ST CENTURY
We’ve all heard the saying, “don’t meet your heroes, they will only let you down”. I don’t believe that. I have had the pleasure of meeting three of my musical heroes, Chuck Ragan from Hot Water Music, Geoff Rickly of Thursday, and Micah Schnabel of Two Cow Garage. And I can say that all three are some of the most honest, friendly, loving, down to earth people I have ever met. And it shows in their music and how they interact with fans on social media. The one that I know the best is Micah.
I first came to meet Micah in 2009, I had just moved to Columbus a few months before. I lived a few blocks from a venue called Rumba, so I’d go quite often, mostly to drink in those days. On this one night a local band named Two Cow Garage was playing, I instantly was a fan. It was a combination of the lyrics, their frontman, and stage presence. I connected with them that night. Ten years later I still love that band. When I think about my time here in Columbus, I think about Micah and Two Cow Garage.
In this time Micah has released a few solo albums. The latest is The Teenage Years of the 21st Century, and this an album that needs to be heard. If this writing doesn’t convince of that, still just go and give it a listen. This is the album we all have needed to hear for a while. This is what makes music, music. It doesn’t see color, sex, social standing, or any of that bullshit. Right now we are all in the same boat, we need to come together and love another. None of that other shit matters. And that’s what this album is about. It’s about the dark world in which we live and how only we can make it better.
The twelve songs that make up this album are nothing short of beautiful. From the start, the very first chord, you get the feeling you are about to hear something great and you truly are. The first track is, “An Introduction” and it’s just that. It might be short but it gets the point across. “Gentle Always” is the next track and Micah doesn’t waste any time telling the listener what’s on his mind. It starts with the line,” The revolution is here but it’s not violent like they wanted”. I think this line says a lot. If you look at the world we live in, it’s changing every single day. But it’s how people are going about it. Let’s look at Greta Thunberg. She is 17 years old and is already changing the world but in a peaceful non-violent way. She is a role model for kids and if I’m honest, adults. This is a good change. And it doesn’t stop there, not even close. One of my favorite lines I’ve heard in a while is in this song. It goes, “We’re in the mix of a generational shift. The baton is being passed and the old folks are pissed watching their power being handed over to the kids. And the hand reaching out is a female fist”. When I hear that, I get chills and I smile. And if I may take it a little further, it’s old white men that are pissed. They have being in control for far too long and it’s time for a change. There is one last lyric that stands out here, “We find things to fill that void in our guts like music, religion, and drugs. Let’s not use that void to hurt people. We could fill it with love”. And there is that word I mentioned earlier, love. That is the key to it all my friend. Another track that stands out is “How to Ride a Bike”. Here Micah focuses on how money controls the world. At one point he mentions how he’d like to buy a car and later he comes back to the car by saying how he’d like to maybe go back to school, but it would end up costing more than the car. How crazy is that? Something that is meant to help you, costs so much. This track also has a killer chorus, “being alive is so expensive but being dead is a lousy alternative”. I can’t tell you the times I have gotten stuck on that chorus or the writings that have come because of it. “Emergency Room” is a favorite as well. I’m sure you can guess what this one is about. Again, something that should not be the way it is. Medical care should be free to all but nope, that isn’t the case. “The security guard guards the metal detector by the double doors. Drop your wallets, phones, and keys, and rosary beads into the plastic bowl. This is the society we have made. We’re all sick and afraid, and can’t afford to be saved.” If that lyric doesn’t make you think or feel, then I don’t know what will. This is real honest songwriting at its best. And this is what I have always loved about Micah’s writing. It’s real and its life. It’s all shit we live through on a daily basis.
I honestly could keep writing but I think my point has been made. This is an album that deserves to be heard. It’s the album that should be playing during the revolution. These are words that will keep you up at night thinking about the world and your place in it. Micah Schnabel is the hero we all need right now.