The Royal Pick for 1/16/15: Paul Collins Beat @ Lo-Fi Gallery
If you're deep into the world of classic power-pop, dropping Paul Collins' name into a conversation about as common as blinking. For the more casual fan who can't name everything Bomp! Records has ever put out, discovering the world of Paul Collins is the sort of rare treat that you don't find every day. Collins started out his career with Peter Case (The Plimsouls) and Jack Lee ("Hangin' On The Telephone") in The Nerves, honing his chops as a songwriter and a drummer before forming The Beat in the late 70's.
Without falling into the hyperbole-filled world of "what ifs", The Beat should have been a massive band. A pass through the band's 1979 self-titled debut release reveals a band firing on every cylinder, blowing through some absolutely perfect power-pop songs that don't have an inch of fat on them with crisp drums and guitar solos that cut through the mix surprisingly well for a 35 year old recording. Collins' voice leaps through the speakers, simultaneously charmingly clear-headed and chain-smokingly anxious, pining away for the planets to align and that perfect girl to find her way to him atop a bed of major chords. Alas, the band found modest success in the days before MTV (appearing on the Merv Griffin show and American Bandstand, when those were cultural barometers), but ultimately, never took flight to the extent that those songs deserved. True to the loyal underdog he plays in his songs, Paul Collins has continued to soldier on, having released 15 records as The Beat/Paul Collins Beat/Paul Collins over his career. In another universe, Paul Collins Beat is selling out amphitheaters on a reunion tour. In this universe, we get to see him up close and sweaty, blaring through a duct-tape-infused PA system. The Beat goes on, indeed.
The Paul Collins Beat play The Garageland Fest at Lo-Fi Gallery/Victory Lounge tonight alongside Rich Hands, Acapulco Lips, The Gods Themselves, The Knast, Loud Eyes, Bread & Butter, The Crush, Killer Ghost and others. Alongside the bands, there will be record vendors who are stocked up on all sorts of power pop and garage rock. Show starts at 5pm. More information available here.