When we asked Cameron Stallones, the fascinating L.A.-based polymath who performs and records as Sun Araw, to cover a favorite album in its entirety at L.A. Weekly's RE:Play L.A. series at the Hard Rock Café in Hollywood, we expected him to pick something like Pink Floyd's Ummagumma, Lee Scratch Perry's Roast Fish Collie Weed & Corn Bread or a minor Popol Vuh soundtrack. After all, we were dealing with the man who most closely approximates the great sound explorers of the 1970s, someone who had recently ventured to Jamaica to record with the legendary Congos, and who returned with the sickest street-level dub collection since Adrian Sherwood took the form to the next level.
True to unexpected form, the reply came quickly from Stallones, who obviously must have been thinking about it before we asked: “Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonesque.”
And so, hot on the heels of his amazing improv instrumental release Night Gallery — a live collaboration with Eternal Tapestry that could score a horror movie, a blissful acid trip or a Grant Morrison comic script — Sun Araw will be performing the 1991 power-pop, Big-Star-takes-shrooms-at-Alan-McGee's-Creation-Records-boardroom classic in its entirety, live.
The Sun Araw/Teenage Fanclub set perfectly encapsulates what we are trying to do with RE:Play L.A.: Find the most interesting local acts in a variety of genres and pair them with a classic album they love and have always wanted to pay tribute to. Those who've been following Stallones' sound experiments since he sprung out of the Eagle Rock-ish scene (which also spawned Pocahaunted and the Not Not Fun label) should be very intrigued by what this seemingly unconnected strand of early-'90s Britpop might sound like given the full (sun)baked Sun Araw treatment. We know we are.
Next on the series: indie singer-songwriter Nite Jewel performing Kraftwerk's Computerworld (perhaps partially in German — she's still deciding) on Aug. 10 and Prince-obsessives J*Davey performing the Police's Zenyatta Mondatta on Aug. 17, both also at the Hard Rock.
Sun Araw + Warm Climate perform Teenage Fanclub's “Bandwagonesque” at the Hard Rock Café, Wed., Aug. 3, as part of L.A. Weekly's RE: Play L.A. series.