When that great rock snob in the sky writes the book on outlandish opening lines to albums (and yes, it will happen), “Blue Flowers/Blue Fame” from Destroyer’s latest album, Trouble In Dreams (Merge, 2008), should be taken into account.
The opening stanza reads a lot like Destroyer’s career—conversational, nonsensical, pretentious and magnificent all at the same time. “OK, fine, even the sky looks line wine, and everywhere I turn there’s a new face in town stuck inside the well-fresh hells to attend to.” It’s wonderfully beautiful nonsense.
So goes the world of Destroyer, the brainchild of singer/songwriter Dan Bejar (pronounced bay-har), best known for his work with Canadian power-pop superstars The New Pornographers. While Bejar’s contributions to the Pornographers’ oeuvre only hints at the epic and eccentric ramblings of Destroyer, it does showcase the most appealing qualities of Bejar’s songwriting: his airy vocal delivery balanced with acoustic guitars and chiming lead guitars.
Although Bejar has been recording albums and EPs as Destroyer since 1996, it’s only recently that a consistent lineup of backing musicians has joined him to form a permanent band. Fleshing out the spacy confines of his music, Bejar and the rest of Destroyer play with a power and grandiosity seldom seen in indie pop.
But with all of the fanfare about Destroyer’s recorded works, the live version is even more captivating. The glacial beauty of Bejar’s songs opens up and expands even the most intimate of venues, matching the laid-back, effortless cool of Bejar’s onstage persona.
It’s pop music for people who use their heads for something other than highlights.
[Jason Bugg is a freelance writer based in Asheville.]
who:Destroyer with Andre Ethier and Sin Ropas
what:Indie pop with a dash of psychedelia
when:Saturday, April 26. 9 p.m. ($12. Standing-room only. www.thegreyeagle.com or 232-5800)