Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Brent Gorton: twisted pop at the Cave on Saturday

Brent Gorton:
"Hit the Station"
"That Photograph"
(from Brent Gorton 2006. Buy it here.)

Although I tend to focus on musicians based in the Triangle, every now and then it's worth highlighting some of the folks who are passing through on tour. There's probably no need to point out the relatively big names at the Cat's Cradle and so forth, but here's one that might be overlooked: Albany, NY-based indie-pop songwriter Brent Gorton at the Cave on Saturday (8/12).

Gorton's self-titled CD was recorded in his home studio using second-hand gear, but damn if he didn't get a lot out of it. The songs are extremely catchy, and the production has all sorts of interesting touches. Listen to the percussion and electric piano on "That Photograph" or the radio transmissions in the background of "Hit the Station" for a sense of what I mean. This is probably not a comparison that will mean much to anyone but me, but Gorton's music seems like Justin Roberts without the kiddie topics. Maybe a slightly more folky Matthew Sweet? (By they way, if you have kids, Justin Roberts is a must-have in their music collection. He will keep you sane.)

His touring band consists of his girlfriend and her best friend (collectively given the unfortunate title "the Tender Breasts"), so I don't know how the tunes will come across live. It seems to me that the songwriting is strong enough that the bare bones of the songs will support less-elaborate arrangments, but I really love the way the recorded versions sound. We'll see.

For the record, I learned about Gorton in an e-mail from his PR guy, but the songs hooked me right away. Memo to promoters: I pay a lot more attention when you've figured out that I'm primarily going to be interested in bands that are a) from around here, b) playing around here, or c) both. Still e-mails and free stuff are welcome, so bring it on...


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