Stephen Prina

WHY AREN’T THERE MORE debut records like Stephen Prina’s genteel Push Comes To Love (Drag City)? Backing the LA-based artist and sometime Red Krayola keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist are those Chicago don’t-call-them-postrock guys—Jim O’Rourke, Sam Prekop, John McEntire, David Grubbs, Rob Masurek—making subtly envelope-pushing, saw-assed, laid-back grooves. It’s totally the band you want to book when you go make your first record: Intuitive players, they can handle backing and lead roles without too much ego fuss (it doesn’t hurt that there are geeks the world over who will buy any record they fart on). And the lyrics accompanying Prina’s pop productions are hilarious and dropdead smart, adapted from the writings of some killer American wordsmiths—Lynne Tillman, Dennis Cooper, Amy Gerstler, and Benjamin Weisman. Can this guy pick friends?

“Writing my own pop songs was a frightening proposition,”

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