Friday, September 12, 2008 TOBY GOODSHANK w/Schwervon! and Brook Pridemore
Heirloom Arts Theatre
155 Main St
$5 - 8:00PM - all ages
DIRECTIONS: Click here
Lyrics like "Staple my penis shut and nail it to the wall" usually suggest cheap potty humor; but, in the world of Toby Goodshank, even the most perverted images retain a soulful grandeur, sung with a tender baritone that could melt hearts and cocks alike. After recording 14 solo albums in just five years, Goodshank is a veritable gland of lo-fi acoustic gems -- a legend in his Anti-Folk community and a mystery to bio-musicologists: how does he do it? The soft-spoken, enigmatic Goodshank made his high-profile debut playing acoustic guitar in The Moldy Peaches (Rough Trade). Once that band began its indefinite hiatus, Goodshank kicked his solo career into overdrive, pumping out albums the way some men pump out semen, touring Europe twice with the likes of Jeffrey Lewis (Rough Trade) and fellow Moldy Peach Kimya Dawson (K Records). In a relatively short amount of time, Toby Goodshank has become a crucial voice in the underground NYC music scene, with unconventional song-structures and surreal lyrics supported by an uncommonly professional approach to his performative craft.
His records range from the soothing (2004's lush "Safe Harbor") and simple (2003's voice-and-guitar "We Can Build You") to the frenetic (2004's electronic "Come Correct") and preposterous (2002's erratically joyous "Music for Heroes, Volumes 1-3"). Recent albums like "Jyusangatsu" (2005) and "di santa ragione" (2006) find Goodshank synthesizing his history of sonic moods into a seamless blend of chunky guitars, crystal-clear vocals, fringe sexuality, and a rotating cast of Anti-Folk comrades.
A prolific performer, Goodshank inhabits the stages of NYC both solo and with bands Double Deuce (along with sister Angela Babyskin) and The Tri-Lambs (with Angela and her sister Crystal Babyskin). These projects have "Goodshank" written all over them, with his signature heart-felt pornographic tendencies lending the songs a sense of erotic wonder and innocence. If Anti-Folk has ever known a legend in the making, destined to have his records collected by the troubled teenagers of the future, it is Toby Goodshank.
Schwervon! have been making DIY rock music since 1999, soon after they met and fell in love amidst the fertile gutters of downtown New York City. Together they have released two albums (Quick Frozen Small Yellow Cracker and Poseur) on Olive Juice Music and on Teenage Fanclub Drummer Francis MacDonald's label Shoeshine Records. They have made two videos, one for the song "Dinner" from their debut album, and one for the song "Swamp Thing" (Poseur). They have fully embraced their "Sonny & Cher meets the Pixies" comparisons and are not afraid to to fight, cook dinner, and deconstruct rock scenes all in a days work.
Their third record is entitled I Dream of Teeth. A couple's therapy session gone awry - they reveal their dirty truths unashamedly as anxious lyrics fringe dinosaur stomp drums and walls of guitar squalls. Their reconciliatory keyboard acts like a third bandmate. There is a rap song and a group sing along. There is a Herman Dune cover. There are a couple horns and some harmonies. But there is mostly Matt & Nan, warts and all, duking it out in true psychedelic pop glory.
Brook Pridemore was born on the lowest rung of the middle class in Detroit, MI. Obsessed with melody from the get-go, he banged on pianos, drums and whatever else he could find, until he was got his first guitar at the age of fourteen. Arguments erupted over influences, genres and who would play what, and bands dissolved quicker than you could say "artistic differences." As the Nineties ground to a schreeching halt, Brook found himself clean-scrubbed, wide-eyed and brandishing a shiny new acoustic guitar. Actually, it wasn't very shiny at all, it was black, but it served its purpose. He wrote a whole batch of songs about his favorite bands, girls he wanted to meet, and people who had done him wrong.
Flash forward a few years. Brook found himself living in New York (actually, New Jersey), coping with life in the big city and trying to meet other like-minded songwriters. The culmination of those last few Michigan years was documented in compilation form with Metal and Wood, a collection of home recordings and acoustic tracks. Much traveling and friend-making ensued, planting the inspirational seed for First Name/Last Name, the first fully-realized studio recording of Brook Pridemore songs.
More traveling, love, loss, and the deaths of several close friends led to the writing of The Reflecting Skin, a new album of singalong-able songs for eager crowd-participation enthusiasts. On The Reflecting Skin, Brook Pridemore strives to put the PUNK in punk-folk, tries to play his guitar like a drum set, and, hopefully, earns redemption. Eleven danceable folk songs that'll make you dance. Serious metaphor buried in nonsensical jargon and cheeky pop-culture referencing. Brave new world.