"You're Too Weird," from last year's Fruit Bats album, Tripper (Sub Pop), is a musical Rorschach test. If you like its pathogenically catchy melody and '70s shuffle, you are still capable of experiencing fun. If all you hear is the falsetto, you may be the music fan equivalent of the guy who sees every ink blot as a pile of dead puppies.
- Photo courtesy of Annie Beedy
Admitted: Fruit Bats is not a particularly serious band. Also admitted: frontman Eric Johnson is a member of The Shins, making him complicit in one of the most resentable pop phenomena of the last decade. If you love hate, you will hear in Fruit Bats the noodling guitar and modal progressions that lent The Shins and Wilco and Steely Dan an essential sameness. But if you love love, as a dwindling number of music aficionados do, you'll recognize the insouciance that gives Fruit Bats songs what every good pop single has: fun.
I'm issuing an ultimatum, in other words. Fruit Bats play The Top Hat on Friday with the also delightful True Bathing Culture. Go find out if you need music to be art, or if you can still just bob your head and enjoy yourself.
Fruit Bats play The Top Hat Friday, May 4, at 9 PM with True Bathing Culture and Mountain Breathers. $14 day of show/$12 advance.