Music

Pleasure Vessel

BOAT Is a Little Too Fun

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Without fail, your elementary school teacher had a desk drawer that was always sealed with a lock and key, a glorious treasure trove of seized good-time contraband that was only cracked open when new booty was captured, or, on the last day of the year, when—good behavior pending—all your Super Balls, wind-up chattering teeth, Micro Machines, and switchblade combs were returned to you. But of course, every kid with a half-decent imagination knows the real truth: Once the students go home, the teachers get liquored up, crack open the captured toy drawer, and play with the apprehended goods like there is no tomorrow. Evidently, teachers like to have fun too.

Proof of this might be the loose-knit Seattle pop band, BOAT. Two-thirds of the band pay the bills as school teachers, which is downright alarming when you consider how much fun these grownups are having, toy drawer or not. The songs on their latest album, Let's Drag Our Feet!, sparkle with the carefree charm of Tullycraft and maintain the playful jangle and lyrical sincerity of Built to Spill's There's Nothing Wrong with Love. The biggest hurdle for this trio is finding time to stop grading tests and start recording music.

According to singer/guitarist Dave Crane, "We usually record on Christmas break. Then we usually try to put the album out before summer, and during that time, we tour."

The structure of BOAT is that of very simple pop songs, almost remedial at times, played with a maximum dosage of fun. It's a little odd how simple this setup is, especially considering the emotional heft each song wields. That's all well and good, but all that really matters is what sort of detained goodies does Mr. Crane have locked in his desk drawer at school? "I have toy skateboards, a couple bouncy balls, Kool-Aid packets... nothing too exciting." Not exciting to him, maybe, but to some kid missing his fingerboard and packet of Incrediberry Kool-Aid, the contents of that drawer mean everything.

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