If I ever had a new aria to learn I would listen to Gedda first in order to make sure I was “doing it right.”
Garrett Harris 4 p.m., Feb. 27
RIYL: Minmae, Gogol Bordello
Influences: Devo, the Loving Spoonful, Harry Nilsson, the Childballads, Morrissey, Gogol Bordello, Robert Wyatt, Karen Dalton, the Riverbottom Nightmare Band
San Diego’s smartypants indie cabal, a collection of groups that rely on too-cool insider jokes, former-band-geek exclusivity, and counterculture self-righteousness, has an unusual member, Roxy Jones. Watching any of these acts live, you come to think that the bandmembers expect artistic credibility and a contract with Epic Records because they have the ability to irritate their audience. Although, unlike many of these local acts of the same snotty flavor, Roxy displays cohesion and talent.
The band includes singer/guitarist Peter Graves (League of Haloses), drummer Darrin Lee (Tragic Tantrum, London Below), Phillip Dupasquier (bass, guitar), and Rose Rock (piano, organ). While Peter Graves forces his voice a tad off-key for short stretches to impart artiness, this seems to be Roxy’s only “unorthodox” technique. On the whole, Roxy uses few high-minded concepts and instead employs a good amount of solid, traditional, good ol’ rock-and-roll elements — a refreshing notion for a local indie act. As a result, Roxy Jones remains approachable to mainstream audiences as well as the black-rimmed-eyeglass-wearing “I’m so much more independent than you” crowd.
The band’s instrument work is top notch. Graves’s lyrics deal mostly with past conversations and features of a cityscape, mentioning bars, broken glass, 7-Elevens, interaction with neighbors, and his own introspections.
Roxy Jones released their album Wasn’t Tomorrow Horrible in 2007, followed by Chantal Goya in late 2009, and Lullabies and Warcries in 2011.