9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern.
For a certain type of young-ish, scruffy, artsy musician type, Isaac Alexander is one of those guys who'll make you feel not only untalented, but lazy too. He is quite the gifted hand when it comes to visual art, sure (he's one-third of the ad agency Eric, Rob & Isaac), but he's also a multi-instrumental wiz on the fret board, keys and behind a drum kit as well. He plays and has played in numerous groups (Big Silver, Greers Ferry, The Easys, The Boondogs).
Alexander's new solo album, "Antivenin Suite" (on Max Recordings), is the follow-up to his 2008 long-player "See Thru Me." That album was voted No. 6 in the Times' Arkansas Music Poll of the all-time best Arkansas albums. Times music editor John Tarpley called the record "an instant classic that's a tastefully spare, devastatingly melodic trip through surviving adulthood."
So how does "Antivenin Suite" stack up? Very, very well.
At 10 songs and just over a half hour, the album is like that first warm breeze of spring. It's reassuring and pleasant. It's laid-back rock that's not straining at some high-flown concept or blog flavor of the month. Mark my words: Put this album on this spring when you're driving somewhere with the windows down.
Highlights? The whole album is a highlight, but OK, some of my favorites are "Changing up the Skyline" and "What Love is All About," lively numbers, the latter a particularly appealing, perfectly brief number with what sounds like some EFX-ed Spanish guitar and piano swirling around and then it's over before you know it. Other faves: the "Chewing Gum Wrapper" and "Kitchen Windows," which has a stabbing Farfisa that's just right in the mix.
This record gets better every time I listen to it. Mark it, dude: One of the best albums of 2012. Listen for yourself here, it's streaming or you can purchase a download.
Check out "What Love is All About" by Isaac Alexander: