By Dave Pehling
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A Bay Area songwriter who has been setting the bar high for bedroom studio producers for over 20 years, Kelley Stoltz celebrates the deluxe reissue of his 2001 album Antique Glow at the Great American Music Hall Friday.READ MORE: Scott Peterson Resentenced To Life Without Parole; Laci's Mom: 'You Will Always Be Their Murderer'
While he first worked in the music industry while living in New York City during the ’90s, Stoltz didn’t release his first album until 1999 after he had relocated to San Francisco. Recorded entirely solo on four-track over the space of several years, The Past Is Faster announced Stoltz as a talented songwriter with a gift for crafting lush, lo-fi pop psychedelia.
His follow-up effort Antique Glow two years later found him upgrading his home-recording setup to a Tascam 388 1/4″ reel-to-reel tape machine and exploring a broader range of styles covering bases from fuzzy psychedelia to acoustic introspection to fractured pop. The good word about his music was spread wider with CD releases of the sophomore effort by Bay Area imprint Jackpine Social Club in the U.S. and Raoul Records in Australia.
With his profile raised by reviews praising Antique Glow and his full album tribute re-recording of the classic Echo and the Bunnymen album Crocodiles (Stoltz’s version — entitled Crockodiles — was tracked in just a week), the musician stepped up his international touring and eventually got signed to Sub Pop Records.
His debut EP (The Sun Comes Through) in 2005 and subsequent string of albums for the label offered further proof of how Stoltz had refined his knack for Beatles/Beach Boys hooks and harmonies while maintaining the sometimes fractured sonic aesthetic of his home recordings. He also branched out and helped other Bay Area artists in the studio, including garage rockers Thee Oh Sees, fellow songwriter Bart Davenport and Comets on Fire drummer Utrillo Belcher’s indie-rock project Colossal Yes.
Stoltz would eventually move on from Sub Pop after the release of his 2010 effort To Dreamers, issuing his next album Double Exposure on Jack White’s Third Man Records three years later and opening on part of the tour promoting the White solo record Lazaretto (the guitarist has long been an admirer of Stoltz’s, bringing him along as support for a tour by power-pop supergroup the Raconteurs a decade earlier).
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The songwriter has maintained a high level of productivity in the years since, releasing six albums under his own name along with additional side project efforts — including a concert recording by the fictional band Strat (Live at the Whammy Bar) and the collaborative Falcon/Faulkland set Energy Beats Perfection made with Garth Steel Klippert — as well as spending two years as touring rhythm guitarist for Echo and the Bunnymen.
Last year, Stoltz released both the punchy collection of “power pub” anthems Hard Feelings and the more pop-minded Ah! (etc), which features contributions by Echo & the Bunnymen guitarist Will Sergeant, noted local singer Karina Denike (Dance Hall Crashers, Red Room Orchestra) and guitarist/songwriter Allyson Baker (Dirty Ghosts) to rave reviews. He managed to perform a couple of unusual outdoor shows at the Chapel to mark the release of Ah! (etc), that found the songwriter singing from a third story room and being projected as part of a liquid light show as his band played onstage.
Stoltz and his band take the stage at the Great American Music Hall Friday night for a special show marking the 20th anniversary of Antique Glow and its deluxe reissue on Third Man Records. When he originally self-released the album two decades ago, Stoltz pressed a limited number of records that he adorned with unique hand-painted covers from reclaimed thrift store LP jackets. Those copies have become coveted collectors items, fetching hundreds of dollars on eBay.
This new expanded vinyl and digital reissue of the album by Third Man features a treasure trove of bonus material. With difficult-to-find cuts that were on an Australian tour-only CD as well eight additional tunes from the Antique Glow-era that have never been released before, the deluxe remastered edition of Stoltz’s one-man bedroom studio masterwork features twice as many songs as the original version.
Stoltz and company — his current band features the aforementioned Baker along with guitarist/keyboard player Doug Hilsinger (Bomb, Enorchestra), bassist Corey Largent and drummer Rusty Miller — will be performing a number of songs from Antique Glow on Friday, with band members from that era Kevin Ink (bass) and Ragi Dindial (drums) making guest appearances. Bay Area indie psych/folk band Vetiver — led by celebrated songwriter Andy Cabic — and Almond Joy — a new project featuring Pat Thomas from Cool Ghouls and singer Alexa Pantalone from Rays and now defunct post-punk band the World — also perform.MORE NEWS: Free COVID Clinic In Oakland Unexpectedly Shuts Down
Kelley Stolz Antique Glow 20th Anniversary Celebration
Friday, Nov. 19, 8 p.m. $20
Great American Music Hall