Emanating from the heartland, Sat. Nite Duets make rock music that evokes the spirit and candor of the Midwest’s greatest outsiders. Imagine the heroism of GBV thrown against the self-reproach of the Violent Femmes and you’re halfway there. Pepper on some of the depravity of Jimmy and Dennis Flemion and you’re basically in the homestretch. But there’s something else going on here too, something that has to do with how most of the members have played music together since middle school, how collectively they’ve probably listened to The Basement Tapes and Blue Album like 3 million times.
The new record is called Air Guitar, the latest full-length since Electric Manland did the worm across college radio in 2013. Composed in true and perfect form (erratically in a basement in Milwaukee), Air Guitar continues the democratic tradition established by One Nite Only in 2009 and Summer of Punishment in 2012. A labor of love and leisure, Air Guitar’s tracklist features songs by all six of the band’s regular members, not to mention contributions from a laundry of special guests (e.g. a cognitive musicologist, the bass player’s dad, a mime).
In an age in which indie rock has long stopped being a world unto itself, Sat. Nite Duets present Air Guitar as an unobstructed view into the life of an indie rock band. One night you’re drinking beers upstream from a decent chub hole and the next you’re playing for drink tickets at an empty club, competing with a syndicated episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. You want to be heard but at the same time want to disappear. You keep having this dream where you step on stage and plug-in your guitar, but when you look down nothing’s there – it’s just air.
Air Guitar will be released September 16, 2016 via Father/Daughter Records.