Does anybody remember Lost Sounds from Memphis? Cheery tunes, dark themes, noteworthy members. Alicja Trout played in the Clears; Jay Reatard and Rich Crook both came from the post-punk thrash band the Reatards. In 1999, Lost Sounds made ’70s garage rock that sounded better than the original. Crook played bass at first but switched to drums (he also drummed for the Reatards). When Lost Sounds dissolved, Crook moved to Chicago with his new band Lover! and left drums for lead guitar and vocals. He’s like the indie version of Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighter singer-guitarist who first came to fame as Kurt Cobain’s drummer. Crook, like Grohl, says he played guitar long before he learned drums. When he formed Lover! and assigned himself the duties of front man, he says, “I expected to catch hell, but nobody really said anything.”
Crook says that Lover! was the result of “being in a miserable job.” While he was between bands, Crook was an oil rigger on a platform in the Gulf of Mexico. “I started writing songs in my head,” he says. “I wrote a whole album, which for me was ten songs.” Having nothing to write on while laying pipe, Crook was forced to commit everything to memory. “I had to keep the radio playing in my head,” he says of his songs. “I had to hum them out. I couldn’t let it stop.” He transcribed his mental notes during after-hours in his bunk and recorded his power-pop masterpieces whenever he got shore leave.
No longer a roughneck, Crook says he still sometimes writes music in his head. “My songs come from a lot of ridiculous shit,” such as when a hook from a bad song gets stuck in your head. “I felt like I should be doing something with that.”
LOVER!: Bar Pink, Sunday, November 15, 10 p.m. 619-564-7194.