Asking an independent music fan about The Mommyheads seems to provoke either frenzied enthusiasm or a blank stare. Such is the blessing and burden of being one of the great cult acts of the 1990s and a band that has been credited with pioneering an eclectic indie pop sound now heard in acts like Death Cab for Cutie and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (the latter of whom are devout Mommyheads fans).
While The Mommyheads began in New York, in 1990 leader Adam Elk and the group relocated to San Francisco, where they produced a series of strong works including 1995’s Bingham’s Hole, considered by some one of the decade’s best albums. After label difficulties accompanied the release of their self-titled major label debut in 1997, the band soon folded, and while several members went on to well-received solo and collaborative musical projects, that was it for The Mommyheads. Until recently, at least.
When former drummer Jann Kotik passed away in December, band members Adam Elk, Dan Fisherman, Michael Holt and Jeff Palmer reconnected and agreed to perform together at a tribute concert in Kotik’s honor. The experience of that performance inspired the foursome to head back into the studio to record together for the first time in a decade, sessions resulting in the new CD Youâ€™re Not a Dream. A collection of new songs and updated versions of previously released and unreleased tracks, the album comes out September 2nd on Bladen County Records; early buzz is that the group hasn’t lost any chemistry in its decade off.
In support of the new CD, The Mommyheads are trekking on a limited national tour which kicks off, appropriately enough, in San Francisco. We’re proud to present this homecoming performance, a night of all-around stellar songwriters led by some of indie pop’s unsung pioneers.
The Mumlers (closing set)
DJ Roscoe 2000 (KALX)
Wednesday, September 3rd
Cafe du Nord
9:30pm, $12, 21+
About the bands:
The Mommyheads are back! “Bingham’s Hole also may win the title for ‘least heard best record of the mid-’90s.’ Incorporating delicately picked, Television-like Fender guitar chiming, ultra-catchy power-pop infused tenor vocal melodies and a snap-tight rhythm section, the group has fully realized a record of astounding ambition and scope…Put simply, it is a sorry shame that this album did not receive greater recognition at the time of its release and any fan of power pop, prog-rock or indie pop should make every effort to search out this superlative recording.” (All Music, reviewing 1995’s Bingham’s Hole)
Oakland singer-songwriter Brad Brooks is renowned for mixing classic pop styles and making them his own. “An absolute dream of an album! The fecundity of Brookâ€™s true blue pop gift will positively flood you the moment you press play….From chamber pop to guitar pop to music hall to modern balladry to country-folk and so on…