The Spires/ March 27, 2010
March 27, 2010
Driving up the coast on a sunny Saturday afternoon toward Ventura, which isn’t actually all that far, it was one of those weekends you could almost feel the prompting of summertime just around the bend. We pulled off the 101 at an inconspicuous exit, pickup trucks and surfers to the west, along what could have been any number of beach-side towns scattered up and down Southern California, and made our way inland a few blocks where we were looking for a plumbing store on the main drag. In the parking lot, we were met by Jason, Colleen, and Catelyn, all generally chatty and in good spirits, and they took us down the back alley to a hidden gem of a practice space in what was some kind of converted commercial space.
After fetching a few lights from their house down the street (the christmas lights and disco ball weren’t exactly enough, and the overhead fluorescents were, well, overhead fluorescents and better left in the off position), we all crammed into the tiny room. Of course, they failed to mention their friend’s space in the next room was about five times as big and not being used at the moment, but there was more character to the little space anyway (they had to move some drums and the PA into the hall, but we made it work).
A simple four count and the three piece moved effortlessly into a five song set (a few old and new ones) that drifted with fitting ease for such a California evening, that suitably melancholy brand of pop that might make you imagine what the Velvet Underground would have sounded like if they’d grown up by the beach. With a reverb soaked guitar and the jangling of a bead chain on the ride, these quietly and brilliantly careful renditions are infectiously mesmerizing, with wistful moments lingering on Bays’ cleverly polished lyrics and incessantly catchy guitar work.
Afterward, the band took us out for pizza and showed us around the happenings of downtown Ventura, which seemed like a pretty alright town (though apparently is a strangely conservative enclave of Southern California). They also had some great variation of Sierra Nevada I’d never had.
Find out more about The Spires at http://www.myspace.com/thespires
Camera: Elliot Glass & Allen Kelley
Sound: Elliot Glass
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