When: Sun., Feb. 17 2013
rock/powerpop, 9 p.m.
These days, it seems like every little pop princess and hip-hop mogul has their own designer scent. Up until now, indie rocker Alex Vans hasn’t thought about what an Alex Vans cologne would smell like. “Maybe I’d try and capture the smells of a beer-soaked rock club and put it in a bottle. I’d call it l’eau du Pabst,” Vans says. That sly sense of humor is more than evident on Vans and the Hide Away’s latest disc, DJ Booth. Unlike a lot of rockers these days, Vans seems less interested in pursing a single sound and more into writing a variety of songs, from country blues stompers (“Financial Crisis Blues) to indie-pop ballads (the stellar “Saints”) to bluegrass-meets-Nirvana-by-way-of-Coltrane dirges (“Hide Away,” one of DJ Booth’s standout tracks.) “I have had so many different musical influences, from Miles Davis to Creedence to Radiohead, which has definitely shaped the varying style of my original material,” Vans says. “When I’m writing, I don’t sit down and say, ‘OK, now I’m gonna write a punk tune’ or ‘Now I’m gonna write something folky.’ I usually have a lyrical idea and let the music shape itself. It always turns out differently, but I try to make my voice and personality carry through each varying style.” And that he does. Pick up DJ Booth or catch Vans this week and judge for yourself. —Chris Haire