Standing up for soft rock: Tim Heidecker and Davin Wood bring their smooth stylings to Largo [Updated]
The music of Tim Heidecker and Davin Wood flows into your ears like a clump of lard melting in the iron skillet of your soul. Or something like that. The duo, which just released the absolutely spot-on soft rock parody record “Starting From Nowhere,” bring the cheese to go along with the melted lard when they make their premiere appearance at Largo on Wednesday night.
Heidecker is best known as one half of the comedy team Tim and Eric, whose surreal weekly Adult Swim series “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” ran for five seasons until ending in 2010. Since then, the two have been acting and doing comedy while reportedly working on a movie version of the show.
[Updated, April 27, 4:09 p.m.: The original version of this post said "Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!" ran for three seasons. It ran for five. We have fixed the above text accordingly.)
Wood is a musician and writer who has long worked with the comedy team; combined on “Starting From Nowhere,” Heidecker and Wood have created a funny, straight-faced set of songs that recall the worst reflexes of the soft rock era, that middle-of-the-road 1970s movement that gave rise to singer-songwriters and such artists as Dan Fogelberg, Seals & Crofts, America and Christopher Cross. At their worst, those musicians wrote overwrought, florid odes to nature, life and love, which is what Heidecker and Wood harness to create the dozen songs on their record.
One look at some of the song titles and you'll see where they're headed -- “Cross Country Skiing,” “Grandest Canyon,” “Weatherman” and “A Song for My Father.” Coupled with soft guitars, sappy saxophone solos, light, airy harmonies and many hilariously Hallmark-ian moments, the record could have been released in 1974 and no one would have blinked -- and “Cross Country Skiing” probably would have been battling with John Denver and Helen Reddy for chart supremacy. To wit:
Winter has come early and the snow is freshly laid
The children are asleep and so I must be on my way
Many miles ahead of me many miles to go
Cannot look or turn away from the calling of the snow
We’re going cross country skiing
Skiing across the land
Where the river meets the land
Or this, from “Song for My Father”:
Every once and a while I come see him
When we're shopping for clothes to wear
Every once in a while we stop in and see him
When I go downtown to cut my hair
When he comes home he disappears
Been acting like that for years
I only see him when i'm going to bed
But he's still my dad.
Tonight's concert isn't yet sold out, and the proverbial "special guests" at this gig could mean virtually anyone. (We're hoping for Reddy.) Concert starts at 8 p.m., a perfect segue into one final lyric, from "Down to the Wire":
Party tonight in the city -- gotta make it there by nine
Getting there late'd be a pity -- so let's try to make it there on time
The car is waiting and so am I -- we're gonna miss the show
But ain’t it like this just every time -- I always should know
That you'd be taking it right to the minute
Clock ticking it down unto the wire
-- Randall Roberts
Photo: Tim Heidecker, left, and Davin Wood. Credit: Pierre de Reeder