The Minders may not have a revolutionary, original sound, but their melodic hooks and instrumentation elicit unavoidable comparisons to acts such as XTC, Big Star, the Beatles, and the Move (Roy Wood's pre-ELO band). Based in Portland, Oregon, the Minders -- former Englishman Martyn Leaper and his wife Rebecca Cole -- are part of the "Elephant 6" collective of similarly minded psychedelic pop bands (Apples in Stereo, Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control). That association gives further point-of-reference for the Minders' sound. There's stylistic overlap with catchy-tune masters like the Apples in Stereo, the band fronted by sometimes Minders producer Robert Schneider. And -- perhaps because of Leaper's background -- there's a decidedly more British flavor to the Minders' approach to psychedelic pop. By adding strings and horns to guitars, bass, and drums, the Minders increase the "trippy" factor of the songs on Golden Street
, their new album. Yet it's not so complex as to prevent them from re-creating it in a live setting. For previous performances, they've packed the violins and trumpets in the tour van and taken a relatively large entourage of musicians with them. Here's hoping the ragtag orchestra is along for this outing.