Adam Goldman, although a nice guy and talented musician, has difficulty with conversation. This isn't to say he's painfully shy and monosyllabic, but rather, he speaks almost entirely in tangents. Fortunately, this is not reflected in the music of his psychedelic pop band, thebrotheregg. While complex and challenging, it's never muddled, and makes its points concisely and with great beauty.
As thebrotheregg's sole constant since forming in 1992, Goldman shies from the notion that he's the brain behind the group. Constantly deferring credit to bandmates past and present, he seems quite enamored with the idea that their debut full-length, snowflake & fingerprint machine, is as much the result of random chance as it is hard work and calculated moves. The truth, however, points more towards the latter.
Long an admirer of the eccentric pop-psych of the Bevis Frond, Goldman sent a demo CD to that group's mastermind, Nick Saloman. In short order, thebrotheregg was signed to Saloman's UK-based Woronzow Records and given carte blanche to make an album. Add several months, an equal number of musicians, sixteen tracks, and a lengthy session in a Montana cabin/studio, and you get the finished record.
But unlike the circumstances that produced it, snowflake makes for a consistent and enjoyable listen. Pastoral, psychedelic, arranged, and freewheeling in equal measures, the album warrants multiple visits. Then there are the lyrics; with Goldman's obfuscatory personality dominating every phrase, they almost seem to be more about the sound of the words rather than their meaning. This is not necessarily a bad thing.
Currently a septet, thebrotheregg's line-up features Goldman and Kevin Cruise on guitar, Sam Ross (cello), Topher Towe (drums), Michael Weaver (keys), Keith Brush (bass), and the recently added Kaitlyn ni Donovan on violin. (For her part, ni Donovan says she's had " more fun in this band than any other ") Naturally, everyone helps out with the singing.
Celebrating the album's US release (snowflake came out in the UK last year--Goldman is blissfully ignorant of overseas sales figures) on Rubric Records, the band is performing at the Blackbird this Friday (3/15) and later this month at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Go see them. Your ID and sense of adventure may be required, but leave your caps lock and space key at home.