I tripped right into the gangly, urgent, danceable music of Ezra Furman & The Harpoons quite by accident last summer, and from the Jonathan Richmanesque spoken word lead-in of “I wrote this song in a paper bag…” my ears were happily perked. With a sound that channels some of the best awkward charm since the Violent Femmes, Furman has found an outlet for the restlessness of youth.
Their music unfurls into cacophony and melody, retro and squawk, The Kinks meet punk, with a dash of The Replacements’ sloppy joy. There are handclaps and awkward yells and lyrics about enjoying the music without worrying ’bout the words. That sounds like a plan tonight when they hit Denver’s Hi-Dive for the explosive opening of their big autumn tour.
We Should Fight – Ezra Furman & The Harpoons
That song makes me want to do some sort of modified twist dance move. It’s all in the hips. Ezra Furman & The Harpoons were signed by Minty Fresh Records while they were yet in college at Tufts, and are still evolving as a band through hundreds of live shows. I like where they are heading. Brian Deck (Modest Mouse) produced their album, and they played to an enthusiastic hometown crowd at Lollapalooza this summer.
After two albums on Minty Fresh, their latest is a self-released effort wherein (get ready) Ezra will record a personalized song for each person that buys it . The purchasing instructions advise you to “fill out the information of who ever will be receiving this special album, be it you or for someone else. Things such as receiver’s name, where he or she lives, anything, really . . . seriously. Ezra and the band will revolve their special message around the information you give.” Did we use the word charming already?
Let’s check ‘em out tonight.
EZRA FURMAN & THE HARPOONS
(DAYTROTTER/”KITE IN A HURRICANE” TOUR)
Oct 15 – Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
Oct 16 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
Oct 18 – Seattle, WA @ High Dive Seattle
Oct 19 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
Oct 21 – San Francisco, CA (US) @ Rickshaw Stop
Oct 22 – Los Angeles, CA @ Spaceland
Oct 23 – La Jolla, CA @ The Loft
Oct 24 – Tucson, AZ @ Solar Culture
Oct 25 – Scottsdale, AZ @ Chyro Arts
Oct 27 – Norman, OK @ Opolis Coffee
Oct 28 – Houston, TX @ Walter’s on Washington
Oct 29 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
Oct 31 – Hot Springs, AR @ Maxine’s
Nov 1 – Little Rock, AR @ Juanita’s
Nov 3 – Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone Cafe
Nov 5 – Nashville, TN @ 3rd & Lindsley
Nov 6 – Atlanta, GA @ The Drunken Unicorn
Nov 7 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
Nov 8 – Charlottesville, VA @ The Southern
Nov 11 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
Nov 12 – Stevens Point, WI @ The Encore – Univ of Wisconsin
Nov 13 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Nov 14 – Iowa City, IA @ The Mill
Nov 17 – Columbia, MO @ MOJO’s
Nov 18 – Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck
Nov 19 – St. Louis, MO @ The Firebird
Nov 20 – Indianapolis, IN @ Vollrath
Nov 27 – Chicago, IL @ Double Door
[photo by Elizabeth Myers for RedEye]