Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom has a show tonight that didn’t get a lot of ink in last week’s GO! Magazine, but is definitely worth your attention.
First, the unfamiliar: Slow Trucks, a trio out of San Francisco that makes perfectly fuzzy, throwback indie rock that would’ve fit nicely on Merge Records in its ’90s heyday. (Not that Merge has declined, really, but Slow Trucks is more in that Archers of Loaf / Verbena / Butterglory sort of vein.) The band is the next big thing from Future Farmer Records, a California-based label whose past roster boasts no less than M. Ward, The Minders and The Heavenly States, so those dudes know what’s up. And they think Slow Trucks is what’s up. Fair enough.
Now, the slightly more familiar: David Clemmer & The Stoics, the solo (but band-backed) project of Mr. Clemmer, who’s also the frontman of local faves The Dirty Words. The Stoics are Aaron Miller on bass, Ben Larson on keys and Caleb Kelleher on drums, and Clemmer is the man with the voice and the guitar, and the three solo albums that are really, really excellent.
Take “Vermont Songs,” for example. Clemmer recorded the 10-track song cycle back in 2007, as part of The RPM Challenge, in which musicians commit to getting an album together within the month of February. (Click here to read what I wrote about Clemmer’s effort then.) The haste of the project did not noticeably harm it; I thought it was one of the five best local albums of 2007.
Even so, it was done quickly and, I’m sure, with less-than-stellar equipment, and now, Clemmer has chosen to re-record much of “Vermont Songs” and re-release it. The new version, which includes updated takes of nine of the songs, plus a new song in place of one of the old ones, is done and will be available at tonight’s show. It’s a big difference: the songs are louder and crisper and better played, and details that were buried in lo-fi mumbling three years ago now add new layers of texture to the album. These re-recordings are a very welcome improvement.
Clemmer was nice enough to allow me to offer Frequency readers a free download from “Vermont Songs,” and I chose “Chapter 2,” which is probably the poppiest and most rocking tune on the album. Here you go:
Slow Trucks and David & The Stoics play at 8 tonight at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom, 24 N.W. Greenwood Ave., in Bend. Cover is $5.