We’ve been busy listening to The Flying Club Cup and marveling at Zach Condon’s wee 21 years, but if you want to make the jump to an actual club this fall — you know, one of those things with a dance floor — Joe Williams, the sunglasses-sporting, jewel-dropping 23-year-old behind White Williams, should prove the more suitable guide.
Williams’ first scream-y band debuted opening for Black Dice and the Rapture in ’99, then he hit the road with Girl Talk as So Red. These days he’s a Technicolor solo force, surrounding himself with a laptop, drum machines, analog synths, algorithmically generated sounds, and various pitch shifts in addition to an old-fashioned guitar and icy hot new wave vocals.
Recorded in Cleveland, Cincinnati, New York, and San Francisco, Smoke’s a debut that isn’t afraid to cover “I Want Candy” and then follow it up with a song called “Fleetwood Crack.” Plus, gotta love a dude whose liner notes mention the names of the weepy/zoned model(s) on the wonderfully camp cover, who did the Vaseline-y makeup tears, and even who designed the leopard-print hookahs, without making note of the instruments he’s wielding.
The face of the new New Romanticism…
Williams’ rainbow palette’s pretty various (the angular shards of “Lice In The Rainbow” could be Excepter; the title track drifts with a warped, sorta funky semi-calypso), so we’re offering both the lulling, smooth, Cure-at-the-prom prettiness of “Road To Palm” and the anthemic synth-pop classic-in-the-making “New Violence” for your listening pleasure.
Smoke’s out 11/6 on Tigerbeat6 and Williams goes on tour soon with Dan Deacon and old bud Girl Talk. The dates:
09/05 – New York NY @ Mercury Lounge *
09/12 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix %
09/13 – Montreal, QC @ La Tulipe %
09/14 – Boston, MA @ Avalon Ballroom #
09/15 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall %
09/17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Starlite ^
09/18 – Baltimore, MD @ 2640 Space %
09/19 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat %
09/20 – Charlottesville, VA @ Satellite Ballroom %
09/21 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel %
09/22 – Atlanta, GA @ MJQ Concourse %
09/23 – Hattiesburg, MS @ Thirsty Hippo @
09/24 – Houston, TX @ Walters on Washington @
09/25 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk +
09/27 – San Diego, CA @ Epicentre %
09/28 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex % (Late show and early show)
09/29 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore Auditorium %
* — w/ Plasticines
% — w/ Dan Deacon, Girl Talk
# — w/ Dan Deacon, Girl Talk, Simian Mobile Disco
^ — w/ Dan Deacon, Girl Talk, Skymall
@ — w/ Dan Deacon
+ — w/ Dan Deacon, When Dinosaurs Ruled the Ear, MVSCLZ