Connections: Private Airplane

Private AirplaneIt feels these days that rock and roll has lost some of its unbridled glee. I blame guyliner and skinny jeans for its downfall. Not that those two things are modern in any way, but there seems to be a self consciousness thing going on with rock music these days — a stylized movement — that tamps down the thing that rock and roll is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be a working-class Bob Pollard in Chucks with a Bud in his hand doing mic twirls and chorus-line kicks. So here is a band taking over that mantle of straight-ahead fuzzed-out rock music. They are clearly Guided By Voices idolaters, with everything from their cover art to their recording style to the songs themselves, but they employ their lo-fi in such a way that it feels genuine and without some of the intentional audio hiss and stammers that marred some of the best early GBV tunes. Their genre is relatively unclassifiable much in the way a no-name saloon with a single ‘bar’ neon sign, a long wooden bar and a simple menu can’t be called anything but a bar. This is nothing but rock music, with some of the earmarks of classic fifties, sixties and seventies swing and swagger. No adornments, no gimmicks, no snark. I love getting surprised every once in a while, while at the same time feeling a deep sense of nostalgia and desire for a second and third spin. Top ten album of 2013 for me so far, for sure.