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Send Us Something
By Jeff Milo
I could do what I do…and the rest of the world could pretend like they knew…
Stream: Saturday Looks Good To Me – “Apple”
A random, whimsical weekend afternoon –revisiting a “classic” during news of a “reunion…”
Five years ago I stumbled down into a rabbit hole’s odyssey of local music, consuming it, experiencing it, appreciating it, being moved by it and then eventually documenting it – and I was pushed (or pulled) into these bars, into these practice spaces and into these coffee shops by some dynamism of prominent bands, moments and songs; among them, the allure of an album like Saturday Looks Good To Me. (http://saturdaylooksgoodtome.bandcamp.com/)
This is a band that gets bandied-about and ballyhooed by many-a’-blog, still, even to this day – so its no surprise to see the buzz has simmered over Ypsi’s prolific singer/songwriter Fred Thomas’ recent announcement that the group is realigning to write a new record, re-release an old one, and hit the road for a month’s worth of dates. And that buzz flirts with grandiose language like “pop-genius,” that I, here, am tempted to employ myself.
Well, I won’t care if you judge, I consider the kaleidoscopic chamber-pop whirls of Saturday Looks Good To Me to be “genius” only because every time I’ve listened to this record (Fill Up The Room) their last proper full length release before going on what was an indefinite hiatus. Almost five years now – and I still find nuances to hone in and fixate upon, like the murmuring birds on the roof in the summer sun over that cheery organ’s wavy melody, or the epic, closing-credits-of-a-goosebump-raising-poignant-indie-art-film-feeling you get from the guitar-roaring build up of the tumbling anthem “When I Lose My Eyes,” or that Os Mutantes-tinged ending for those fuzz-gurgled guitars that fall into bathwater(?) at the end of “Make A Plan…”
And “Peg” is still one of my favorite songs, all time, ever, local or from anywhere in the world.
I’d consider genius to be anything that influences the way I think about a work, even if it’s a pop song.
This band was where the incorrigibly offbeat/experimental/left-field-flung pop auteur (Thomas) could get his kicks off to the fullest extent, backed by a rotating cast of talented players. He’s proven, in the time between, that he can be just as productive and provocative-within-a-pop-song-context through projects like the ambient/dream-pop-dirges of City Center, to the resplendent surf splashes of Swimsuit.
Just one hour before I wrote this, Doug Coombe and I parted ways after a photo-shoot at the Lager House in Detroit; he was on his way to Backseat Studios in Ann Arbor where he was going to get some shots of the band, currently working on their first album in five years – which, as reported by Polyvinyl Records, should be out within the next month.
No Ypsi/Arbor dates are on their itinerary – but they play Pontiac on April 6th, at the Crofoot. Their Polyvinyl debut, Polyvinyl debut, All Your Summer Songs, will be reissued on 180-gram white vinyl for Record Store Day!
I have to give it up for an album like this… Like glitter upon a spiral of glue on the construction paper of my brain, it’s stuck, assuredly, and continued to reward me for return listens. Evocative, warming, and pleasingly weird in all the right spots. It probably flew over my head five years ago – as just another rousing little album of sunburst pop with a sweet twee-twirl to it and a shuffling neo-psychedelia charm. It’s proven, through five years, to be so much more…
Let’s see (hear) what happens next…