Ranger Sound LLC
ATT Internet 75

Kelley Stoltz, Page France Preview

| March 29, 2006 | 0 Comments

Kelley Stoltz, Page France
Schubas, Chicago
Tuesday, March 4, 2006

Studio wonk Kelley Stoltz, though he has toured extensively, won’t be one of those cats who’ll credit his modest victories to breaking his back on the road. No, his is a tale of the magic LP that had to circumscribe the globe before he could scratch out any respect in the States.

His homeless second album, Antique Glow, hitchhiked like chewed gum on someone’s sole to Australia, where it became a minor hit. It then wandered into the hands of U.K. tastemakers at *Mojo* magazine, who dubbed it one of the 40 best albums of 2004. “Fair enough,” Sub Pop Records said, taking a waiver. Stoltz can now count himself the second San Franciscan on an influential Seattle label, one who also makes albums that sound like they would suffer if performed live (Barsuk’s John Vanderslice is the other).

Unlike Vanderslice, who never heard a sample he didn’t want to incorporate, Stoltz will have to work himself through a denser pond. Vanderslice’s medium utilizes electronics to spruce up classic American struggles; Stoltz visits the late ’60s. On this winter’s Below The Branches, he breaks into a Velvety stomp (“Wave Goodbye”), says hello to some maudlin Beach Boys (“Summer’s Easy Feeling”), and surely those Beatles (“Memory Collector,” “The Sun Comes Through”). Maybe he was big here years ago.

Opener Page Francis is a little too impatient to imbue Hello Dear Wind with the past’s teachings. It’s certainly not going to waste time giving songs anything but one-word titles (“Jesus,” “Glue,” “Feather”). Beginning rather aggressively in a cross of Sunny Day Real Estate and Neutral Milk Hotel, Wind begins to taper off around “Grass” and fall neatly between solo Jeremy Enigk and The Decemberists. Needless to say, a specific voice hasn’t been carved yet, but these are all good places to begin.

— Steve Forstneger

Click here to download Kelley Stoltz’s “Memory Collector.”

Click here to download Page France’s “Chariot.”

Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

About the Author ()

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.