The Olms, Vampire Weekend and something called the CAMMIES
Spring-songy Kind of buried in the excitement over Band of Horses coming to town this Tuesday, April 16, is the mysterious opening band that will take the Senator stage before them, The Olms. Turns out it’s the new project of singer/songwriter Pete Yorn, who some of you might remember for his acclaimed 2001 debut Musicforthemorningafter, or maybe for his recent stuff, including a duet album with Scarlett Johansson and his 2010 self-titled solo disc produced by The Pixies’ Frank Black. The new band, which also features L.A. country-rock singer/songwriter J.D. King, has an album on the way this June, and the lead single, “Wanna Feel It” (available for download on iTunes and Amazon), is a wonderful, breezy, super-catchy bit of hand-clapping pop that is destined to spend its summer at the beach. If you’re going to the show, don’t get lost at the bar and miss the opener.
ANOTHER Summer jam prediction The only bummer with Band of Horses making it to Chico is that they are playing the same night that my current favorite band, Vampire Weekend, is going to be playing in Davis. The New York City quartet and Arcade Fire are probably the only bands these days for which I look forward to every release with the same energy as when I was in my early 20s, back when looking forward to new releases was mostly all I worried about in the world. VW’s third album is scheduled to come out May 14, and at www.vampireweekend.com there are already a couple of teaser tracks up, one of which, “Diane Young,” is a hyper and herky-jerky piece of kick-ass pop that is already melting faces off at your Memorial Weekend BBQ. Jam of the summer No. 1 is in the books a couple of months early. Nice.
Powered by music I gotta say that I’m a little bit overwhelmed by all this music goodness, especially as it comes right in the middle of that local-music season which needs no introduction. Tonight the CN&R officially kicks off the CAMMIES with a free, Americana/country happy-hour party on the outdoor patio at LaSalles. I’ll be there, soaking up the breeze and sunshine as The Blue Merles kick up some of that Bakersfield dust, then I’ll be moving onto the next 11 shows over the weekend [see this week’s special CAMMIES insert for the full schedule], trying to hold the whole production together while not missing out on too much of the party.
Like everyone else, I have my preferred styles of music, and not every genre moves me. But what is consistent from showcase to showcase, and from band to band in Chico, is how much I enjoy the people making music of every style. I’ve always said that musicians are my favorite kind of people, and it’s in Chico where that notion was born and has been nurtured. Over the years I’ve made no secret of my opinion that the nominating/voting gimmick we use to drum up interest isn’t my favorite aspect of the CAMMIES. I think that the power and greatest value in this event is that, once a year, it brings us all together in the same room to hear a lot of music and create a memory. That’s the stuff I remember anyway, and I look forward to slapping a few backs and getting some hugs from some of my musical friends whom I haven’t seen in like … a year.