It's Nice, vol. 2: Guster in Ann Arbor

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Guster hits Ann Arbor for a show at Hill Auditorium tonight, so it’s worth revisiting the quick interview I did last summer with Joe Pisapia, the Boston-based band's multi-instrumentalist, newest member, and all-around nice fella. (Check out his personal Web site for info on his new solo album too.) Actually, all the dudes in Guster are nice, and that’s what makes their show so entertaining — unlike some artists traveling in the sorta beige region between contemporary college rock and adult alternative, Guster tempers its slicker tendencies with spot-on sarcasm and confessional lyrics that don’t sound like platitudes meant to buoy the pensive yuppie thoughts of Meredith Grey. Here’s an excerpt of the Guster piece:

Pisapia’s skills as multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer are put to great use on Guster’s new album Ganging Up on the Sun — his deft touch fills out the parts of the group’s sound that needed a bit of touching up after four albums. Guster used to impress with little more than hand percussion, a skeletal guitar line and Ryan Miller’s smartly confessional lyrics. But on the Ganging Up tracks “Satellite,” the single “One Man Wrecking Machine” and “New Underground” (which feels like a brighter, less bearded My Morning Jacket), there’s a newfound breadth. They’re showing the Frays of the world that mature, accessible pop songwriting means more than a vocal tic and a string of clichés. There’s been some dissention among the Guster diehards, of course.

Visit Guster's Web site for a pretty funny tour diary, as well as a series of podcasts where they’re hanging out with comedian Jeff Garlin. I haven’t had time to watch them, so I don’t really know why they're hanging out with Jeff Garlin. But I bet they’ll be happy to tell you if you see them in Ann Arbor tonight.

JTL

*Guster photo credit: David Bean

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