Thursday, March 09, 2006

a man, a van, a band, a beard

The polls have spoken and the overwhelming choice for a pre-SXSW spotlight is Brooklyn's Say Hi To Your Mom, a band with its own Wikipedia entry. Seriously. It's a small entry but you will learn more there perhaps in three sentences than if you were to read the curious bio on the "bands" website. Say Hi to Your Mom, sometime abbreviated by fans and lazy bloggers to SHTYM, is the work of one Eric Elbogen. Over the course of three full album releases the twentysomething Mr. Elbogen has displayed a penchant for brilliantly cheeky songs with adorable song titles ("Let's Talk About Spaceships," "As Smart As Geek Is Chic Right Now," and "But She Beat My High Score"). One song, "Pop Music of the Future," might most acurately describe the synth-pop sound of the band. The songs themselves tell stories that sometimes seem ripe for the subject of youth-oriented programming like Pinwheel, Today's Special and The Electric Company, but in fact come across as clever declarations of geek angst written from the perspective of someone who probably quite enjoyed those shows.

I've seen a lot of writers compare SHTYM to Morrissey and Bright Eyes and while that's not entirely without merit, I'd tend to describe Eric as a more cool Conor Oberst- you know, like with an actual sense of humor...even if it means occasional dead baby jokes. It's also been frequently noted that Eric is an adept bedroom-recording artist. He must sleep on a console in a decent studio though because all his work sounds beautifully produced. I have a sneaking suspicion that Elbogen is a true pro at his craft and ready for some big time attention. This is after-all a musician who declared on the band's website that his followup to 2005's Ferocious Mopes, already in the can, could be available to a label with "good bands on your roster and good distribution" and who can get the band's music "on The OC and in Volkswagon commercials." And I hope it happens.

Say Hi To Your Mom will perform Wednesday, March 15 at Habana Calle 6 Patio (709 E 6th St). Start time is 8:30 p.m. Their fourth indie rock record will also be out this summer.

You can stream and download a few tracks here....but you really should buy them.


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