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Pop Music Reviews : Holsapple: Wisdom With A Wry Spin

June 09, 1987|CHRIS WILLMAN

Moving from New York to Los Angeles can have certain advantages when you're a musician. You can turn the trip into a tour, as Peter Holsapple--the lead singer of the dB's--did in recent weeks, turning his coast-to-coast sojourn into a solo club jaunt across America.

He celebrated arriving in his new hometown and the end of the tour Sunday at Al's Bar with a set of acoustic and electric guitar-accompanied songs, dominated by unreleased material along the lines of the winsome (and highly appropriate) "Looking for a Home."

Also welcome were a mixture of old and new dB's songs--the new ones being from a coming August release, the group's first in three years.

Holsapple is not really a born soloist. Given, though, that the last dB's album was a brilliant glorification of all that is smart and pure in pop, any form of execution was welcome, and the long-haired, bespectacled Holsapple--clad in a psychedelic Elvis T-shirt, playing in front of a lighted Elvis portrait--was up to the task.

Holsapple's own songs are full of simple wisdom with a wry spin: "Lonely is as lonely does," and "She is not your average girl (but) every girl is not your average girl." Some are more biting than others, like "Why Did You Sleep With My Girlfriend" and "Elvis, What Happened?"

Guardedly casual observations, an enjoyably casual show.

Al's, incidentally, has a new and improved capacity about triple its previous city-imposed limit, making it a viable setting for live music once more.

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