Bob Schneider

Bob Schneider is living disproof of the old aphorism “you can’t polish a turd.” Not, of course, that Schneider himself is a turd; I am referring to Schneider’s tangential relationship to the Adult Alternative genre, that bastion of cookie-cutter schlock that so plagues America’s airwaves and whose just-gruff-enough pretty boy singer songwriters provide steamy fantasy fodder for top-40 listening thirty-somethings across America. You see, Schneider takes the framework of Adult Alternative and imbues it with life, conflict, and a sense of quality craftsmanship that defies the standards of the genre, but bears enough surface similarity to have infiltrated its listenership. Call Schneider a musical guerrilla-saboteur. His tweaking is gentle, yet insistent, using many of the same tropes as his genre-mates, but substituting clever, insightful lyrics for trite Hallmark level sentiments, and quirky and well conceived melodies for reductionist pop song-craft. He’s kind of like an outsider artist on the inside. From that position, Schneider plies his trade admirably, adding a mix of eclectic and well constructed tunes to the fluff it both recalls and leaves behind in the same stroke. NICHOLAS HALL

Sun., Dec. 13, 8 p.m., 2009

 
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