Summer Hymns Wednesday January 31, 2007 Brillobox Pittsburgh, PA

w/ Folklore, The Instance

Way You Walk/Fear The Law/Start Swimming/What They Really Do/Pity And Envy/New Way/Bombay Brown Indian Ink/Trouble/Mr. Brewer (Cackle, Cackle) 

Being a big fan of some Misra records clients (centro-matic, The Mendoza Line), I was intrigued when they announced a date from label stalwart Summer Hymns. Delving into their music from the available mp3's and an old mix supplied to me from an internet buddy (thanks Heather!), I was glad to discover they did not suck. They reminded me of a low-key Neil Young. This show was to be my first proper of 2007 and the first in two months. Scheduling the show late night on a Wednesday didn't thrill me but the hurt I felt the next day was way worth it.

I got to the club and immediately began a conversation with Summer Hymns main man Zachary Gresham. We talked most of the night and were soon joined by the rest of the Hymns/Folklore contingent. The guys couldn't have been more down to Earth and nice. It always fascinates me as a hard-core music fan to talk to songwriters about how they write,  record and put out their 'art'. Local duo The Instances opened the show. Pretty good from what I heard.

Next up were the boys from Folklore. This is the 'side-project' (ahem) of Elf Power guitarist Jimmy Hughes. Ask three people the true definition of  'The Elephant 6 Collective' and you will probably get three different answers. Jimmy's description was no exception and he's in Elf Power!. We were having a spirited debate on the subject and I told him I would ask Robert Schneider next month when I see The Apples In Stereo and get the 'real' answer. Folklore came out and played a VERY melodic set. The live sound was extremely raw compared to the studio stuff I heard. I fucking loved it. Nothing excites me more than to be sitting watching a group play songs you never heard before and immediately digging it! Good stuff.

Finally Summer Hymns played their set, sometimes backed by most of Folklore. Again, I was amazed how good this music sounded to these virgin ears. There were hardly any people in the place and I'm glad to say this didn't deter the band. Zachary mentioned to me that he saw Yo La Tengo in the early eighties with less than a dozen people there. I dropped $20 at the merch table and got two t-shirts, two CD's and a tour poster. Thanks guys. I'm really glad that I hit this show.

Zachary Gresham hand-written setlist

Jimmy Hughes autographed The Ghost of H.W. Beaverman CD cover

Folklore (sans John Croxton and Raoul De La Cruz) autographed print


Zachary Gresham autographed Backward Masks CD cover


Summer Hymns autographed print


Summer Hymns, Folklore, and The Instances autographed flyer



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