Los Angeles’s Parson Red Heads (via Oregon no less) opened up for Blitzen Trapper and Starfucker last Thursday at the Wonder Ballroom. Not knowing anything about them beforehand, I can say that they do their namesake Graham Parson proud.
They aren’t related, but in taking the Parson namesake for their band, the group seems to mine similar territory. As one person remarked in the crowd, “wow it’s like 1973 up in here.” This isn’t a bad sentiment. The group combines the best of west coast folk music, made famous by Graham Parson and his two bands The Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers, and that sort of psychpop.
It’s been a long while since I’ve seen a band play extended jams and not be afraid to playout songs, to play music on the edge and acquit themselves well. They covered Neil Young with the help of Blitzen Trapper’s Eric Earley on harmonica.
Though I was surprised by how indebted the band was to that late 60’s, early 70’s CSNY/Byrds country-folk-pop aesthetic, the lilting harmonies and precise song arrangements more than made up for that. Also, I’m a sucker for that type of music. It brings me no greater pleasure than to throw down the windows in my car and ramble along the backroads listening to Neil Young and his ilk. Now I can add another band to that mix and one from my generation no less.
Also, the drummer for the band, Brette Marie Way, is my new rock crush (unfortch she’s married to the lead singer). She’s this cute redhead who wears librarian glasses and man can she lay down the beats. It’s one thing to be a cute musician, it’s another altogether to be cute and accomplished.