With his new album, FOREGROUND MUSIC out this Friday on Kill Rock Stars, Ron Gallo confronts the villains of our society and helps those crushed by them by finding a way to laugh at the absurdity of it all. Lead by delicate strings and a post-punk attitude, this never rings more true than on latest single “BIG TRUCK ENERGY” released today. Perhaps Gallo’s most direct and potentially uncomfortable song, it speaks to a variety of political, social and environmental issues we’ve all become pretty familiar with in the last few years but with a relatively dark sense of humor about it all.
Gallo explains, “This song is an amalgamation of experiences I’ve had with a specific type of person – the ones in the giant souped up pick-up trucks with the loud and proud guns, freedom, bullshit flags and bumper stickers. I’ve seen them at red lights, I’ve seen them circling black lives matters protests looking to start shit, I’ve seen them in Walmart parking lots, I’ve seen them all over burning holes in the ozone layer just to make a statement. I think they are contenders for the most idiotic and scariest people in America and their way of being is a major problem for the evolution of humanity. I hope this song doesn’t get me killed and that they all figure out what is so wrong internally they have to be so over the top with their destructive, backwards belief systems.”
With his new album, Gallo screams at the developers turning neighborhoods into unremarkable AirBnB advertisements, corporate overlords deciding how much music costs, and extremists hellbent on bringing forth an apocalypse of racial and civil destruction. Over the course of 11 songs, Gallo displays what Ann Powers once called “literate electricity.” It moves from fuzz to lounge jazz to freaky pop to post-punk and back again to rollicking, truly FUN rock music, all the while taking aim at any and everything. He takes aim at male entitlement, the age of anxiety, apathy vs. action, gentrification, narcissism, retail therapy, xenophobia, the dread of future generations, right wing extremists, capitalism, climate change and the experience of having a loved-one who is an addict.
Despite the chaos, Gallo infuses the album with a joyful charm, one that comes from a sincere place of love for people and protecting the things we hold sacred. Love between Gallo and his listeners, between Gallo and the strum of a guitar, between Gallo and the world. By the end of FOREGROUND MUSIC, Ron Gallo makes a staggering and life-affirming conclusion: “The world is completely fucked, but the universe is inside you.”
Gallo has earned a fervent and loyal live following, sharing the stage with the likes of Spoon, Parquet Courts, Ty Segall, Hurray For the Riff Raff, Twin Peaks, The Black Angels, Thee Oh Sees, Caroline Rose, Wilco, J. Mascis, Courtney Barnett, and Post Animal. He has also made festival appearances at Coachella, Bonnaroo, Governor’s Ball, Austin City Limits, Pukkelpop, Osheaga, Shakey Knees, Best Kept Secret, Levitation, Forecastle, and Hangout. Gallo will kick off a national spring tour with several appearances at SXSW next month, offering fans new opportunities to experience his frenetic live show.
3/15: SXSW @ Waterloo Records, 5pm
3/16: SXSW @ KUTX at Scholz Garden, 8am
3/16: SXSW @ KCSN at Convention Center, 3pm
3/16: SXSW @ Planetary Group at Valhalla, 5pm
3/17: SXSW @ Dr. Martens at Clive, 4pm
3/17: SXSW @ Paste at High Noon, 6:30pm
3/17: SXSW @ Kill Rock Stars at Cheer Up Charlie’s, 11pm
3/18: SXSW @ Brooklyn Bowl Reunion at Empire Control Room & Garage, 10pm
3/19: Fort Worth, TX @ Tulips’ SXSW Spillover w/ Indigo De Souza, Enumclaw, Runnner