Thursday, August 11, 2011
John Lennon, perhaps the cultural poster child of the era, once said, “The thing the ’60s did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn’t the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.”
That could easily be the founding ethos of The Parties – at least musically. The San Francisco-based band, hitting Monterey as part of a mini West Coast tour in support of its last release, 2010’s Coast Garde, is all about the sunny guitar-pop and melodic psychedelia that defined bands like The Beatles during the decade.
“It’s kind of remarkable how much the ’60s music has echoed throughout the last four decades,” says Adam Symons, The Parties’ lead guitarist. “We’re kind of carrying on the torch.”
That’s certainly true on cuts like “Can’t Seem to Get My Mind Off You,” which bounces along with the kind of groovy guitar line and dreamy vocal harmonies that would drive a teenage girl wild on The Ed Sullivan Show. Silly-yet-stirring story-song “Leavin’ the Light On” – in which drunken Peg “stole a kazoo/ The constable came and locked her in up the zoo/ with a pink cockatoo” – might fit nicely on the album Help!
According to Symons, though the band began with a self-conscious intention to emulate that ’60s sound, a number of personnel changes in recent years have brought together a lineup working more naturally from a common retro point of view.
“Now everybody is big into that sound. It’s really where we’re all coming from,” Symons says, citing The Byrds, The Kinks and The Who as some of the group’s other favorite musical acts and influences.
“I think we all just write music,” he adds. “We don’t try to adapt things to make them sound more ’60s-ish, that’s just the way we play. We’re sort of in this groove.”
THE PARTIES and BYE BYE BLACKBIRD play at 9pm Thursday, Aug. 11 at Jose’s Lounge Underground, 638 Wave St., Monterey. Free. 655-4419.