Waiting For Ty Segall To Roll Out Of The Garage
Do Ty Segall and Kelley Stoltz ever get together over beers and talk shop? You can kind of imagine the scene — the San Francisco fog coming in on little cat feet, Kelley fresh from his day job in a record store, en route to going home and, without benefit of bandmates, recording a perfect update of Ray Davies-style pop craft; Ty fresh from the studio where, without benefit of bandmates, he’s just recorded a perfect update of Ray Davies “I Can Only Give You Everything” punk rock… Imagine what would happen if ever they teamed up, with a proper rhythm section?
We are eagerly awaiting the release of Segall’s next album, this one a collaboration with another human being, Tim Presley, under the heading of Ty Segall & White Fence. Hair is due out on Drag City on the Queen’s birthday, April 23rd. We wonder if, forced to work with another musician instead of, Prince-like, on his own will force the young genius to add, you know, bridges and choruses to the incredible riffs he’s capable of churning out in songlets at 1:40 in average length. Segall is one hell of a rock’n'roll guitarist, singer, and (partial) songwriter, as he proved on last year’s gem, Goodbye Bread, as well as 2010′s Melted. The Kelley Stoltz reference is true to the point that these are San Francisco-based pop historians that can produce incredible records on their own, but it breaks down when you consider that Stoltz is a craftsman carefully working alone in his atelier and Segall is a tyro churning out crude, if exciting fare in his garage.
The fatal flaw in most solo records in which the artiste-as-utility-infielder plays all the positions tends to be the drumming, the lack of swing that comes from not having bandmates to get that first track laid. From Paul McCartney to Skip Spence to John Fogerty to Paul Westerberg, the underlying and unsatisfying weak spot has been the drumming. This is one of the remarkable things about what Kelley Stoltz has been able to do — as the sometime drummer in Sonny & The Sunsets, Kelley’s got the drumming covered. And Segall’s an adequate drummer, we guess. But one of the reasons why punk rock is so much fun is that musicians who have not mastered their instruments mask it by playing really fast. With Segall — who has more than mastered guitar — we still have to deal with Black Sabbath meters, when we’re yearning for something with a little more energy.
We’re counting off the days til April 23rd, as it sure will be nice to hear his work leavened by, you know, an additional human or two on bass’n'drums. Meantime, we’ll just marvel at his prodigious talent and output.