Micah Schnabel is best known as the guitarist for Two Cow Garage. He has released some solo material, which is different in some ways than what he does with Two Cow Garage. However, the thoughtful lyrical content is always at the heart of Schnabel’s music, and that continues on his new album The Teenage Years of the 21st Century.
His lyrics on the new album are as incisive as ever, and it doesn’t take long to notice that. He shows that ability in “Gentle Always”. the song itself is a plea for us as humans to behave better to each other. He illustrates the point by singing, “What’s the harm in being decent while we’re alive?” That seems like a question that should be asked on social media outlets every day.
“Filthy Cash” is a song that speaks volumes in just 2:53. It takes you through a border patrol stop with an officer with a bent for violence to a statement about racial tensions and a comment about how filthy cash is no longer acceptable. It’s also a nod to Woody Guthrie when he sings, “If you ain’t got that do re mi.”
“Remain Silent” is such a powerful song, it feels like a punch to the gut. He sings about an uncle who rails against immigrants on the internet. He sings, “When did being a decent human being become political, and how have we become so dark-hearted and cynical?” That is powerful enough, but the real gut punch comes when he sings that he’s glad he doesn’t have any kids so he doesn’t have to tell them that getting shot at school is only “a part of the game.”
From the bluesy guitar in “An Introduction” to the muted “Death Defying Feats” in which he sings that it’s OK to be anxious and scared because of what life throws at you, this album is vintage Schnabel. He somehow manages to capture what a lot of people think, and he delivers the lyrics in such an evocative way that you can’t help but feel the weight of his messages. The Teenage Years of the 21st Century will be available on December 3. Order your copy here.