The Sweepertee….The Balsa Gliders
Ok, so it was bound to happen. Some kind of self-referential, self-aggrandizing, self-promoting Sweepertee, written by Sweeper Boy, about a band that Sweeper Boy happens to be in. However, with the much awaited GOAT this Saturday, and then the epic GOAT AfterParty (GOATAP?) that night coveniently being held at the historic Visulite Theater (link) where The Balsa Gliders happen to be headlining, well, the Sweepertee planets have indeed aligned.
But let me say this first: while I am the drummer in The Balsa Gliders, I was not the original drummer. In fact, not even the second drummer (the second drummer drowned…ok, he didn’t, but I love the lyrical reference…any Pavement fans?). Before I was anything in The Balsa Gliders, I was a fan. Seriously. I was a true Balsa Gliders fan with all their albums, who, like this guy or this guy, stumbled into livin’ the dream – of which I am forever grateful. So here is a Sweepertee written from a
completely mostly unbiased fan.
First a quick band bio taken straight from the Balsa Gliders website:
The Gliders are a loose collective of North Carolinians who formed friendships in Chapel Hill during the 1990s. Their spirited live shows recall some of the anthemic indie rock from the ‘90s that made the Triangle famous. The melodies echo local bands from Let’s Active to Portastatic to even Archers of Loaf.
Now based in Raleigh, Charlotte, Philly and various other places The Balsa Gliders write and perform alongside an assortment of decidedly “non-indie” day jobs. Bassist Greg Jones is an Episcopal rector with fondness for Motown and Zeppelin. Ben Davis and Charles Marshall are media lawyers who trade Guided By Voices tabs over lunch. Mike Ferguson is a surgeon who loves Propellerhead tools. Chuck Price works at a big bank and admits to liking Better than Ezra. Russ Tisinger has some sort of PhD. They tour in a mini-van.
That sums it up well. What it leaves out is the original drummer/bassist, multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire moving to Mongolia (true!). The 2nd drummer
drowning moving to Alabama. Then a fan/friend of the band (me) stumbling in. After joining, I sent an excited email to family and friends saying this: I got a drumset in the 8th grade and after playing with myself in the basement for over 20 years, I’m actually in a real band. This underscores the need of proofreading (not just for grammar, but for “context”) before you hit the send key.
Seriously, I do love these guys and, equally, the music. Lead singer/songwriter, Charles Marshall (aka “Wendell Gee” and a founding father of F3/Oak City) has a quirky, but very interesting voice. More importantly, he knows how to write fantastic four minute pop songs. The band’s obvious influences of early REM, Wilco, and The Replacements are ingrained in all five Balsa Gliders albums (yes, five) over the past 13+ years. In that time the Balsa Gliders have played shows with The Old 97s, The Connells, Cracker, and Son Volt (to name a few) everywhere from NYC to Philly to DC to Raleigh to Charlotte.
- “Prequel” from Summer of Tank (my favorite song from my favorite album and I didn’t even play on it. You can listen to these on the media player here - scroll down on the right)
- “Cooleemee Girl” from Photographic Friends (available on iTunes - if you buy it we’ll figure out how to split 73 cents six ways)
- “Reading Rhett Miller” from Summer of Tank
- “Ken Scholl Would Go” from Cookout
- “Students Against” from Undefeated in Apex
- “Great Inside” from Danceable in Victor (also available on iTunes)
- “University of California at Santa Barbara” from Danceable in Victor
- “Man the Mountain” from Photographic Friends
- Staring Contest” from Summer of Tank
- “Woman I’ll Find a Way” from Danceable in Victor
There’s more, but this is a good start for anyone who wants to hone up a little before the show. We’re always happy to have folks sing along (Dredd will).
The Visulite doors open at 7:00. A great singer/songwriter from Asheville, Stephen Shealy, kicks things off at 8:00. The Balsa Gliders take the stage at 9:00. Robert Long from Atlanta will close out the evening with an acoustic set at 10:30 (playing song everyone will know).
So take a post-GOAT afternoon nap, recharge the batteries, and come ready to post with the Pax for some strong Second F, cold beer, and live music (and all Ms are expected as well).