Rob Crow and Zach Smith, the confirmed sci-fi geeks and indie-rock schizophrenics who mastermind Pinback, came to the Independent on Saturday night to present “The Rob and Zach Show,” a pared-down version of their darkly enchanting pop reveries. After a set by San Diego glum-pluckers Little White Teeth, Crow and Smith made themselves comfortable with personalized office chairs, a grip of instruments, at least one mic-stand-mounted beer cozy — and no backing band.
Rob and Zach held court for more than an hour, running through the highlights of their catalog, from a sped-up “Tripoli” to a new song, from Pinback's forthcoming album on Temporary Residence, that Crow introduced as his interpretation of what a film collaboration between Herschell Gordon Lewis and Jacques Cousteau would sound like. “Because I'm a nerd,” he explained after a stage-sigh.
A few songs, such as “Walters,” suffered from the lack of personnel (“Where's the rest of the band?” someone was heard to grouse in the men's room. “The rest of the band is a MacBook Pro.”), but most were faithful to their on-record standards. Others gained appealing new valences, especially the sublimely grimy “Loro” and the bottom-heavy “Penelope.”
We caught up with Crow before the show and, like the youngest child at a Passover seder, asked how tonight was different from all other nights. Find out after the jump…