As I am avowed never to miss a show by Rob Crow or Zach Smith of Pinback, I had to actually miss the first residency night for Marvelous Toy at Radio Free Silver Lake's Free Tuesday show at LaBrie's this week, which was a tough choice to make. But somehow, with all the competition that night, I knew this would not be the most crowded show in town. Since the show was at The Satellite (formerly: Spaceland) I also figured I'd get a chance to track down Rob to chat a little.
Right, on both counts. There were only a few people there, but they were certainly enthusiastic. I wanted to hear the set by Kenseth Thibideau, since he has played with both Three Mile Pilot and with the Pinback touring band, so I assumed I would probably like his music as well.
Accompanied by three other musicians, the band performed a set that instantly appealed to me. The music was just what I expected and pleased me for just that reason. The throbbing bass, the thumping guitars, the methodical, steady drumming, all added up to a Pinback-hybrid that was neither a copy nor derivative, but very much it's own creation. I bought his EP and it is a good recreation of their live sound so I'm very fond of it.
I'd had a chance to chat with Rob Crow, when he was sitting alone selling his merch. I consider myself lucky that he even knows who I am, as his music has become so vital to my existence. Telling him how much I enjoyed the Rob and Zach Show at Detroit Bar in July, he thanked me and asked if I had heard what happened on that tour. He told me how Zach had been called back to San Diego when his wife gave birth prematurely to their first child, and Rob finished the tour alone. I felt doubly lucky to have seen the show when I did.
I asked what he would be performing, and he sheepishly said he was going to try to play 30 songs as fast as he could. I wasn't sure if he was serious until he did just that. I'd never seen him play solo acoustic before and it was thrilling, and he did play 30 songs ranging from songs off his Living Well CD to songs I couldn't recognize.
His voice was sharp and showed it's remarkable flexibility and his guitar playing dazzled me with a variety of techniques. He plowed through one song after another, only breaking when he needed to catch breath or something unexpected threw him, but his stamina and perseverance were something to behold. It's no wonder Rob Crow is one of my favorites.