Gingersol – Starting to move
Steve Tagliere and Seth Rothschild first met at a Neil Young show at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles in March 1999 — but they didn’t even speak that night, as Young’s performance was so terrific that Rothschild calls it one of his favorite concerts ever. The two musicians met again at a Richard Buckner/Sebadoh show a week later and quickly realized they liked a lot of the same artists. They got together to play a couple nights later and “just clicked right away,” Rothschild remembers.
The next night, Rothschild did a gig with Tagliere, who had just put out a solo album after the disintegration of his longtime band, Gingersol. Inspired by their chemistry, Tagliere soon decided to restart Gingersol, but after several gigs, the momentum got derailed. As had happened before in the group’s rollercoaster existence, band members started dropping out. Tagliere estimates Gingersol has had around 30 members over the years.
But Tagliere and Rothschild persevered. Recording in Rothschild’s studio/garage, they used a handful of musicians to help them make Nothing Stops Moving, which combines the scruffy rock hooks of the Replacements with Sparklehorse’s sonic texturing. Kicking off with the urgent “Help Push The Car”, the record boasts a number of crunchy, catchy rockers, blessed with principal songwriter Tagliere’s slightly abstract “dear diary” lyrics and bittersweet vocals. The duo also supplied the songs with some subtly imaginative arrangements, from the banjo running through “Too Close To Call” to the ’60s psychedelic pop touches in the twangy waltz “If I Could Only Dance Again”.
Meanwhile, Gingersol’s lineup seems to have finally solidified. Tagliere found earlier incarnations good but “really straight-ahead” musically; he praises the current lineup’s ability to “take the songs different places.” Drummer John Florance had previously been in Los Clowns with guitarist/keyboardist Rothschild, while bassist Chuck Bramlet had played with Lisa Hayes and the Violets. “Everybody in the band’s musical contributions go beyond their primary instrument, and that makes for a pretty creative environment,” Tagliere says.
Rothschild’s home studio has allowed the group to “spend time on things you need to spend time on,” he says. The old Gingersol recorded several albums that never saw the light of day, partly for business reasons but also because of Tagliere’s dissatisfaction with the final results. Only a six-song EP was released, in 1995.
Gingersol is currently working on a follow-up to Nothing Stops Moving, which they released themselves in mid-2000. With album number two, they have their sights set on hitting the highway — to “get out on the road and leave Southern California to play as much as possible,” Rothschild says. After so many frustrating stops and starts, Gingersol at last seems to have momentum moving in their favor.