First up is the new one by the Pines, my new favorite tree and new favorite band - the album is Dark So Gold and it's on Eliza Gilkyson's label, Red House. The Pines are yet another cool Minnesota band - a state that gave us Bob Himself, the Replacements, and my heroes, the Gear Daddies - and the same state that has Senator Al Franken and whistlehead Michelle Bachmann. Anyway, this one would've made my Year End list but I found that it's an advance and won't be out until January, so it'll be on next year's list. But as for now, it's stark, spare and serious low-fi country-flavored Americana - nothing like the Old 97s, but a gig with the Avett Brothers would be a good match. The first song, "Cry Cry Crow" will make you a fan and you're also gonna dig the guitar hooks on "Be There Bells" and "All the While." There's a bunch of guys in the band doing just enough to get by as this stuff in understated but not misunderstood. A head-full clearly from a band you'll love the first time.
Rockin' Roll Call
Bill Locey reviews music for the Ventura County Star, when he isn't reenacting the history of this great nation or teaching it to incarcerated youth.
He is the tall guy lurking in the back of all the local rock shows.
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