From his membership in Bad Breaks and Jasper’s Cast to his status as a former angel in Marcus Rubio’s Gospel Choir of Pillows, SA stalwart Jackson Floyd is no stranger to the scene. But his newest outfit, the pun-heavy Ronald Ray Gun, reps a sense of humor we haven’t seen before in the multi-instrumentalist. The band’s debut LP, What’s So Funny About Pizza and Understanding? finds the band with a shred-heavy, synth-happy approach to ’90s alt and indie rock
“Ronald Ray Gun began for a couple reasons,” Floyd told the Current over the phone last week. “One, I had a wealth of creative material and nowhere for it to go. Two, me and some friends started jamming a lot and it kind of developed naturally from there.” Over the past year or so, Floyd, drummer Eric Elliot (a former Jasper’s Cast-er), keyboardist Tyler Sanders and bassist Phil Repsher honed in on the Ray Gun sound: whip-smart-meets-weed-stupid guitar glam
“I’ve always been in love with early ’90s guitar rock. Pavement, Sebadoh, Superchunk, all of it,” said Floyd. Pizza and Understanding certainly shows it, as distorted guitar riffs flood the record. Still, the band’s impeccable sense of humor—knowing when to cut the jokes and when to throw them into overdrive—and an unexpected ear for instrumentation keep Ronald Ray Gun from performing at Dinosaur Jr. tribute nights.
This Friday at the 502, Ronald Ray Gun will be firing at full capacity as a septet, complete with the cello, clarinet and trombone parts from Pizza and Understanding.
“For the record, we wanted to do something a little more than just the quartet,” Jackson said. “So we recruited our friends to help out with strings and horns and give it a fuller effect.” Joining Ronald Ray Gun will be the power-pop of the Rosedale Highs, the one-man extravaganza of FILMSTRIPS and the Australian psychedelic outfit Hailer.
Fresh off their 2012 release Go Down, Sam Amador (drums/vocals), Dustin Olinick (bass/vocals) and Jason Treviño (guitar/vocals) of the Rosedale Highs hit the 502 with their off-kilter brand of mellow pop. FILMSTRIPS, the most recent incarnation of SA heavyweight Chris Maddin, meshes his capable songwriting with a newfound electronic proclivity. Riding the recent wave of most excellent Australian psych, Hailer reaches the U.S. with reverb-drenched tales of Aussie life. Along with the beer-battered, party vibes of Ronald Ray Gun and free pizza provided by the band, it’s sure to be a good time.
Ronald Ray Gun feat. The Rosedale Highs, Hailer, FILMSTRIPS
9pm Fri, Sept 6
502 Embassy Oaks