One of the region’s more promising team of jammers, Elsinore, swung through Subterranean in August in support of an EP. I clear my calendar for bands like Elsinore, so I happily bought a ticket way in advance.
And thanks be to pals who like getting to shows early, because without ’em that eve, I don’t think I’d know about Minor Characters yet.
Their set, which opened the night for Village and then Elsinore, happened to be the first I’d heard in awhile — I think since this Spring show — where an opener moved me. Actually, Minor Characters left me with such an impression that I remember thinking — and later writing — that I’d be happy to write about their music if and when the boys got some tunes recorded.
Shelby Pollard, of Minor Characters, held me accountable to what I’d written by reaching out about a month ago via email, delighted that he and his mates had indeed recorded an EP. This is me upholding my end of the deal.
Now, it’s hard disliking a band as presently humbling as Minor Characters. The night of the Elsinore gig, their between-song banter brimmed with giddy. They relished the opportunity to play in front of people — let alone to a good amount of Elsinore fans, who, let’s be honest, hadn’t paid an hour’s worth of work pay to see a band they probably hadn’t heard of.
And yet, and yet, Minor Characters didn’t shy from extending expected blessings to denizens packed inside Subterranean and, especially, the pair of bands to come. Their shout-out to Elsinore was fondly memorable, and a happy transparency that felt nice and honest.
That brand of modesty stretches to their name, even. I mean, Minor Characters, a name that might boldly say, “yes, we are the atmosphere to the music industry’s superstar.” These are guys that get their fill with or without frontman spotlight. I like that. The moniker doesn’t mean they’re destined to ride coattails ’til the end of time, but implies they understand place and how that might challenge the warmth of eager listeners’ ears.
Again, all good things.
Fortunately for Minor Characters, I also like their sound. They’re less fuzzy, and way less intentional a ’60s study than another area band — Little Boy Jr. — I reviewed a short time ago in this space. I don’t think period leanings are all that important to Minor Characters yet anyway; I merely sensed it in the gentle, steadied drum beat refrain to “Burden.” “Come Break My Heart,” too, with its backing vocals and tame melody, is like a rolling slow dance of yore.
Minor Characters, then, is rather neat and convenient for a band so fresh and, I think, so young. I want to say their accessibility — not to be confused with commonality — is more immediate than a lot of other music I write about here. I’m anxious to see what can get caught in such a wide and inviting net.
- Based in Chicago, Minor Characters is: Andrew Pelletier (vocals, guitar), Shelby Pollard (guitar, vocals), Adam Schneider (bass) and James Ratke (drums).
- Listen: “Come Break My Heart.”
- Subterranean hosts their record release show on Thursday, November 10. (Filling out the bill are Atlanta-based Gringo Star and Chicago’s Village). Tickets are $8.