From Big Notebook for Easy Piano
If I’m ever out anywhere, and I see a piano just sitting somewhere, it’s my secret wish that I could just sit down at that piano in the middle of the mall or at someone’s party and slam out “Shamrock,” if only the opening lick. It is the perfect plunge into Big Notebook, and it received quite a bit of attention from reviewers for sounding so upbeat, yet being about a small plant about to be run over by a lawnmower. It is perhaps the most accessible of this type of song, serving as the template for all the others on Big Notebook as well as setting the tone for the rest of the record. I would have liked to see it pushed as a radio single in ’97, especially in contrast to that year’s piano-pop radio hit, “Brick,” which won mainstream acclaim for Osama Ben Folds, despite its monotone yet hipster-friendly feelings of being depressed.
Here we hear Fluid Ounces at their sonic best, running through very fast verses to get to choruses that are actually slower, yet somehow more epic in production—thanks in part to all four Ounces plus Matt Mahaffey grinding out the guitars on the chorus standing in a circle and creating a large wall of sound behind Seth Timbs’ vocals. It is always fun to hear its insane tempo jumps, which are even more pronounced in live performances. The beginning of each verse sounds like the thunderous start of a race, as Ben, Brian, Seth and Sam are standing behind gates with their respective rock instruments, waiting for the starting gun of the last beat of the chorus to take off running in a blur of one of the best melds of rock and jazz ever produced.
The video presented here is from October 10, 1997, started off with yet another instance in which Seth Timbs introduces the band and does not give his own real name.