Who says punk rock can’t hold a candle to literature? Though it may lean more towards giving authors a hot foot rather than commiserating in eloquence, the genre is a shining example of those generational voices seen in, say, the literary Brat Pack of the ’80s.
“The funny thing is, those aren’t even the authors I like,” Andrew Savage, the frontman of Parquet Courts tells the Appeal.
The Brooklyn-based band got their start after Savage reconvened with fellow Texas transplant and guitarist Austin Brown to make music in New York. The two met in college and connected at a record listening club quaintly titled “The Knights of the Round Turntable.” Savage brought on his brother Max on drums and bassist Sean Yeaton, whom he’d previously met at a house show.
Those serendipitous and close relationships make for surprisingly confessional lyrics on the band’s latest LP, the critically acclaimed Light Up Gold.
In quite a few of the songs, San Francisco makes an appearance. “I had a girlfriend who moved there a few years back that I still love. The city definitely influences me,” Savage says.
Circling back to books, Savage is a fan of blurred boundaries; the ambiguous areas of literature in which poetry and prose not only cross but intertwine.
“I read a lot of fiction,” Savage says, “I’ve been traveling with this short story book by Don Barthelme that I’m finally getting around to reading. He straddles that line between poetry and prose.”
The playful postmodernist informs many of Parquet Courts’ wry sardonics, from the quintessential “Stoned and Starving” to early track “Other Desert Cities,” its slow-burn first half amplified by the matter-of-fact warble of Savage’s vocals until the churning of guitars sets in. Savage rattles off a host of similar pomo influences, from Pynchon to Wallace.
“That biography that D.T Max did [Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story] was beautiful. It just makes him so human,” Savage says.
Though often pegged as a slacker band, the multifaceted quartet are clearly more than meets the eye. A typical Parquet Courts show can range from an audience of moshers to laid back punkers nodding along, their eyes permanently glued to the stage. Parquet Courts’ show tonight at the Rickshaw Stop promises to be just as engaging.
The band’s been hard at work touring the US and is set to hit Europe later this summer. Already they’ve recorded 28 new songs for a planned EP and subsequent LP.
“The EP is slated for October as more of a standard 12” 45 and we’ve got a proper LP expected next February,” Savage says.
“it’s a nice mixture of Light Up Gold and American Specialties. We certainly won’t alienate any of our fans.”