Children By The Millions Sing For Scott Miller
Scott Miller, my all-time favorite musician, is dead. We will know more in the coming days. His music got me through the highest highs and lowest lows. I don’t do traditional blog posts often, but tonight is one big exception.
I heard Here It Is Tomorrow on Princeton University’s WPRB and ran to buy the album it was on, The Big Shot Chronicles. That was the mid 80s. I’ve been a huge fan ever since, have all his albums, both GT and the Loud Family’s brilliant 90s/00’s output. I love them all, and it’s heartbreaking that there’ll be nothing new from him, as he was about to start on a new album at the time of his death.
Scott’s music was power pop of the most experimental ever. For Game Theory’s classic albums like Lolita Nation, imagine a Beatles/Big Star fusion, with many other bands mixed in, with lyrics in the style of Joyce, say Finnegan’s Wake or Ulysses. Head spinning, maybe, but also catchy as all get out. The man had a great gift for melodies and turns of phrase. A songwriter's songwriter. And all the people he played with, big talents in their own right, who Got It, and made it their own as much as Scott did.
The Loud Family dropped Joyce, and was more 90s alternative rock than 80s college rock, but just as good, different, but still all Scott, and like nothing else out there, which can be said for Game Theory, too. Scott retired in 2000, came back in 2006 with What If It Works, a collaboration with Anton Barbeau, and I welcomed it fully.
I saw Scott live twice, on the Loud Family’s last two national tours, and he was wonderful. Two of the best concerts I’ve ever seen. There were no flashy moves, no big stage show, just a lot of good music. And Boy Could He Play Guitar.
I also am on the email discussion list, Loud Fans, and have met so many wonderful people on there, friends to this day. It was the first list I joined back in the 90s, when I first came online, and when everything migrated for the most part to Facebook, I was there, too.
Words fail me now, but I’ll try two last thoughts. One: If you've never heard his music, go to the Loud Family’s site. There is a place to download his Game Theory albums for free. You will never, ever regret doing this.
Two: Scott’s book of music lists, and his observations about music, Music: What Happened, will live on just as much as his music. I’m posting the link of my interview with him for this blog as my second tribute to him. My thoughts are with his wife Kristine and his family. And to all Loud Fans, or Louds, we will keep his music alive forever!