By Kathryn Pinto
There’s a lot to see and hear and not so much time to write about it unless one stays home from the shows to write—and that’s no fun. Take it easy on us, we are cranky and old and haven’t had enough coffee. Consider this a round up of things I’m listening to and trying to find the words to put together for a full review, and a couple of others that the rest of the RFSL staff will weigh in on soon.
Geronimo Getty “Darkness Hides” from Darkness Hides (self-released)
After Le Switch called it quits, Aaron Kyle started turning up in small venues with an acoustic guitar playing new originals and covers of Buck Owens jams with the kind of delivery that left everyone in the room crying into their beer. Geronimo Getty is a full band, notably with Chris Harrison of Le Switch on electric guitar, and spirited enough in production to raise a glass to without ever losing the heartbreak.
Torches “I Want Something” from Heads Full of Rust (self-released)
It’s refreshing to hear a young LA band play something is so upbeat and fun. Torches’ live show has always been solid, but never this sunny and carefree. When the track cues on this indie pop driving jam, it's nearly a Pavlovian response to roll down the car window. With this breezy a melody and equally breezy lyrics you can almost forgive the band for cynically namechecking Brooklyn.
Auditorium “Karaoke Freight Train” from Nights Worth Living - EP (self-released)
By abandoning all pretense of being cool and embracing his innate theatrical ambition and the opera training of his youth, Auditorium wins big with a hero ballad of a karaoke singing best friend. The sound is as big as and powerful as the titular freight train, but the charm and beauty is in the small details, down to the Chula Vista reference.
Rademacher “Minnesota” from Baby Hawk (Part III of III) (self-released)
“I-I-I got lost, I-I-I got crossed over, under and through...” Confusion has never been this poptomistic. From Part III of Rademacher's Baby Hawk trilogy comes a tour song, images of the no man's land stretch of a tour, going dot to dot on a map, lost in the middle of the country and finding yourself in the middle of something, out there and in it. Recorded and engineered at the Cave Studio by Josiah Mazzaschi it's the best possible kind of could-be radio pop song. Like what happened when bands like The Replacements and R.E.M. came out of obscurity and started getting airplay, a brief moment when radio was cool.
AA Bondy “I Can See the Pines are Dancing” from When the Devil's Loose (Fat Possum, 2009)
“I’m just going surfing,” called AA Bondy to me after his set at The Echo at this month’s ESP residency, when I asked if he was in town working on a new album. His most recent album Believers (Fat Possum) came out in September 2011. Bondy plays "I Can See the Pines Are Dancing" as the finale of a Daytrotter session full of resonant guitar tones and moody slurry vocals. Both recorded and live, Bondy's performance burns with charisma that keeps the audience hanging on every note.