An ex-Pittsburgher living in Brooklyn, John Leitera has an eye for detail and a taste for black humor and non sequitur. Or so I can't help but gather from Who Said That Life Is Over?, the latest album from Low Water, the literate, rootsy trio comprised of Leitera, bassist Dave Rubin (Blogurt, anyone?) and drummer Joe Burch.
"I think I finally got what you meant when you said you'd like to go like Dizzy Gillespie went / In a comfortable bed with your own horns around you," Leitera rasps over the glorious Replacements fuzz of the album's second track, "Midas Hour." Indeed, evidences of Westerberg -- and such janglers as Big Star, Loaded-era Velvets, even Sloan -- are in abundance in the band's spare guitar-pop sound.
For a bunch of dudes apparently living in a loft in Williamsburg, it's a surprisingly un-worldly batch of songs -- unfashionable, unpretentious, yes, but not really "down-to-earth" or "realistic" either. (Presumably this is what one critic meant by "the hottest anti-hipster record this year.") Put it this way: In both sound and subject matter, Who Said That Life Is Over? conjures up the ghosts of wasted nights sitting around playing the sad songs on Exile on Main St. on a turntable, surrounded by empties and cigarette butts ... and the helpless (but not hopeless) feeling that life makes sense ... even if you're royally fucked tomorrow.
Somehow appropriate, then, that Low Water is playing a place that also neatly encapsulates that vibe -- Gooski's, of course -- with Brooklyn danceables Skidmore Fountain and the very literary locals, Workshop.
Low Water, Skidmore Fountain and Workshop. 9 p.m. Sat., May 19. Gooski's, 3117 Brereton St., Polish Hill. 412-681-1658
- Who said we're taking a photo? Low Water