The deep and abiding love that lo-fi bands have for Brian Wilson is fearsome and grave, attended to as scrupulously and with as much dedication as a monk during a moment of genuflection--and that's great. But that said, it's nice when a genre branches out and begins to incorporate more influences, because more influences inevitably trigger more memories in a listener and spark more unusual emotional relationships to the music at hand.
Fluffy Lumbers, Samuel Franklin's eminently silly (and, by the way, lovable) stage name, makes a slightly different move. I don't know why I first decided to listen to "Cruisers" last summer, an unbelievably catchy, nostalgia-driven tune that I've been listening to, uninterruptedly, for the past nine months or so, though if put in a corner I would probably say it was the picture accompanying the mp3. In a checkered shirt, in a set of aviators, carrying a rifle amidst the greenery of New England, Mr. Lumbers was, well, visually intriguing. And it's not all an act. Garage pop, or whatever we're calling this, has always seemed to me, in some ways, an heir to aspects of the punk sensibility. What strikes me as much more interesting about Fluffy Lumbers is how well he sticks to the lo-fi formula while sticking to his pop guns. All this is based on, I feel it necessary to repeat, one amazing song.
It was so amazing, in fact, that I contacted him--which now feels relatively inappropriate and bizarre--on Facebook to tell him how much I liked what I'd heard from him and hoped there would be more on the way. His response? "Thank you! This is the first time anyone has ever done this to me." That's nice, right? You find a guy who's about drinking Swiss Miss on Christmas, you keep him. Still, I wish he'd return my friend request.
Fluffy Lumbers, Cruisers