All Night Radio

Spirit Stereo Frequency (Sub Pop)

SXSW Records

All Night Radio

Spirit Stereo Frequency (Sub Pop) Fifty years ago, it was a kid under the sheets with a transistor pressed to his ear. In the 21st century, it's two buddies channeling satellite radio in their living room. Bark off the ol' Beachwood Sparks, Los Angelinos Dave Scher and Jimi Hey wound down from the Once We Were Trees tour with some fiddling about. Lots of fiddling about. They don't call 'em side projects for nothing. Euphoric opener "Daylight Till Dawn" should've been the A-side, and "Anchovya Suite," sounding like a Trees outtake, the flip side of a side-project 45. Cascading keys, silver-lined with pedal steel, twinkling beds of sound (glockenspiel!), and over-lapping waves of harmony shine on "Daylight Till Dawn" like it did on Trees, the song molting with Beachwood Sparks' choral sway. Between that pair of smiley faces, lots of static. The vinyl crackles on "We're on Our Wave" match its carefree ebb, but the underwater (backward masked?) vocal gurgles of "Fall Down 7" drown its warped, Fountains of Wayne-like melodic quirk before devolving into wank. "Sky Bicycle (You've Been Ringing)" rings its bell, whipping along, but winds up a stationary gym cycle. The percussive chug and blurred highway guitar of "Sad K." perks ears into "Anchovya Suite," before the rest of Spirit Stereo Frequency, crickets and all, fades into the night sky slowly like so much nocturnal interference. (Friday, March 19, 9pm @ Blender Bar at the Ritz)


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