The first guy I ever dated, and felt like it was semi-serious, was when I was 15-years-old, getting ready to be 16-years-old and it had to be love…right? Hahaha. Makes me laugh now. Anyway, I remember sitting in the cafeteria and looking out into the hall the day I met him. He was out there in the hall, probably up to no good, but he was wearing a white t-shirt with a huge cartoon Gumby character on it. He had on black, baggy pants that were way too big, wide legs and all, and he was as thin as Gumby himself. Tied around his waist was a red and black flannel shirt, and he had one of those wallets with the chains that hung down out of the pocket. His hair was bleached blonde and spiky. It wasn’t long after we made out during the movie Mall Rats that he ended up cheating on me.
Call Me… Easy…?
Fortunately for all of you readers, this relationship gone wrong did not cause me to dislike Gumby. So earlier this week when TC Superstar released their video for “Call Me Easy,” I didn’t cringe when it made me think about Gumby and therefore “that guy.” You’ll see what I mean…
TC Superstar is a collaborative performance group fronted by Connor McCampbell. The band formed in September of 2017 with the release of Masc, an album about notions of masculinity. TC Superstar quickly became a staple of the Austin scene, gigging frequently around the Red River cultural arts district. They call his production style “bedroom pop,” but it has an 80’s vibe to it, which I suppose could have been achieved with my old Casio keyboard. Ahh the 80s, when I thought hitting the vibraphone setting made all my music so much more cool. Truly though, the bedroom pop genre is just a more modern take of disco; it’s danceable and catchy, but it can also be more free form, allowing for some down tempo romantic trance music.
This album R&D, originally released in May 2019 via Porch Fire Records, will resonate with anyone that has ever fallen in or out of love. Their new release of the Deluxe Extended Version of R&D via Indie Current, includes all the extra musical nerd elements that fans treasure, including the lyrics and behind-the-scenes reasoning for the songs which made the final cut. Each person who participated in the making of the album was asked a series of questions which really do help to show how the story of R&D came to be, the story of Ricky and Dana. These questions are answered during the extended deluxe version of the album. R&D might as well be the mantra for every high school relationship, and while you’re listening to the album, you get caught up in the narrative.
The release of R&D in May was followed by a six week national tour. R&D explores notions of love, romance, and relationships through the lens of two characters, Ricky and Dana. The narrative structure of the album is broken up by interview audio with collaborators on the project. R&D is TC Superstar’s most collaborative album yet; it features Blair Howerton (Why Bonnie), Mary Bryce (Smiile), Caleb Doughty and Marcus Bell (Indoor Creature), as well as many other Austin musicians. Listen on Soundcloud.
Dance Baby Dance
And then there is the live performance. TC Superstars do not disappoint. There is a reason the band was able to score national tour dates so quickly after they began making music. The music pulls you in, but the dancing just freaking captivates you. It’s like Napolean Dynamite meets Heath Ledger’s character in “10 Things I Hate About You.”
And now you’re hooked, trust me, you’ll be listening to them again soon.