Flannel shirts and friendly faces packed Vacation Vinyl on a balmy June afternoon in order to celebrate Foreign Born's Person To Person, released yesterday on Secretly Canadian. The band was to go on at 7 p.m. (despite what the sign said), and the narrow space was brimming by a quarter 'til with hip kids snacking on complementary chips 'n' guac, sipping from conspicuous foam-topped DayGlo-green cups.
Following a trail of said plastic cups through the rows of records, I made my way past the "stage" section (which began, fittingly, around "Rock: F"), up the next aisle, and back to the front - fighting the urge to manhandle an extraordinary-looking Melvins vinyl box - where FB co-songwriter Lewis Pesacov was manning the keg, serving all comers.
His bandmates mingled, finding familiar folk at every turn exuding the kind of good vibes that the band's latest record makes its stock in trade. More appropriately still, the free 7-inches scattered throughout Vacation (courtesy of the Black Iris collective) were for FB's "Vacationing People," the unshakeable, summery first single from Person.
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Properly beer-equipped and with my own copy of the free 45 stashed below a nearby shelf, I settled in at the front of the crowd where Glasser's Cameron Mesirow (sweetheart of FB singer/songwriter Matt Popieluch) introduced me to none other than Beverly Pesacov - Lewis' mother. It's nice to know that even as Foreign Born gets bigger, the distinctly L.A.-flavored band (Fleetwood Mac as imagined by David Hockney?) still knows that home is where the heart is.
Foreign Born's set was short but plenty sweet. They played five highlights from the new record in top form: as a seven-piece, rounded out by percussion, sax and keys from freewheeling sister-band Fool's Gold. The African highlife-steeped "Early Warnings" sounded amazingly crisp despite the narrow acoustics of the room, "Vacationing People" felt like a call to action (that action being, specifically, sunbathing within earshot of a hibachi grill's sizzle), and "Winter Games" turned into a small whirlwind of percussion before bringing the show to a wholly joyous close.
And to think, only a single beer was spilled.