Hearsay: Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Local Round-Up

Not that there hasn’t been enough talk already about it, but Kevin Aldridge’s imminent departure for San Francisco is gonna leave a huge hole. The Brasco frontman told HearSay recently that at one point during his band’s farewell show this weekend he looked out on the crowd and saw people weeping. Like, bawling. An emotional night, indeed (crowned by a rendition of KISS’ “Love Gun”; apropos lyric: “You can’t forget me, baby / Don’t try to lie”). The saving grace is that Aldridge is going somewhere where there’s a bigger, better music infrastructure and where more people are receptive to the type of music Aldridge says he’s going to be experimenting with — moody, broken-down, technology-enhanced sounds. We’ll miss him dearly, and we wish him all the best. ... About Brasco’s farewell show: The musicians were dangerous ... to themselves. During Goodwin’s opening set, frontman Tony Diaz twisted his knee, to the point now that he’s still feeling it. Of course, if there was pain in Diaz’ face, it didn’t show. These guys, HearSay’s Band of the Moment, could have sleepwalked through this gig, and they still would have had your writer smiling that goofy, driver’s license smile. The shit is that good. Now for Aldridge: In a sentimental gesture, toward the end of the set, he — feeling the love (gun) — went about trying to smash his guitar. He couldn’t destroy the body, so he turned the thing around and proceeded to bang the neck on the stage. The frickin’ thing bounced back and hit him in the head. “Bumping” into Aldridge at a West Seventh Street watering hole a day after the show, HearSay didn’t notice any visible damage. (A word of advice: Find a place on the stage where you can hide a 30-lb. cinder block and pound your axe into that.) ... A Polyphonic Spree song figures in a Volkswagen commercial for a new dashboard amenity that hooks up to iPods. Toward the end of the spot, when a disconnected hand is shown holding an iPod inside the car, “The Polyphonic Spree” can be read on the mp3 player. Having your band’s sound — and name — broadcast to millions during prime time can’t be a bad thing: It probably results in a higher profile and some hipster cachet. Higher c.d. sales? No evidence points to that. A career? No proof for that, either. If nothing else, this is one of the most ingenious uses of a non-mainstream band’s music in a major tv spot yet. Since using non-mainstream music in commercials became popular about five years ago, ad folks and record people alike have been trying to figure out how to connect a random new song with the band that performs said song. The Polyphonic car commercial solves the problem. Of all the bands to fall into the right spot, who’d-a thunk it’d be a local band? Maybe, like Anthony Mariani says next door, the gods are smiling on us after all.

Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.

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