Micha Barnes 2 p.m., Oct. 16
Portland-based Kyle Craft is only the latest “discovery” from long-lived label Sub Pop, which years ago ceased being novelty grunge enablers and now embraces everything from hardcore to new age. Craft’s 2016 debut for the label, Dolls of Highland, was basically a 1970s garage-rock album tailored for 21st-century ears, with jukebox sing-alongs and plenty of ciggie-soaked guitar riffing and solo singer-songwriter lyricism. Then a few weeks ago, he kind of took a left turn with Girl Crazy, a collection of songs covering female acts that one wouldn’t assume to be a natural fit, including Patsy Cline, TLC, Jenny Lewis, Patti Smith, Sharon Van Etten, and even Cher’s “Believe.”
With an upcoming gig at the Casbah on March 8, you might expect the tour to be in support of Girl Crazy, but advance press indicates he’s actually trying out songs from a second Sub Pop full-length due later this year, Full Circle Nightmare, his first non-homemade album to be recorded in a full studio, assisted by Decemberists producer Chris Funk. That’s a lot of music in two years. No preview tracks were available at this writing, and I prefer to listen to the newest music by upcoming acts being covered in this column, so I went ahead and spun a few random Girl Crazy tracks while writing this blurb. My toes tapped the whole time, and that rarely happens.
Either I’m suffering early onset of Parkinson’s, or this is some pretty catchy and engaging stuff, even if it did apparently start on a lark that doubled as commercial product between his “real” albums. Let’s hope the concert setlist manages to include tracks like these dating back at least as far as late 2017.
- Age limit: 21+
- When: Thursday, March 8, 2018, 8 p.m.
- Cost: $12