Wakey! Wakey!, The Spring Standards: Columbia, SC 6/8/2010
“Sometimes you throw a kegger and a bunch of people show up, and you have a good time; sometimes you put out some wine and cheese for a small group of friends, and you still have a good time–This is a wine and cheese night,” remarked Wakey! Wakey!‘s Mike Grubbs during the band’s headlining set before a sparse crowd of about thirty people. Despite the minimal turnout in a college town where school was out for the summer, Grubbs and his band put on an emotional, energetic performance of songs from their latest, Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You.
There’s a bit of the theatrical in Grubbs’ delivery, which is to be expected given his background in touring musicals and the profile-raising connection of the band to the television series One Tree Hill, where Grubbs has a recurring role. Fans of Magnetic Fields or Rufus Wainwright will recognize the pained yet professional delivery of “Got It All Wrong” or the title track.
The Spring Standards, tourmates of Wakey! Wakey! this spring, are also supporting a new album, Would Things Be Different. They certainly are when it comes to the band’s instrumentation on stage, where the drum kit is dispersed between all three members, but the unusual lineup doesn’t detract from the infectious energy on stage and in the band’s songs.
Like the toy xylophone singer and keyboard player Heather Robb plays on several songs, The Spring Standards are a throwback to an earlier era of breezy pop music, from the Partridge Family to the Mamas & The Papas, The Lovin’ Spoonful, and more–it’s as if they educated themselves primarily on either their parents’ records or the kind of vintage finds your local thrift store might yield.
Don’t take my word for it, however–check out these two clips from the show: