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Buzz Bands

September 23, 2004|Kevin Bronson

Pickups on a roll

For more than three years, the Silversun Pickups have been the shy, adopted children of the Silver Lake music scene. Conceived by roommates sitting in the kitchen of a rental house griping about the bands they played in, SSPU spent much of its infancy onstage, playing well over a hundred shows -- always acting amazed and appreciative anybody would attend, let alone applaud.

Childhood is over. And if recent shows at the Echo (where the Silversun Pickups play again Tuesday) are any indication, it is the denizens of Silver Lake who should be appreciative.

"We were so terrible at the beginning -- we were just trying to figure out what we were doing," says frontman Brian Aubert, 30. "But we have had such an incredible support network."

Finishing work on a four-song EP, SSPU will tour with Earlimart in November, shows that will test the quartet's avant-indie-rock stylings in front of new audiences. The band's sound is distinctive -- over Nikki Monninger's loping, occasionally acrobatic bass lines, Aubert sings in a faintly tortured voice, and his penchant for painterly guitar textures is played out in dreamy layers or neck-snapping cascades of riffage Neil Young would love. Joe Lester adds nuanced keyboards and effects, with Christopher Guanlao on drums.

No, it's not radio-friendly pop, but the band is now eager to seek audiences beyond Silver Lake. "For a long time we just wanted to play [clubs] and never thought of the business aspect of it," says Monninger, 30. "Now we've reached a point we have to."

Pat Boone linkage

Andrew Lynch aspires to be more than a pleasant keyboardist who keeps the vibe mellow while you sip a latte at coffeehouses such as Anastasia's Asylum. If he gains any momentum from his recent five-song EP, "Samaritopia," he might.

The disc, which has contributions from members of the Section Quartet, got a boost when a friend's father played songs for Pat Boone. That led to Lynch, a native of a small Alaskan town, landing a publishing deal with the pop icon.

Lynch's songs are the type of reflective pop you might expect from a 27-year-old whose Christian fundamentalist "dad got mad when he caught me listening to the Beatles," he says.

"I was given music lessons by a pastor, but after five lessons, I said, 'I can't learn any more church music,' " says Lynch, who performs Wednesday at Genghis Cohen. "But religious imagery has affected the way I write."

Fast forward

Don't miss the supporting act at Tuesday's Troubadour show featuring Cursive frontman Tim Kasher's side project, the Good Life. Omaha's Neva Dinova -- which collaborated with Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst on a split CD earlier this year and has a new album, "The Hate Yourself Change," due in November -- warms up.

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