I Discoved Polvo! (About 20 Years Late)

by J. Hubner on January 10, 2013

I often speak ill of what is known as the “social networks”. Why do I care what you’re eating with your guy or gal at La Burro, or how last night’s episode of “The Big Bang Theory” made you shoot chocolate milk out of your nose. These are things I don’t care about, and I have a feeling I’m not the only one. However, once in a while social networking proves to be quite valuable and I’m forced to eat a big ol’ slice of humble pie.  For one, you may be reading this post because you found a link to it on a social network site. Thanks to my Friendster account I’ve gotten a lot of folks to check out my meandering posts about music, people that make music, and my campaign to mandate school pictures to be exclusively done within the confines of  the Instagram and CamWow apps.

So thanks for that.

But the biggest advantage to these Friendsters and Facebooks is getting to check out music that folks post that I would otherwise have missed. And even better than the new releases, it’s often the old stuff friends post – the stuff that completely bypassed my radar – that I discover. The other night someone posted a video by a band called Polvo. The song was “Vibracobra” off the album Cor-Crane Secret. I was floored. I couldn’t believe I’d never heard this band. (Though to be honest, the geographical location on the globe to where I spent my formative years was not what you’d call a cultural melting pot. It was more like crock pot on high with the Dinty Moore-like trailer stew burning on the sides.) Fortunately, I had parents that loved music and kept a steady flow of great tunes blaring through the Pioneer speakers at home. But not even my cool parents could help to expose me to college radio. Polvo was a college rock band, and tnd the only college near my hometown is a Christian college, so I was pretty much shit out of luck in the alternative music department.

To me, Polvo sounds like a cross between Sonic Youth, Sebadoh and Archers of Loaf.  They like to get lost in a groove. They’re a two-guitar band who let the music go where it may. Songs range from light, slightly stoned-out guitar floaters (think Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks’ Real Emotional Trash) to all out noise bombs, not unlike that of Evol-era Sonic Youth. When I hear the vocals on a Polvo song all I can think is Lou Barlow, except a Lou Barlow that isn’t sad and mopey like the real Lou Barlow is. A Lou Barlow on Lexapro, maybe.

I’ve listened to Cor-Crane Secret, Exploded Drawing and In Prism so far. Out of those three, I’m definitely digging In Prism the most so far – though Cor-Crane Secret is definitely a close second. There’s a lot to get through on Exploded Drawing, so I’ll have to listen to it a couple more times before I can say more about my feelings on it. All I know is that Polvo has put out some pretty amazing post-punk and noise-rock over the last 20 years, and I’ve got a new band to delve into.

So for today, social networking is pretty damn cool. Thanks Friendster, and friend on Friendster, for posting some random Youtube video and giving me something new to listen to.

Now, about those cat in funny clothes posts …

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