Tim Heidecker, the comic surrealist responsible for such gems as ” A Vodka Movie”, “It’s Spagett!” and “Decker”, has formed a new band, which shouldn’t come as a big surprise to most. Heidecker has dabbled around plenty in musical comedy, from his faux-rockstar turn as Dekkar to his endeavor with the Yellow Water Boys, a group that wrote songs primarily about drinking piss (band name makes sense now).
No, what’s surprising about Heidecker’s latest foray is that it’s a pretty damn good musical effort. Released on indie label stalwart Jagjaguwar and produced by Jonathan Rado (formerly of Foxygen), Heidecker’s album, In Glendale, sounds like your typical ’70s rocker, borrowing from the Stones boogie-woogie shake and the Eagles’ corny California balladry. The differences musically between this album and Father John Misty’s I Love You, Honeybear — another release that plumbed softer ’70s sounds — are minimal, I swear.
Of course, this is Heidecker, who specializes in a particularly unique brand of tongue-in-cheek humor. The song titles — “Cleaning up the Dog Shit,” “Good Looking Babies” — are an indication that he has no intention of making a stylistic U-turn by putting out a wholly earnest folk album.
No, In Glendale is kind of what a hopelessly-unhip dad might consider a “cool” album. The album title is of a nondescript suburb of Los Angeles and the lyrics are mostly made up of the minor tragedies that befall dudes in their 40s, made to the music of Allman Brothers and Jackson Browne.
Heidecker embodies the feeling of an older gentleman who just received a raft of expensive guitar lessons, but doesn’t have the meaty, life-changing experiences to back up his newfound musical chops. He realizes that if you can’t write songs about the woes of being on an exhausting worldwide tour, you can at least pen a lyric or two about catching a glimpse of Nicolas Cage (“I Saw Nicolas Cage.”)
But who knows, maybe seeing Nic Cage really does excite Heidecker, and the experiences he details on his album are ones he genuinely struggles with (probably not). Either way, his fans get a chance to catch his act on Thursday, when he and his 10-piece backing band play at the Independent. Whether you’re expecting it to be a performance art piece or just a folk-rock show, Heidecker’s gig is definitely worth checking out.