Messrs. Gorgeous

The Skygreen Leopards' last album, 2006’s Disciples of California, was a sunny ode to the Golden State. The San Francisco outfit, founded by singer-guitarists Glenn Donaldson and Donovan Quinn, filtered the psychedelic country-rock of the Grateful Dead’s American Beauty and New Riders of the Purple Sage through dreamy indie pop. Gorgeous Johnny, due out July 21 on the Jagjaguwar label, sounds much like its predecessor: Both are fat sacks of stoned melodies and jangly guitars that feel utterly Californian. But where Disciples emphasized the simple and pastoral, a perfect soundtrack for Sunday trips to Mount Diablo, Gorgeous Johnny comes decked out in ornamentation. Two of the album’s best tunes, “Dixie Cups in the Dead Grass” and “Goodnight Anna,” boast layered, echo-soaked harmonies that recall the Beach BoysSmile (as opposed to anything from the Dead’s sprawling discography). Though Quinn and Donaldson are the chief architects of the Leopards’ sound, those decorative qualities reflect the influence of Jason Quever, who joined the band just after Disciples. A skilled composer and multi-instrumentalist, Quever is also a big fan of vintage baroque pop who oversees his own project, Papercuts. Their new album, You Can Have What You Want, is in a lot of ways Gorgeous Johnny’s spiritual companion. And yes, that means you now have two records to illegally download.

Pumice and Ignot Rot open.
Sat., July 11, 9 p.m., 2009

 
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