The Librarians create a compelling, new religion based on sweat, musicianship, energy, and fun. And...if you are even thinking of starting a new band based on some macho, hyperactive mix of aggressive posturing and super songs...don't bother. The Librarians have figured out the combination to that particular lock and you would be a pale imitation. The key ingredient? Pick the least macho instrument ever performed within the rock canon (the tambourine) and then play it as if YOU INVENTED THE DAMN THING. Dress all in black, cut your hair in a pompadour that earns you an envious black checkmark in Kevin Sorbo's sweaty, little Badtz-Maru diary, and raise the tambourine in your gloved hand to proclaim, I AM THE CHOSEN ONE, WORSHIP ME.
Sometimes it's tough to tell if the Librarians are joking. When you see a man in solid black--down to the leather gloves--flailing around the stage with a tambourine, belting out backing vocals while the guitarist is dressed in a bad suit and applying an exaggerated Elvis Costello tremolo to the lyric "ce-ramic lawn orn-a-ments," it takes just a wee bit of adjustment to figure out what's going on. Particularly if you're acclimated to stoic bands that take themselves too seriously. This is, after all, only rock'n'roll, and that is exactly what the Librarians play.
The Librarians began inauspiciously enough, with Damon Larson and Ryan Gan screwing around as a two-piece at parties and co-ops around Berkeley in 1999. By 2001 they were a full band, adding Lucas White on bass and Ben Adrian on drums, with Larson on lead vocals/guitar and Gan as part hype man, part backing vocalist, and 100% solid gold Rockstar, strutting all over the stage striking Mick Jagger poses, rubbing his ass, and pointing at the audience provokingly with his tambo stick. "The tambo stick is my scepter of power, so to say. I point at people with it, I shake it, it's really an extension of... yeah," theorizes Ryan.
In May they released their debut full-length record, The Pathetic Aesthetic, on Bay Area-based Pandacide Records, recorded over the past year at Feedback Loop Industries, Adrian's home studio that doubles as a bedroom. But you'd be mistaken to think of the high-energy tracks on this album as "bedroom music,"--that is, unless your bedroom were packed with two hundred delirious partygoers. Evocative of trashy freak-beat and early punk layered with contemporary power-pop, The Pathetic Aesthetic is rife with a savvy teenaged innocence that both mocks and celebrates sloppy parties where horny guys try to pick up drunk art school girls. Last time I checked, that's what rock'n'roll was all about-having fun, trying to get laid, and not caring that you're a dork.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Peace & Quiet
2. Come Down and Rock
4. Too Fat to Frug
5. Blast Off to Heaven
7. You (and This Bottle)
8. Pissing On Your Party
9. It's Love
10. Thank You For Fucking Me
11. Gimme Your Love