Brilliant Sideman Releases Another Solo Record

by delarue

In the postapocalyptic world (not) of 12/22/12, what could there possibly be to listen to? Homeboy Steve Antonakos’ new acoustic album. As a sideman, Antonakos’ resume is second to none. Right now he plays with psychedelic rockers Love Camp 7, psychedelic surf rock band the Byzan-tones, haunting Greek psychedelic band Magges (a pattern is starting to emerge here, no?), torchy Americana siren Drina Seay’s band and also cajun rockers the Dirty Water Dogs. Somehow he finds the time to write songs and record them. He put out an album of several of his signature clever, wry Americana-flavored tunes a couple of years ago, and now he’s got a new one, all of it streaming at his Bandcamp site.

It’s the rare Xmas-themed album that doesn’t suck. The first track, a country waltz titled Poor Santa, finds the guy passsed out at the North Pole, where the the ho-ho-ho’s had taken their toll. As it turns out, the guy’s pension’s gone, his HMO won’t cover his health problems – in other words, this is a metaphor for everything that’s wrong with the world right now and in typical Homeboy Steve fashion, it’s funny – the jokes are too good to give away.

Then there’s December Roses, a pensively optimistic fingerpicked country-folk ballad. The big hit here is I Don’t Miss Summer, which screams out for a good janglerock band to cover it. This acoustic version only hints at the deliciousness of where a couple of Rickenbacker guitars could take these catchy changes, and Antonakos’ cynical lyric makes a good contrast with the sunniness of the tune. The ep ends with Dear Santa, a psych-folk tune with a weird twist – any way you look at it, it’s creepy and gets creepier as it goes along. Homeboy Steve Antonakos plays the Sunday Salon at Zirzamin at 7 PM tomorrow, Dec 23.