As we originally mentioned almost exactly two years ago this month, Brooklyn’s Parquet Courts is almost entirely comprised of former North Texas musicians, including brothers Max Savage and Andrew Savage, the latter of which plays in Fergus and Geronimo; and Austin Brown, a former Denton DJ who also plays in New York act, the Keepsies. Lone outsider Sean Yeaton, handles the bass, as they so often do.
Just yesterday, Parquet Courts had a twenty-two minute turn on NPR’s World Cafe, and the group performed three unreleased tracks. Even more importantly than that, they give one of the most comprehensive interviews yet in that inimitably thorough public radio style. Andrew Savage in particular is always great in interviews, and I can attest to that firsthand. He is that rare performer who takes his work seriously enough to correct a misguided sentiment from the interviewer, yet is still polite enough that it doesn’t derail the proceedings. Most people just grin through the exchange and are happy enough to get it over with. Not Savage.
Last week, ahead of a performance at the expertly booked Chaos in Tejas festival in Austin, Parquet Courts played a show in the very familiar surroundings of Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios. As they played selections off of their breakout record, Light Up Gold, I kept noticing how much they sounded like they were weened on updated versions of other bands inspired by Television’s Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd or the rhythm section of The Fall, rather than the original bands themselves. But in this distillation of a passed-on technique, it somehow returned the music closer to its sincere origins.
A lot of acts have tried working the same mines of these pioneers, only to come up short. Considering that such a young band will already be performing at this year’s two-weekend Austin City Limits Festival, Parquet Courts seems firmly in control of translating influences that certain charming ripoff artists before them had trouble conveying to a larger audience. The beloved Pavement’s ill-fated Lollapalooza journey comes to mind, but this ain’t that.
All photos by Andi Harman: