The Backyard Musicians Present “Mediocre At Best”

Cultural Heavyweights Pay Homage to Mediocre On Its 10th Anniversary

It’s hard to believe a decade has passed since The Backyard Musicians recorded their undisputed masterpiece, which now sits firmly in the rock’n’roll canon. Inspiring countless garage-rock bands to take their talents out back and let the racket fly outdoors, TBM’s influence is practically ubiquitous.

Some of Mediocre‘s most diehard fans break the classic down, track-by-track:

1. “Erotic, This Is Erotic”

m.84deaba8.jpeg“When I sit down to write the opening cut to a Radiohead album, I view it as a mission statement. It kind of sets the tone for all the songs, ideas, and feelings that follow. To me, ‘Erotic, This Is Erotic’ is the quintessential opener. I’ve never heard such a clear call to arms. And I know this is obvious, but that minimal drum machine production is something I’ve been trying to capture and emulate, but alas continue to fall short of its signature click-tick brilliance.” – Thom Yorke (Radiohead)


2. “March”

meg200(2) “The opening line to ‘March’ gets me every time: ‘Can you keep the pace, can you keep the pace?’ Ha! Sounds to me like Kavi wrote the lyrics to this one! Whether he did or not, his blazing drum fills push the tempo like an antagonizing dare to Xin and Andrew to keep up and catch him if they can. It’s a dynamic that Jack and I would look to whenever we needed a spark.” – Meg White (The White Stripes)


3. “The Boy Forgotten”

120127_Complet_Spielberg-EX.jpg.CROP.article250-medium“When I make a sequel to E.T. (which by the way, I’ve been dying to do for years), I’m definitely using ‘The Boy Forgotten’ in a montage scene. Yeah, yeah E.T. wanted to go home or whatever, but once he was home, he felt very alienated (no pun intended), and he just wanted to chill with his bro Elliott again. “Moved far away, said my goodbye through tears…” camon, that’s movie gold right there!” – Steven Spielberg (Up-and-Coming Film Director)


4. “Multi-Racial Love Affair”

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 12.47.06 PM.png“You really want me to say it don’t you? You really want the 44th president of the United States to sound off on his parents’ most intimate moment? Alright, you asked for it… I, Barack Obama, am the result of multi-racial love making. I’ll always remember the first time I heard ‘Multi-Racial Love Affair’ — I was on the campaign trail, and thought a) this song was made just for me, and b) this country is ready for a multi-racial love affair of its own. God Bless America, and God Bless The Backyard Musicians.” – Barack Obama


5. “A Life Regretted”

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 1.13.17 PM.png“After we lost to the Cowboys in the 2013 Playoffs, the only thing that could console me was this song. We got screwed over by the refs, but did it really matter? It’s just a game after all. If I’m being honest, that’s the moment when I knew I’d retire early. I didn’t want to live my life getting beat up on a football field, in a constant existential crisis. And now I’m living my best life, no regrets … all thanks to a few musicians in their backyard.” – Calvin Johnson (Hall of Fame Receiver, All-Time Detroit Lions Great, Ballroom Dancer)


6. “Devil Cock”

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 12.20.50 PM“When you’re a drummer on a song as fearless as ‘Devil Cock,’ you have to get out in front and push. It’s like your car just broke down, and you have to get it out of the road, because your bandmembers are still in it, but it’s too much fun to live dangerously and envelope them all in the madness of oncoming traffic. Maybe there’s a better metaphor, but hey, I’m a drummer not a poet ya dummies!” – Patrick Carney (Self-Proclaimed Most Important Member of The Black Keys)


7. “Takin’ Me Away”

613i6LFjOeL._SL1046_“The groove on ‘Takin’ Me Away’ isn’t something you just stumble on. This is three boys shimmying and shaking, jangled and tangled in a sweet soulful spirit. All transcendent dancefloor tracks have a sense of tragedy, reckless abandonment, and impending danger to them. These guys are playing with fire with this scorching rhythm and their harmonious howls.” – Prince


8. “Sayonara”

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 11.59.07 AM“Keep the bros together! Heavy trudging bass, sputtering short circuiting snares, and a young man looking toward a broless future, all hardly holding it together. Don’t do it! We need more Backyard sessions, you can’t stop the jams from coming! I mean, in retrospect everyone turned out alright and got a good education and all that, but the magnitude of the moment ‘Sayonara’ captures can’t be broverstated.” – Clive Owen (A Bro to All)


9. “Road To Nowhere”

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 11.06.15 AM“Getting into the right headspace for Inside Llewyn Davis was an intense, sometimes isolating process for me. I’d listen to ‘Road To Nowhere’ to feel that ‘down on your luck’ / ‘torn and tattered’ shoe vibe. Sparse and honest, the Upper Peninsula snow and slush coats the feet of anyone who has the spine to press play on this slow burner.” – Oscar Isaac (Shoo-In Future Oscar Winner)


10. “Fuego Coconuts! [Hidden Track]” (Song starts at 2:00)

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 1.39.28 PM“I would do anything for a bonus track, yeah I would do anything for a bonus track … but I won’t do … well, I guess I’d do anything for a bonus track, especially on this masterpiece. Truthfully, I have no idea what a ‘Fuego Coconut’ is (I don’t speak Spanish), but what a delightful little ditty. Also my music sounds nothing like this, so I don’t know why I was approached to write this, but happy to be celebrating a true classic.” – Meatloaf