Once again we have one of my podcasts to thank for an idea for Music Monday. And an Astoria connection certainly helped its chances.
Marc Maron had The Figgs on his show last week.
Needless to say, since it's the case with many of the music guests on WTF, I had never before heard of The Figgs.
I gave the podcast a chance though. (Not that it's a stretch for me - a podcast would have to be the worst thing in the world for me to turn it off before listening to it from beginning to end.)
And not only did I find the members of the band likable, but there were two connections that really piqued my interest.
The first of the connections is that one of the band members (there are three of them, I didn't really do much research on them besides listening to a bunch of their songs online. I figure if you're interested enough you can look up the info as easily as I could have.) spent a lot of time in Astoria, my hometown.
Maron spent some time in the early 2000s living in Astoria. (He gave the exact location - also last week - when Ileana Douglas was on the show. I think he said 37th Street and 30th Avenue. Douglas, by the way, also has an Astoria connection - she spent a lot of time there as a kid with her grandparents. She was on the Ditmars end, very near to where I grew up, but she was talking about the late '70s as when she was there. A lot of Astoria talk on my podcasts last week.) Maron told the story last week of how he kept running into one of The Figgs at the grocery store in Astoria, because he was living in the area too. Maron was a fan of The Figgs…the band didn't know who he was other than some stalky fan.
Anyway, I like that there's an Astoria connection. (For what it's worth, one of the band members also currently lives just outside of Boston. They're like me!)
But then they talked about how they had hit it big in the last year or so because a song one of them had written was used in a popular Lexus commercial. I couldn't for the life of me think of what that was - as far as I knew I had never heard of The Figgs before in my life. Then they played the song, Je T'ador , and it sounded vaguely familiar, but I still couldn't place it. I looked it up and I remember the commercial, but the song didn't really stand out to me. I included that video at the end of this post for you to remember, and to get a taste of The Figgs. (Pun not intended. I swear.)
I listened to a lot of The Figgs' music last week. (Though I'm sure not anywhere close to all of it - by a long shot, I think.) I liked most of what I heard. I don't quite know how to describe it - a little rock, a little punk, a little grunge? There was a Foo Fighters feel to some of the songs…but that's not quite a good description. They also talked about Elvis Costello as an influence, if I remember correctly, on the podcast. I can see that too.
I liked, too, that many of the places they've been captured on video on YouTube are some of the same places my brother has played in recent years. It gives me hope that another little-known act with roots in Astoria will catch fire and get greater exposure.