Spindoctors: The Brentwoods///Pianosaurus

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Busboy by Winona

Like Joseph’s post, I’m writing about a band on which I really cannot find much information. However, this hardly matters, for they are the everyman band! If the everyman takes into account only the select group of musicians that adhere to the specific and niche-worthy brand of pop, or maybe it’s punk, that cherishes sass and low production value above all else.

LISTEN TO BUSBOY HERE!

Enter The Brentwoods “from south city.” Off of their record label Radio X comes their self titled EP featuring the song I’m going to focus on, called Busboy. In the same vein as KSPC buddies Slutever and Geoff Geiss comes the opening line, defiant and snotty, but still damn cute with its pronouncement of, “Busboy, busboy standing there! I want to run my fingers through your greasy hair.” I had trouble picking apart the tone of the song…. was it mocking? Appreciative? Romantic? Whatever. It didn’t matter because it was pretty obvious The Brentwoods didn’t want it to matter. They just happened to write a funny and strangely touching song about a busboy that made me want to dance and, more specifically, shimmy. Plus I’m a total sucker any time a song includes “oh oh ohs” and the like, so I was hooked by the minute mark.

It also totally helped that this is the scene I had in my mind the entire time I was listening to this song:

Anyways, there’s not too much to say for this song except that it’s really, really fun. It sounds like The Brentwoods are having a good time, and I definitely appreciate the advent of a sound that still makes you dance, want to maul a busboy, and sing along all at the same time. Get outta here, it’s Friday, go order a malt.

 

Pianosaurus by Joseph

There isn’t a whole lot of information about Pianosaurus on the internet. Most sites can tell you that the band formed in the ‘80s in New York. They self-released two live albums that are difficult to track down before releasing their studio debut Groovy Neighborhood on Rounder Records in ’87. Their song “Back to School” was featuring in Francis Ford Coppola’s short film Life Without Zoe. Then Alex Garvin, lead vocalist and guitarist, disappeared with the tapes for their second album Back to School and the album was never released.  And most importantly, all these sites also tell you that the band exclusively played toy instruments. As it says in the liner notes: “All sounds produced on real toys.”

Peep that Fraggle Rock drum kit. Those tiny guitars and toy pianos (a Pianosaurus is plastic toy piano in the shape of a dinosaur). Garvin handled the guitar work, as mentioned earlier. Bianca Miller played toy piano and organ and Stephen Dansiger pounded away on children’s drum kits featuring the faces of the Smurfs, the Muppet Babies and boy band Menudo.

“Sun Will Follow” is the third song on the album. The song represents the band’s aesthetic well. There’s a definite cute factor heard in the plink of the piano and the pitter-patter of the drums. At the same time, the schtick seems sincere. There’s no ironic self-awareness to the music. Pianosaurus play sunny rock ‘n’ roll and they play it on toy instruments. As ridiculous as that sentence reads, the fact is that while the toy instruments make the music charming, the band also makes plain good music. They transcend pure gimmickry.

In fact, many of the articles I read make this point, addressing those who toss the band off as a novelty with no substance. However, I never read any of these hypothetical naysayers. The people writing about Pianosaurus are the people who love them. One of the things I’ve realized writing this blog is that there is an astounding amount of music that most people will never hear and that music history and criticism, even the branch that focuses on underground and obscure music, will leave behind. This realization is obvious but seeing shelves upon shelves of obscure records put out by labels that don’t exist anymore and people who now do other things drives the point home.

That being said, for every band I’ve written about a select few fans exist. Like I said at the top, there isn’t much information about Pianosaurus on the web and there has been even less information about other bands featured on this blog, but there are a couple blog posts and articles about the band and they’re all dedicated to preserving them in some way. Pianosaurus didn’t gain much success while they were around and they probably never will but they’re still alive, even if it’s only on someone’s abandoned blogspot, and in a way that’s more intimate and meaningful than any of the glam and hype of a mainstream media profile.

 

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