The last day of SxSW 2010 was miserably cold. A fact made worse by our inadequate preparation and attire for sub 40 degree temperatures, but I wanted to catch the Futurebirds set on an outside stage at the 40 Watt Party. On our way out, the Futurebirds’ manager, Jay Steele, told us to catch a set by some dude in the parking lot and guaranteed we’d love it. Dreaming of warmer climates and jealous of Jay’s Patagonia fleece, I didn’t even pay attention to the name of the band.
At this point my dick was turtled up inside my torso, you could have teed up a Titleist on my frozen nipples, and I had just finished my third Lonestar slushie. I told Jay, “thanks for the tip but we’re out of here.” Then as Oz and I walked out, we stopped in our tracks. We saw a front man that was the embodiment of rock and roll, dressed in a leather jacket, a crazy head of hair, pounding away at the keys and wailing into the microphone. Oz and I caught the last 15 minutes of the set while huddling together for warmth. We didn’t speak a word until then end when I muttered, “That was awesome. Let’s get the fuck out of here.” Walked a few more feet and then I turned to Oz and asked, “Who was that again?”
Well kids, that was J. Roddy Walston and The Business and they won two new fans in Oz and myself. The self-titled new album, released conveniently during Chicago’s summer party days, lives up to that 20 minutes in Austin. The quartet delivers a sound like Jerry Lee Lewis fronting a 70′s glam rock band. From the opening salvo of “Don’t Break The Needle,” the boys don’t let up for 38 minutes. One after another, tunes barge out of your speaker hellbent on getting you out of your seat to dance and/or sing along. Even a slower, more serious songs like “Brave Man’s Death” will have you singing for days on end.
Video: J. Roddy Walston and The Business teaching little kids “Full Grown Man” in Madison Square Park.