Ok, so here's the thing: I'm a big friggin' sap. And there are few bands that connect with that sap, in all its glory and its complicated "but no it's not really sap" sapness, than Saturday Looks Good To Me. SLGTM hail originally from Michigan, though frontman and primary songwriter Fred Thomas has since moved to Brooklyn (good for me, bad for all of you guys). Over the years they've been described as having some sort of latter day Beach Boys-esque ethos, or perhaps something Phil Spector-y. I don't know from music name-dropping, so I rely on the obnoxiously overdetermined to tell it to me: Pitchfork, as always, has slightly off-kilter reads of this, suggesting that,
[they] are catering to a perception of the 1960s that never actually existed; they channel their own experiences into decades they've never lived, and speak to an audience who can appreciate Phil Spector references, bombastic Pet Sounds percussion, garage organ, and the kind of tambourine that once grounded a rhythm rather than embellished it, but necessarily can't experience these components with the same kind of time-warp authenticity that the music exudes.
Er, yeah. The band are, apparently, also "what The Beach Boys might have sounded like if they recorded in an underwater cove." Uh sure. No matter. To me, they're pretty close to the perfect guitar-based pop/rock outfit (and they're pretty awesome folks to boot -- they've crashed on my floor and eaten my buffalo chili, and nearly brought down my house, literally, at a now-legendary dance party where I was convinced my floor would cave in from the raucousness).
Fred Thomas' lyrics have *a lot* to do with this love. The closing lines of his song "I Wish I Could Cry" nearly ended up in my dissertation: Progress eventually creates its own casualties. Ha! Thomas is a smarty pants lyricist who creates little tableaux of love, loss, and everything inbetween, usually with a small-town sensibility in terms of the sorts of spaces that emotions play out -- walks across town, getting tipsy at after hours parties, the quiet, muted colors of a fall day. He's a romantic, HT-style: layers of sweet-sounding metaphors to obscure a fundamental attraction that could either end well or crash and burn. I love it. Take a listen. If you like what you hear, you should see them play in a couple of weeks, when they embark on a big US tour in support of their wonderful new album, "Fill Up the Room."