Allergic to Everything
Mister Vague goes from a murmur to a meltdown, playing a curious blend of brightly lit coffeehouses and dark corner bars all around the West coast. The music blends a variety of sounds: Laurel Canyon folk, '80s post-punk, minimalist indie pop and the occasional rude guitar skronk. Singer-songwriter Mark Earnest first used Mister Vague as a moniker for his open-mic appearances in the early '00s. In 2003, he decided to find like-minded musicians to flesh the songs out. A recurring cast of characters finally led to a more stable lineup, which now includes longtime Vague cohort Neal Kramer on guitar and longtime pals Jason Thomas on drums and Marcus Mayhall on bass. It's this lineup that has recorded "Allergic To Everything," the band's third CD. It's first two - "Square One" in 2004 and "File Under: Trial" in 2006 - sold out their first pressings. That success led to Midwest label Slothtrop Records offering to re-release and re-master "Trial" in late 2006. This new version was played on 100-plus radio stations in the U.S. and Canada and earned some brisk sales on iTunes, Rhapsody and Napster. That momentum sets the stage for "Allergic," to be released in late 2007 by Slothtrop. The album was produced by Alan Sparhawk from the indie-pop band Low (Sub Pop) and his trusty studio partner Eric Swanson at their Sacred Heart Studios in Duluth, Minn. The disc captures the band at a peak, with loud and vibrant rockers like "Jaded Broke & Wasted" and "Ill Wind" side-by-side with more reflective, moody tunes like "Miss Atom Bomb 1951" and "Midnight To Seven." These songs and more are a part of a Mister Vague, which still retains it's loose lineup beginnings. Will the audience see an intense solo set by Earnest? Or will they get a dynamic double-guitar show or a full-band fracas? In whatever configuration, Mister Vague has earned a loyal following on the West Coast. They've made a name for themselves in such Rock-centric towns as San Francisco, Sacramento, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, the OC, Boise and Salt Lake City. And, of course, Bakersfield. Mister Vague was also asked by Slothtrop to be a part of the forthcoming Slothtrop/Redeye-distributed release "More Barn: A Tribute to Neil Young," a benefit for the Bridge School of San Francisco.