If you’re like me you’re running around like a crazy person trying to get ready for the holidays (or the ability to take time off for them) but if you don’t already have plans tonight you might do well to swing by the Mercury Lounge to catch the Setting Suns. I’m a little surprised this isn’t getting more attention than it is. The Setting Suns are Adam Franklin, onetime singer of shoegaze titans Swervedriver, and Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino. Apparently the two met last via Big Takeover editor Jack Rabid, hit it off, and decided to work together on some music.
The first fruits of that are now available in the form of a self-titled EP that’s available via iTunes. I’m not sure how much of the songwriting is shared, but The Setting Suns are definitely more dreamy and epic-sounding than Franklin’s recent, underheard solo album, Bolts of Melody, though I’d have to imagine the songs (including a really nice cover of the somewhat obscure Kinks’ gem "The Way Love Used to Be" [from the Percy soundtrack!]) will rock a bit more in a live setting. There’s definitely less drone than Franklin fans may be used to.
I ran into Adam last week at the drunken Cheeseburger show at Knitting Factory and tried to quiz him about tonight’s show. He joked that they were still trying to write songs so that they’d have a full set tonight. Maybe we’ll find out what this "big announcement" is that is hinted at on the Setting Suns MySpace page. The announcement might be that they’re changing their name to The Sinking Suns — apparently there’s some sort of claim to the name already. I think I like Sinking Suns better anyway.
Tonight’s Mercury Lounge show is the band’s live debut and only show billed as The Setting Suns. Filling out the line-up tonight will be The Album Leaf’s Jimmy Lavalle on keyboards, bassist Josh Stoddard (who also plays bass in Franklin’s solo band as well as his own group The Still Out), plus second keyboardist Blasco who’s played with both Interpol and Secret Machines on the road.
Actually this is a great bill all around tonight. School of Seven Bells are a supergroup of sorts in their own right, featuring ex-Secret Machine man Benjamin Curtis, plus Alejandra and Claudia Deheza who were in the great, short-lived On! Air! Library! It’s glitchier than I was expecting but I really like the songs on their Myspace page. I don’t know much about Mercova apart from Calla’s Peter Gannon is apart of it.
In other Adam Franklin news, as you may have heard, Swervedriver are getting back together for at least a tour next year. Which is pretty exciting to me as they were one of the great unsung bands of the ’90s, and 1995’s Ejector Seat Reservation is a lost classic. Certainly anyone who is excited about MBV’s supposed re-emergence (we’ll see) should pay attention to this. I don’t think Swervedriver have played NYC since CMJ ’96 when they played with the Poster Children at Tramps. My ears might still be ringing from that one.