Rozwell Kid • indie rock, power pop • Vundabar • sludgy jangly pop • Great Grandpa • Crime Lab

Sunday Jul 23, 2017

618 Central Ave SW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
US

Phone: (505) 764-8887
Website: Click to Visit

Ages:

13+

Contact:

Phone: 505.764.8887

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Fronted by the affable, spectacled Jordan Hudkins, Rozwell Kid write massive, gritty, excitable power-punk songs; they channel Blue Album guitar grandiosity and eternally-hummable melodies conveyed in 'ooo''s, the likes of which would make Rivers Cuomo weak in his problematic knees. But when it came to writing Rozwell Kid’s new album, Precious Art, Jordan Hudkins found himself in the strange place of wondering who and what Rozwell Kid actually was. After more than two years on the road, the band – completed by guitarist Adam Meisterhans, bassist/vocalist Devin Donnelly and drummer Sean Hallock – hadn’t quite hit a dead end, but they needed to regroup, rethink and refind their identity. All of those questions are thankfully answered by the twelve songs that make up Precious Art. It is a quintessential Rozwell Kid album and something entirely new at the same time. It’s teeming with understated nostalgia, but doesn’t get too lost in the past. Rather, it recalibrates the past, revisiting it with the added wisdom that comes with age. It’s quirky in the way that Rozwell Kid songs have always been quirky, but more than any other record the band has made, it sees Hudkins diving deep into the heart of human existence, telling universal truths based on his own personal memories and unexamined experiences. “Nostalgia has always been part of my inspiration for songwriting,” admits Hudkins. “I’ve always seemed to pull from childhood memories and recontextualized them, where I kind of imagine it as a big 30 year-old kid wearing OshKosh B'Gosh overalls singing about these things they experienced or thought about as a kid.”The result is an album that expands the strain of weird whimsy that’s always run through the band’s songs, but on which it’s increasingly difficult to ignore the more serious side of things. Nothing illustrates that more than the song “Booger.” Yes, it’s an amusing tale that revolves around the green stuff that comes out of your nose being smeared across the screen of your smartphone, but it’s also so much more than that –it’s a tender, touching and even tragic ode to lost love, that is filled with an audibly sad beauty. “We’re pretty fun guys,” he says, “and I’m a huge fan of comedy and feeling good and happiness, but at the same time, that’s not the day-to-day default emotion for, well, pretty much everyone. So I try not to take things too seriously, but I also try to keep it rooted in some sort of reality. Yeah, it’s called “Booger” and that’s the central image, but at the same time I wanted it to also play as sincere because at the end of the day, it’s a love song.” Referencing something so uninhibited isn’t meant to be interpreted as creepy or misguided, though. It’s human and natural and reflexive; we just don’t talk about it. Elsewhere, opener “Wendy’s Trash Can” is a fuzzy, feel-good power-punk song for the summer that sounds like it could be from 1977 as much as 2017, while “UHF On DVD” is a good-humored, high energy probe into anxiety and insecurity.On crucial late cut, "Gameball," Hudkins is literally out in left field, playing baseball, trying to do well and meet expectations while watching others score and succeed; "I'm just being myself out here, I don't even know where to run," he pleads in the chorus. It's as good an explanation of

him as we could ask for. It’s on “Michael Keaton,” however, that Rozwell Kid finds a moment all its own. The near 5-minute album closer is a quirky take on hero worship that simultaneously and expertly reveals the incredible depths of the human condition. Here and all over Precious Art, Hudkins communicates in his own special language to relay the same emotions most songwriters do; excitement, disappointment, heartbreak, love, self-doubt, and more. This album also marks a new frontier in how the four members were able to write songs; having ample time in the studio allowed the band to be more experimental, and to collaborate in an entirely new way. But it’s remarkability is as much because of Hudkins’ insane ability to balance pathos and humor to turn the slightest, most oddball detail – whether that’s picking his nose, making Batman costumes or liking hummus – into works of, well, precious art. Not, of course, that that title is entirely sincere...“I think it’s hilarious for a rock’n’roll band to call anything they do Precious Art,” laughs Hudkins. “I think it’s really funny. But at the same time, these songs are my little babies – they’re my little precious art. That sounds so terrible! Maybe don’t put that in the bio!”

See also: Show Up!

Sunday

Rozwell Kid
Courtesy of the artist

Despite my deep love and appreciation of pop-rock, power-pop, pop-punk, indie rock and their antecedents, I’ve usually drawn the line at the fragile yet flaccid boundary drawn up necessarily by the advent of sounds that called themselves emo, post-hardcore, et cetera, et cetera. So while Big Star, Lousy Robot, Green Day, Weezer and the Descendents strike my fancy, I get nauseous even thinking about bands like Good Charlotte and Hawthorne Heights. For some hitherto unexplored reasons—probably having to do with my age and inclination to put albums by Ween and Saint-Saëns on repeat when I’m at home, off the job—I thought Rozwell Kid were one of the latter. I was wrong! After spending the weekend listening to their oeuvre—only after my wife threatened to take away my bong if I didn’t take momentary leave of Boognish—I must say I’m mightily impressed. I hear all sorts of germane yet totally rocking sonic tangents pouring out of their upbeat, intricately fashioned pop tunes. Some of their stuff even reminded of things that Carl Petersen wrote when he was young, songs like “Shower Curtain” and “Crashing Airplane.” Anywho, Rozwell Kid has ultra-cool, rocked out tuneage like “Wendy’s Trash Can” and “Kangaroo Pocket.” The video for their new single, “UHF on DVD” is absolutely the most: The riffage and the underlying synthy-foundation could easily have been Blue Album antics. Go see this band, lead by nerdtastic Jordan Hudkins, when they invade Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Sunday, July 23. They’ll be supported by indie truthsayers Vundabar and Great Grandpa, but most interestingly, Crime Lab, the fab indie outfit that features Petersen progeny Oskar, opens the night’s rockfest. Tickets for this 13+ show that starts at 7:30pm are but a Hamilton, so you better be there.

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