In Da Club: Alva Star at the Turf Club

Local band ditches athletic apparel and serenades a special fan

The fourth anniversary of HowWasTheShow.com is more than a birthday; it's a changing of the guard. Founder David de Young is stepping back and handing the reins off to assistant editor Andrea Myers. Capping off the Saturday night celebration at the Turf Club is Alva Star, a band that doesn't get out nearly as often as de Young does. Taking in the band's tight performance, it's strange to think that Alva Star has become something of a side project and that the musicians spend more time focusing their efforts on the Hopefuls and Kid Dakota. Wielding a guitar that's strangely shaped and looks like it might have been chomped out of a giant Oreo, John Hermanson stands front and center, his lithe voice easily handling the high notes. The tracks from Alva Star's challenging 2004 concept album, Escalator, stand out among the more linear tunes, but even the upbeat songs aren't overwhelmed by the Hopefuls' bubblegum sweetness. In this band, a line like, "What happened to your thing for me?" sounds less quirky and more honest. (Maybe that's because the guy delivering it isn't wearing a tracksuit.) "A little birdie told me David likes this song," says Hermanson before playing "Get Behind Me" as the encore. The bitter apology isn't exactly a farewell song, but this isn't exactly a farewell. Given the guy's social habits, you'll still run into de Young more often than you will any other scenester in town.

 
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