Artist: Iran Album: Dissolver File Under: Lo-Fi Indie Rock Recommended if You Like: Pavement, Elliott Smith, Brian Wilson, Sebadoh, TVOTR Featured Tracks: “I Can See the Future”, “Buddy“
“I Can See The Future”:
“Somehow they all got it wrong/ and they all seem to like it that way/ I let it go on too long/ and I forgot what I really meant to say/ and it feels like I’m lying/ and I don’t even know the truth….”
No doubt about it, the Buddy EP hooked me on Iran. The combination of Kyp Malone’s (of TV on the Radio) masterful guitar work and the pathos laden lyrics of frontman Aaron Aites works for me – utterly and completely. I wouldn’t call Iran a side project however, this band is actually a pre-cursor to TVOTR. Dissolver is their third release and is fairly classic in it’s construction – catchy, melodramatic pop-tinged lyrics dragged through lots of rock swagger. Very reminiscent of Pavement, which is perhaps why I like it so much. They’re not breaking any barriers with their sound here, but the familiarity feels really, really good.
“Buddy” is certainly a stand out track for me. To say I’m obsessed with it is an understatement. “Airport ’79”, (reportedly an epilogue of sorts to John Lennon’s “Airport ’77”) is another excellent song that’s been stuck in my head all week with it’s distorted, fuzzy guitar and catchy refrain ‘you won’t know who I am/ ’cause you don’t know who I am’. Much of the album has that ballad-like quality which showcases Aaron Aites true lyrical talent. It’s lovely.
The day started out in a haze trying to find who I thought was Gentleman Reg, only to find out halfway through the set that I ended up at Gentleman Jesse and His Men, which was okay by me. It was a nice outdoor venue with shade and seating, which I really needed at that moment.
Luckily, the same venue was hosting another band I was dead set on seeing, Dead Confederate. No pun intended. Thankfully my Gentleman Reg blunder got me to the venue in enough time so that we weren’t shut out from seeing them. The venue was small and there was a loooong line at the door. Waiting for the band to start, I was interrogated by a man named Walker as to whether or not a fair maiden like myself was in the right place and if I indeed liked the Dead Confederate. After assuring him that I was and did, he replied “cool” then walked up to the stage and started playing guitar.
Then it was off to The Beauty Bar to catch a little Jana Hunter, Harlem and – finally – Gentleman Reg. Harlem was a hoot and I was completely to surprised to learn they were local. They were all one big hot mess and looked like they’ve been living out of a van for months.
A quick break from our regularly scheduled program for a public service announcement plugging a cool project from local photographer and blogger, Julie of Tangobaby. She’s launched a new blog called I Live Here: SF that features portraits and stories of the people that call San Francisco home. It was amazing to meet her, hear her story, share our goals and ambitions and be a part of her dream. Such an interesting interlude to a random Friday.
Since we connected through the blogosphere, music was a big part of our conversation. As was fashion and my current obsession with my new peacock feather necklace. (Isn’t it pretty?) I was asked recently what we were listening to when this shot was taken. I can’t recall exactly, but if I had to choose one song to reflect my mood it would be Iran’s “Buddy“. I’m in love with this song. (More on this band later.)
My rock-n-roll vacation is just days, hours away. I’ve been combing the line up of 1400 bands for weeks now. My list is made, I’m checking it twice and trying to keep the panic at bay as I struggle to find a way to fit it all in.
SXSW is the equivalent of Mecca for the indie music junkie, like me. It’s the place you go to discover the best new artists everyone else will be listening 6 months or a year from now, depending on where you fall on the music curve. And already I’ve found some gems. Here’s a sample of a few bands I’m particularly excited to see. Believe me, there are many, many more. Some of them are classics reunited – like Echo and The Bunneymen and Red Red Meat – others somewhat establish, but most are new to the scene and trying to break out. Enjoy!