Scott Alexander ~ Scott Alexander Makes Friends
Date: Saturday, September 08, 2007 @ 23:57:54 UTC

Artist: Scott Alexander

CD: Scott Alexander Makes Friends

Home: Brooklyn, New York

Style: Singer-Songwriter

Quote: "It’s satire on the modern day world that makes Scott’s songs so enjoyable."

By Thomas D. Szewc

There’s a spectacled man with tray full of vegan cookies standing in front of you, extending his hand. ‘Who in the world is this guy?’ you may ask yourself. Next you’d probably think ‘what does he want?’ Well, his name is Scott Alexander, and he’s a singer/songwriter who, simply put, wants to make friends.

Scott Alexander Makes Friends is a three-song collection featuring classic guitar work and even the occasional bassoon solo. While his skill on these instruments is particularly interesting, the biggest draw here is the extremely entertaining social commentary. Barely any lyric goes by without actually saying something significant or having some kind of multiple layers to it. What benefits Alexander the most is that the message never gets too heavy handed or preachy. In most cases, the words end up being too witty to allow that to happen, as can be seen in these lines from “F’ing Technology:”

A robot took a photo of me driving my Toyota,
Through a stoplight in Mendota Minnesota.
The red I did not see, I was watching a home movie,
On the dashboard of the car in front of me ...

It’s satire on the modern day world such as this that makes Scott’s songs so enjoyable. You’ll find numerous instances where you’ll be thinking to yourself ‘oh man, that’s so true’ or ‘wow, I never thought about it like that’ as you’re giggling through the absurdity of it all. The humor remains well written through all three songs, but at times can be a bit darker than you may initially expect. “Unfortunately Fat” strikes me as a song that will really induce some varying reactions from different listeners. Without holding nothing back, it examines what it’s like for someone to look upon an overweight individual with a sense of superficial sympathy. However, it’s the last line of the song that brilliantly brings the whole moral commentary around:

The reason that I stare,
And judge you so unfair,
What I feel is inside of me,
Is showing on the outside of you ...

I think it’s entirely impossible to talk about this album without bringing up Alexander’s unique way of promoting himself. After all, it goes hand in hand with the actual CD. The title isn’t just a clever play on words; Scott really wants to be you friend. Take a stop by his website and you’ll find a specific section where you can introduce yourself, tell him a little about who you are, or just send him whatever thoughts are on your mind. Scott then hopes you’ll do your part to help your new found friend get some attention by spreading the word around about his coolness. He even offers a handy list of ways to do just that (hey, looks like I got step #5 down. Woo-hoo!).

However, don’t think it stops there. If you find yourself at a Scott Alexander performance, expect to get some free vegan cookies made by the man himself (and I’ve had vegan cookies before; they can be pretty damn tasty). I can’t say I’ve ever seen such a creative way of trying to get yourself known to the public; there’s something about the hands on approach that just really feels special.

There’s only one honest problem with Scott Alexander Makes Friends, and it’s the same problem that comes with any three song album of this quality: it feels way too short. What you get is entirely worth every penny you pay, but you will definitely wish you got to spend some more time with Scott. Considering his well thought out marketing approach, I’m slightly disappointed Alexander didn’t offer more meat to the central product. Consider this, however: Scott Alexander wants to make friends, so perhaps the small track size is just his way of introducing himself. Works rather nicely in that context, doesn’t it? Either way, I recommend any potential friends to check out and download the extra track “NP Radio,” which I hereby nominate as a possible theme song for the Indie music way of life. At the very least, it gives you one more song to enjoy, and I promise you will enjoy it.

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