Sponsored link
Saturday, April 1, 2023

Sponsored link

Arts + CultureMusicNoise Pop diary: Chime School rings a bell with...

Noise Pop diary: Chime School rings a bell with full band backing

Andy Pastalaniec's melodic solo pop act gets fleshed out for happy-to-be-back concert-goers.

It’s been two long years since San Francisco performer Andy Pastalaniec, or any musician for that matter, played the Noise Pop Music Festival (go here for my last report from the fest.) But time holds the belt for the ultimate surreal trip: One minute it’s 2020 and you’re playing drums with indie-pop outfit Seablite, opening for Imperial Teen at The Chapel on a Saturday night. Fast-forward two years later, and Pastalaniec is fronting a four-piece band to showcase his new solo project Chime School at a Saturday night show at Bottom of The Hill—with an expertly coiffed hairdo and a spiffy Rickenbacker Guitar assisting with those treacly dream-pop melodies.

Chime School is part of a slate of other local bands including The Umbrellas, Artsick (all off the roster of phenomenal local imprint Slumberland Records) that have re-energized Bay Area music scene. Word finally got out and The Bro’s, once again, are following the hipsters’ lead.

Talk about nostalgia.

Chime School was created on a dare from Pastalaniec’s girlfriend, who gifted him a cassette four-track PortaStudio—the archetype delivery system of analog warmth—so that he could step up and dream bigger than just drums.

That act compelled Andy, the multi-instrumentalist, to move away from the drum kit and directly into the spotlight. It’s an action that has caused the pleasant addition of melodic guitar-pop to the current wave of jangle-bliss flowing through San Francisco, fostering a paisley layer and rounding off recent efforts from his contemporaries. Oddly enough, the talented drummer used a drum machine on his album (talk about ditching the past for the future) but played all other instruments on the distinctive project.

For months, the Chime School project has been performed live with just Pastalaniec up on stage, playing alongside a backing track. Saturday night finally rang a bell—providing a clear shot of its original intent. All those press photos, the ones shot with a fisheye lens, featuring him clinging to a Rickenbacker, now have generous context and fulsome grounding. The color in the pictures matches up winsomely next to those Byrds chords, jangling guitars, all the dream-like baroque presentation floating off the stage and invoking their magic in such a responsive space.

As the 40-minute set moved on, it cast a spell of nostalgia and good naturalness among concert-goers and staff, happy to be delivering drinks and conversation. As one bartender, wearing an Oingo-Boingo concert tee, was explaining to a customer, “English Beat, Pretenders, those are the bands I grew up with.” Other staff employees were quick and courteous. Doing their job, again: cleaning up messes, such as dropped cocktails and such. As one staff employee said to me while rushing to sweep up broken glass “It’s a bar. Broken glass dropped drinks, they happen. It means we are back to work.”

Two years can indeed, be a lifetime.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

John-Paul Shiverhttps://www.clippings.me/channelsubtext
John-Paul Shiver has been contributing to 48 Hills since 2019. His work as an experienced music journalist and pop culture commentator has appeared in the Wire, Resident Advisor, SF Weekly, Bandcamp Daily, PulpLab, AFROPUNK, and Drowned In Sound.

Sponsored link

Top reads

Housing for ‘families’ or corporate rentals?

Planning Commission approves the conversion of units that were supposed to help the housing crisis into very expensive places for short-term use.

Depeche Mode brings San Jose to its feet, then to tears

Memories of keyboardist Andrew Fletcher hung in the air—but hope for group's future did, too.

Long COVID has reached the ‘Russian Roulette’ stage in the US

As the nation seeks to return to a maskless, congregate 'normal,' the brutal virus is still out there, and repeated infections seem linked to longterm health problems.

More by this author

Rejoice, Bay Area freak legend Sly Stone is putting out a memoir

The rock-funk star never stopped being part of the zeitgeist—just asked Moor Mother.

Polyrhythms for the people: Saying goodbye to PhonoBar’s Tribe Jazz

Monthly night thrilled devotees of the sacred wax. No bunk tracks!

Promotion force Throwin’ Bo’s turns five with live lineup celebrating Bay resiliency

Founder Eli Anaya reflects on the sound of local support.
Sponsored link

You might also likeRELATED