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Polvo Emerge from the Indie Rock Dust

Posted by October 2nd, 2009 No Comments »

Polvo Live @ The Crocodile
October 6, 2009 

Let’s pretend that you, the reader, has no idea who or what Polvo is. Heck, maybe we don’t even need to pretend.

According to Merriam-Webster’s Spanish-English dictionary, polvo means “dust” or “powder.”

Polvo is also a band.

Before we go any further, ask yourself. “Why would an aficionado of indie music such as myself want to be introduced to a band that has not released an album since 1997, has always been considered the poor man’s Pavement (both of which started as lo-fi underground in the early 90’s on opposite sides of the country) and who’s moniker means dust?”

First and foremost, there’s the hype around their supposedly legendary reappearance at All Tomorrow’s Parties 2008, which they followed up with limited shows in the U.S. Then there’s the fact that, unlike the Pixies – who hinted at a new album after their long awaited reunion – Polvo made good on their promise to millions (OK, hundreds of thousands at least) with the release of In Prism.

My ears – through a series of nerves, bone and other stuff that connect to the fingers that are pecking these words, that you are hopefully still reading – have yet to hear In Prism. Why? I am petrified that somehow this new album will not live up to North Carolina’s finest son’s and knock them off the altitudinous pedestal I placed them on in the early 90s.

You see, since that time, I have aggressively praised this band to anyone who would listen. The first thing to hook me was guitars, which seemed to be constantly battling, unaware of what the rhythm section was doing, almost dueling banjos but with Teiscos. It was impossible to even hear the muted vocals on your first listen.

As time went by and Polvo slowly pushed out album after album, I began to appreciate the foreboding “under the radar” vocals. Each song appeared to tell a story, but unlike the other member of Chapel Hill’s indie rock click, Archers of Loaf , no one knew what the hell Ash Bowie and Dave Brylawski where speaking and singing about. So my friends would gravitate towards Loaf’s Eric Bachmann and his lyrics, which fit perfectly as a rallying cry to any young person trapped in Idaho, while I stayed up late deciphering  what the boys in Polvo were telling me. By the end of the decade, Polvo had created a seven album soundtrack to my life.

So what will this new album bring? Probably a handful of new fans and more than a handful of smiling faces at shows around the US. What will this new album bring to me? For sure a huge smile whilst watching Polvo rock front and center at the Crocodile on Tuesday October 6, and hopefully the beginning of a new soundtrack to my life after 30 (OK 35 but who’s counting).

And hopefully they will keep making albums until I am dust. Or as the say in Spain, “polvo.”

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