First/Last – Bud Bronson & The Good Timers

May 23, 2016

“A lot of the classic-rock-inspired music that’s come about over the past decade has sounded like a cut-rate version of the real thing. If we heard enough fake Led Zeppelins in the ’80s to last a lifetime, in more recent years, there have been enough ersatz Neil Youngs and Laurel Canyon clones to colonize space. Bud Bronson & the Good Timers, though, are different. Their music is not all dramatic delivery with no substance; instead, it’s the kind of triumphant power pop that feels like it’s coming from an honest place rather than being an affectation of style. For these guys, getting ahold of an older relative’s record collection was a beginning point, not a destination. That they have moved beyond obvious influences makes Bud Bronson & the Good Timers one of the most exciting rock-and-roll bands in Denver at this moment.”

— Tom Murphy, Westword

Bud Bronson & The Good Timers are an indie rock band making waves in Denver, CO and are in the midst of their Electrify The East Tour which brings them to Pittsburgh on Tuesday night (5/24) at Howler’s. I want to thank Ritchie Nitro AKA Brian Beer (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • Self-titled by Third Eye Blind. I was in 6th or 7th grade. Bought it at the Sam Goody at the mall.
  • Your last album bought?
  • Just bought a used copy of Tommy by the Who for $7 at Sorry State Records in Raleigh. Hard to say no to that price for one of my earliest favorite albums. My mom had Tommy on cassette and we’d listen to it on family road trips. All those songs bring back great memories of upstate New York and Pennsylvania in the summertime.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Feathers by Dead Meadow? The Monitor by Titus Andronicus? Low Level Owl 1+2 by the Appleseed Cast?
  • Chronicle Pt. 1 by CCR? Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid by Bob Dylan? All those albums have endured through the years for me. Endless replay value.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • Green Album by Weezer. It was the first time I was ever heartbroken by a band. I loved the Blue Album and Pinkerton, but they came out years before I knew of them. Green Album was the first that I actually anticipated, and Weezer was easily my favorite band at the time. This was in the days before I even had Kazaa or Imesh, so I had no idea what the album would sound like until I saw the video for “Hash Pipe.” That was disappointing enough in its own right, but I still had hope the rest of the album would redeem it. I remember biking all the way to the Scotti’s Records store in the town over from me, buying the album, biking all the way home, listening to it alone in my bedroom and thinking, “This is what I’ve been waiting for? This is so bad.” I was crushed. It was a good lesson in keeping expectations in check. I was probably in 8th grade.
  • First concert attended?
  • Dave Matthews Band at Giants Stadium. I went to summer camp in upstate New York so I was exposed to a whole world of hemp necklaces, lacrosse sticks and prep school contemporary music that I otherwise may have never found. The concert was amazing though. Everything I hoped it would be. I loved DMB at the time. They were just happy and poppy, and that’s the kinda stuff I wanted to hear. Even though I often felt like a weirdo or social outcast as a kid, I was never angry about it. I just wanted to be happy.
  • Last concert?
  • Local shows aside, the last national band that really blew my mind was Parquet Courts at the Marquis in Denver in November. I had seen them before but this show was on a new level. The band does so much with such a minimal sound. I wish I liked the Minutemen and Jonathan Richman and solo stuff by Lou Reed more, but Parquet Courts distills all that stuff into a version that resonates with me. I normally dislike super highbrow stuff, but something about them makes that intelligence seem sincere and accessible. I think the cross section of the audience at that show — teenagers who want to mosh, and savvy older guys who probably used to watch Mission of Burma play in Boston — speaks to that appeal.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Maybe the last Titus Andronicus show I saw in Denver, fall 2015. Their first time in Denver after putting out their most recent masterpiece The Most Lamentable Tragedy. I remember being so sad the next day. Like the way I used to feel after Christmas on December 26th, or the way I felt saying goodbye to all my best friends that I’d visit only a once a year.
  • Least favorite concert?
  • Senses Fail and Saves the Day in Denver, fall 2005. Those were NJ bands I loved in high school with some of my best friends, but moving out West when I was 18, I saw them alone and the experience wasn’t the same. I felt old and out of place, like I had overstayed my welcome in the self-indulgent emo scene. Funny now that I’m older and more secure with where I am, I can enjoy that stuff again to some extent.
  • Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • Never been but so excited. Saw these amazing sandwiches on TV when I was watching the Mets play the Pirates last year. And just the general feel of a tight-knit, proud, blue-collar town in Western Pennsylvania is exciting to me. I like honesty and a lack of pretense. I expect to find both those in Pittsburgh.

Thanks, Brian. Definitely try one of those sandwiches, if you are drunk enough.