Let’s wax on stereotypes for moment. When you see a large group of young people, all dressed in white, particularly in southern California, one’s mind (albeit lazily) tends to drift to such descriptors as “cultish” and/or “new age.” Unless, that is, you happen to be in an eastside club at a Parson Redheads show; then, ya know, it’s just par for the course.
Originally formed in Portland, OR, the Parson Redheads moved south, to the sunny climes of Los Angeles, all the while growing their band, their sound, and their live reputation. Describing their sound, to the uninitiated, involves a number of touchstones, mostly from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, beginning with the letter B – think: Byrds; think Burritos; think Beach Boys. An over simplification? Absolutely. Appropriate? Indeed.
Because this is 2007, and not 1967, the Red Heads are infused with three decades of influences steering them away from both genre parody and pastiche. Close your eyes and you just might hear a hybrid of early R.E.M. crossed with four part harmonies and (the liberal use of) tambourines.
The group’s debut LP, “King Giraffe” (2007), capitalizes on the best attributes of the past 35 years of Golden Coast musical heritage. Like fellow Angelenos, The Broken West, The Red Heads are doing their part to re-usher in the laid back retro-vibe that has been sorely missing from the L.A. scene since canyon rockers The Beachwood Sparks disappeared a few years ago. Released on the local label, Yukon Records, “King Giraffe” follows up last year’s EP, “Field Mouse Carnival,” which showcased a folkier side of the band.
Having taken the majority of the summer off, gigging in L.A., the group is “back” with a stacked live calendar touring up and down the West coast, with a liberal dose of local dates lined up. Check the band’s MySpace for upcoming live dates, or your local concert calendar. White dress, optional.
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