You know what’s fun? Getting a sneak preview of something. There’s nothing like mixing exclusivity with instant gratification. Simply deee-vine. In just a second, I’m going to pass along a not-so-sneaky trick for getting your grubby paws on new tunes before they’re released, one that doesn’t involve going around the artist’s back and finding an involuntarily leaked copy.
Here’s the totally above-board trick… if it’s feasible, go see the band whose album you’re salivating over. Not only will you probably hear how the new material sounds live, you may even walk away with the album in hand. This happened late last year at the RVA Music Festival, when the Trillions were selling advance copies of their new album (which is fantastic), and it happened again his past Saturday night when I saw Dana Buoy open for Youth Lagoon at the Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington D.C. During his set, Buoy proprietor Dana Janssen, who is also the percussionist for a group called Akron/Family, announced that even though his debut solo album Summer Bodies isn’t out yet (it won’t be until May 8), advance copies were available for purchase at the merch table.
By that time, I had already gone from knowing next to nothing about him to being totally sold on seeking out more of his music, so his announcement kicked off a 45-or-so-minute crescendo of anticipation, not unlike the 45-or-so-minute crescendo of anticipation you may have experienced as a kid when church got out and you’d sprint to coffee hour, gorge yourself on snacks and then hop in the car to hit up whatever fast food establishment your parents used as a bribe so you’d go to church without kicking and screaming (c’mon, I know I wasn’t the only faith-based child extortionist out there). Each thoughtful and beautiful sample/guitar-driven pop song felt like a genuine prize during those 45 minutes, and the studio versions found on Summer Bodies have proven to be just as satisfying.
The other really fun thing about seeing Dana Buoy was defying the natural order of musical discovery. More often than not, you know about the band before you know about the side project. You dig the Strokes so you give Albert Hammond Jr.’s albums a shot. You worship Animal Collective, so naturally you crap your pants each time Noah Lennox releases a Panda Bear album (OK, so technically Panda Bear predates Animal Collective, but you get the idea). For whatever reason, Akron/Family and I had never really crossed paths, so Dana Janssen’s side project managed to open both of those doors at once. Isn’t defying the natural order fun?
Dana Buoy — “Call To Be“