Greg Cartwright: 1997-2001
Greg Cartwright is one of those musicians that I do not think will ever get his due. But for a select few, just a couple years without any new material feels like a lifetime and the thought of losing him would be like losing a part of one. I think he knows this, his music isn’t meant for everybody. And I really don’t fucking know why.
I’ve never been a big fan of Bill Simmons; he just throws out way too many pop-culture references to be able to enjoy a sports article. But I did enjoy some of Grantland’s output, and probably my favorite quote regarding music came from one of their contributors, Steven Hyden. “One of the best qualities that any singer can have is the ability to sound vulnerable without seeming weak, embodying a certain beaten-but-never-broken kind of strength even when expressing utter pathos.” I have always felt that way about music, but I just could never express that with words. I would just be like “man that’s some pussy ass shit.” Then someone would say to me “the song you’re listening to is talking about wanting to commit suicide.” And my reply would be like, “yeah but he’s not being a wuss about it.” Hyden described a quality that not many people have…but Greg Cartwright is one of those people, and we are so lucky for that.
In 1997, the band Greg may be best known for, Oblivians, released their last album before breaking up (before getting back together 10+ years later), while 4 years later, the Reigning Sound, the next band he’s most known for, released their first album. Since 2009, he’s continued to carry on with both bands while still messing with other projects, the difference between now and then, is that he was probably in his songwriting prime throughout those 4 years between those bands, where his future could not be any rockier. Typically when a musician in his prime, they will release two albums within a 7 year period, and maybe a solo album, and then the rest will be recycled bullshit. Greg Cartwright managed to have a hand in writing and recording music for 5 different bands (and 6 albums), with exceptional results. This isn’t something that just happens every goddamn day. Honestly some of the best fuckin’ shit I’ve heard, and I can’t wrap my head around the idea that one man was a part of it all in such a small period of time. So this is what I’m presenting to you today, Greg Cartwright from 1997-2001 (in chronological order).