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Saturday, August 14, 2010

What to Do Tonight: Admiral Radley

Posted By on Sat, Aug 14, 2010 at 8:30 AM

Shades or beards? Shades or beards?
  • Shades or beards? Shades or beards?

California indie rockers Grandaddy and Earlimart have been pals for more than a decade. There’s even been some crossover, like when Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle produced Earlimart’s 2003 album Everyone Down Here. Given their history, you could call Admiral Radley the least surprising supergroup since Asia. What is equally predictable is the easy tunefulness of their first collaboration, the recently released I Heart California. Lytle and former Grandaddy cohort Aaron Burtch team up with Earlimart’s Aaron Espinoza and Ariana Murray, and it brings out the best in everybody. Lytle sounds more engaged here than he did on his solo album last year, especially on the majestic “G N D N,” a wining ballad that ranks with Grandaddy’s finest moments. Earlimart’s Hymn and Her (from 2008) was kind of disappointing, but that’s because it lacked cuts as effortlessly catchy as Espinoza’s “Lonesome Co.” or as playful as Murray’s “The Thread.” The real-band thing is blunted a bit by I Heart California’s songs, which are instantly identifiable as coming from the Grandaddy or Earlimart side of things. But that’s nitpicking. The foursome is clearly having fun and has stretched what was initially scheduled to be just a few California shows into a full-blown tour. We’re also thankful they didn’t go with their proposed moniker: Earlidaddy/Grandimart. Admiral Radley, with Hooray for Earth, play the Grog Shop at 8 p.m. Tickets: $10. —Chris Drabick

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