Tuesday, February 01, 2011

For The Devil Whale, the End isn’t Coming... it has Buyer’s Remorse.

There’s a band I rather like in Utah by the name of The Devil Whale. Along with David Williams, The Band of Annuals and Paul Jacobsen & The Madison Arm, stumbling across one of their songs automatically transports me back to the state, not because they sing about Utah (not very directly, anyway), but because they were this omnipresent part of the environment while I called it home. It’s some kind of instant nostalgia trip, whether I’m prepped for that journey or not.

It’s a tireless, delightfully hard-to-classify band (really!) that hasn’t always stuck to that name, though the music has stayed largely the same: the rock comes about as often as the roll and the yearning lovelorn stuff also escapes with some similar kind of panache. There’s the fragility of Jeff Buckley in the vocals, sure, but the guitars lend the songs jangly muscles in all the right places, too. Lead singer Brinton Jones is a staple of the downtown Salt Lake City streets and, until very recently, could be spotted within a radius of about three blocks from Slowtrain and wearing a stocking cap, rain or shine, summer or winter. It was practically his calling card; he adhered strictly to the Badly Drawn Boy slacker dress code. And the now hatless Brinton is truly the nicest, most charming unemployed frontman of an outfit that you could ever hope to come across. It’s likely one of the very reasons he’s as well known as he is, all up and down that Wasatch Front.

So they’ve run into some hiccups with their most recent effort. What once was to be released last year and on Slowtrain’s label is now in some sort of musical limbo, waiting on a bit more additional funding before it’s to see the light of day. It’s one of those sad things, too, as they’re the sorts to play an awful lot, in a good lot of random places (there’s an Alaskan tour happening later this month, of all things). Call me an old-fashioned lover of that live stuff, but those who see a good band usually like to take home a memento of the evening. And a new something-something is better than much else.  

This sounds like a pitch, but it’s not one. Not really. It’s more like, what, open adulation? The band is, however, leaning on the good graces of fans, family and otherwise to help them run that last lap, the one that’ll finish all of the legwork they’ve already put into it. I took that leap of faith and added what I could to that mix and, provided they reach their goal in next 20 days or something, they’ll get to keep what I put in the virtual tip jar, so to speak. But this is no charity. You choose what gifts you want to get for contributing what you can.

If I’d have had the requisite pile of cash at my ready disposal, it’s easy to reveal the direction I’d have gone. While it might be any music lover’s dream to actually shape the direction an EP goes along with the ragtag group of music-makers (and I’d have made them put the song on it I may have wrote for them once upon a time), I’d be all for getting them to this part of world to play a house show. As in my house. I’ve got the space for it, after all, and we’d get to wage battle with the noise that I hear every night on the busy street below, drowning out the dueling piano joint, the rooftop bar, the meatheads’ drunken pickup lines and more. It’d be some kind of sweet retribution, really, not to mention just flat out enjoyable.

It’d all me to bring some of Utah to Florida, where my roots are more or less beginning to take shape. It’d allow me to feel a little less lonely than I do on occasion. Not that I’m a sad sack, not in the least—there just happen to be some sounds and sorts you’d rather not let go of. And to every chapter, there is a soundtrack.

To check on their upcoming tour dates, kicking off with a date at Urban Lounge (Salt Lake City) this Saturday, check out their MySpace page, yeah? Yeah.


Rachel said...

Does anyone still MySpace?

Dainon. said...

The few, the proud, the ... something?