Some of you might remember Slowpoke Rodriguez, slowest mouse in all of Mexico. Either way, it's not important considering other priorities in life. A simple picture should suffice. However, many of you might not know Boston's Speedy Ortiz--a rising indie rock group featuring former-New Yorker, Sarah (Sadie) Dupuis. In the great tradition of brainy rockers, Dupuis doubles as a student/faculty member in the English department at UMass Amherst. That said, I couldn't quite make out if she said that she wanted to be a Pynchon scholar or a Simpsons scholar. Yes, to be actually accurate, Speedy Ortiz are products of the Western Mass scene, but they've been playing in Boston so much since coming into being this past year that they deserve to be called honorary Allstonians. Tonight they'll be at TT's, followed by a Middle East show in October (10/12) and a Great Scott show in November (11/7). For sure, they will be a band to watch in 2013. Inbound Sounds had a chance to catch up with Dupuis on a break somewhere between updating her syllabus and breaking a guitar string.
[photo: Steven Stover]
Exhibit -A- really should be Speedy Ortiz's Sports EP, which is perusable here on the group's Bandcamp page (and also available on 10" and cassette formats).
With it's refreshing homages to mid-90s West Coast rock, Sports jumps out as one of the best recent releases of the classic indie variety. Unsurprisingly, it was mixed by Northampton's Justin Pizzoferrato who has been doing tons of amazing stuff lately (see also, the new Banditas). On "Basketball" and "Indoor Soccer" Dupuis and company conjure mathy/melodic groups like That Dog and Polvo with sticky, twangy guitars (de-tuned?), limber/angular chord shapes, a tad of spookiness and the detached undertone of comfortably blasé vocals. It comes naturally to a singer who once played in an all-female Pavement cover band called Babement. "My interest is mostly in guitar-oriented music to the point where some point I feel like I’m a little bit rockist," says Dupuis about her interest in the era of Matador Records and the compact disc. “My car is kind of an elephants graveyard for cut-outs."
"Curling," the self-involved, break-up power ballad of the bunch, is probably my favorite track here. "If it hasn't already my time is going to come. I'm going to get old and weird," sings Dupuis. It's an opening-line worthy either of Thomas Pynchon or Homer Simpson. Take your pick. These are songs you are going to listen to and then look forward to hearing when you see Speedy Ortiz live. And whether or not these songs are really about sports is sort of up to the listener. While they certainly do contain lots of athletically-oriented lyrics (especially "Basketball") these gym-themed rhymes don't really get in the way of the songs too much. Some of the sportiness is tenuous at best. Consider it a loose theme with probably a few doctored-lyrics just for continuity. Although a cover of Kenny Loggins' "Playing with the Boys" would have been appreciated. Next time, Sarah?
with RIBS, Cradle to the Grave
TT the Bears Place
Wednesday, September 5
$8, 18+, 8:30PM
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About the authorJonathan Donaldson is a Boston-based musician, writer, and second-generation music junkie. An Ohio native who moved to Boston in 1998, Jonathan's musical loves include R&B, psych, punk, bubblegum, country, electronic, More »
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