Staff pick: Connections at Double Happiness

  • Rachael Barbash photo
From the November 15, 2012 edition

There was ample reason to be stoked when Connections emerged this year. I can’t repeat this enough: 84 Nash, Times New Viking, El Jesus de Magico, Swarming Branch. You won’t find a stronger pedigree among scrap-pop’s unwashed masses.

The shows got me even more amped. Kevin Elliott and Andy Hampel’s songwriting partnership was resurrected and revitalized, with an all-star team to manifest it.

Now a record exists. It’s called Private Airplane, and Connections is celebrating it Saturday at Double Happiness alongside Chicago’s CAVE and Running.

Let’s put it plainly: Private Airplane sounds like Guided by Voices. That’s not a slight nor a surprise given that these guys grew up near Dayton and recorded for Bob Pollard’s Rockathon Records. Only in quieter moments like “Strays” and “Sister City” is the resemblance bothersome.

Rather, most of these surprisingly melancholy basement anthems boil over with Nash-specific hooks and exuberance. Put “Nightwatch” and “Love St.” in the pantheon and Connections on your watch list.