"It's payback for all the times we've played at non-all-ages venues," Hobart explains. "Now we can really get all ages by sucking up some of those little kids with the ice cream." To lure in the big kids, Hobart relies on such poignant, slow-paced country gems as "Forever Always Ends," "I'll Forget Her or Die Crying," and "'Til My Teardrops Turn to Gold." With all of that talk of sobbing, we'd expect Hobart to have seen some waterworks over the years, whether at a local gig or a dive on the road, but the singer claims he's yet to see his words lead to tears in patrons' beers. He does, however, say he's "heard that from people. People have said they've gotten choked up. I don't really expect that at our shows, which are kind of a party atmosphere, but some of the songs can evoke that feeling."
Another common perception, spurred by such relentlessly downbeat tunes, is that Hobart must be either a tortured artist sort (think Morrissey) or a hard-luck guy who's suffered through plenty of tough times. But the amiable Hobart dismisses such assumptions, explaining that his lyrics deal more with retention than repetition. "I think everybody can relate to having lost somewhere along the way, be it a grade-school crush or whatever. I believe that you can carry that with you for a long time, that kind of craziness."
After spooning out empathetic songs and ice cream to the Recycled Sounds crowd (some of whom might in fact be reeling from one of those scarring grade-school breakups), Hobart and the Boys will take to the road on October 14 for a five-week stint; they'll return to Kansas City for a one-night stand at Davey's on November 4.
After more than four years together, Glamour Puss is starting to get some national, and even international, attention. The surf-rock quartet has contributed tracks to compilations released in St. Louis and New York and has been featured in the Belgian magazine Shakin' Fever. However, the group still isn't getting quite enough love close to home, a phenomenon that has guitarist Jim Keeley feeling a bit sour.
"There's not much support in Kansas City," he says. "I hate to harp on KC, but I've had so many friends who have moved out of Kansas City or Lawrence because there's nowhere to play. People around here are so conservative that they either think surf music is the Beach Boys or they think that it's gotta be some kind of psychobilly that's paired with punk. Nobody's knowledgable."
For the sake of education, Glamour Puss' brand of mostly instrumental music could be compared to "Miserlou," the surf-guitar standard that powered Pulp Fiction's opening credits, or The Ventures' "Walk, Don't Run." However, don't look for the band to cover either of these familiar compositions in concert. Glamour Puss' setlist is more than half composed of originals, and Keeley says the group's covers are mostly obscure works from defunct bands. Although all of its songs are flavored with a twangy, reverb-fueled vintage tone (which can be attributed to Keeley's Fender Jazzmaster and the rest of the group's use of classic no-frills instruments), elements of psychedelic rock, punk, swing, and rockabilly show up in the mix.