SXSW Review: Ron Gallo, March 17, Cheer Up Charlies

By the way – how are there so many t-shirts on earth?
I mean, let’s say on average everyone has 15
You times that by billions of people
How is there enough raw materials?
I wear the same 3 of them
I’ve got 124 too many
And they just keep coming

The words above, taken from the title track of Ron Gallo’s latest album Foreground Music, stuck out to me during his set at Cheer Up Charlies as part of the Kill Rock Stars showcase. Coming near the end of a week where massive amounts of free swag, including many, many t-shirts, were being given out to SXSW attendees, I couldn’t help but think, “Yeah, how are there enough raw materials? What am I supposed to do with all these t-shirts? And do I really need this Raising Cane’s keychain?” No, no I do not.

It turns out that what I did need, however, was to take in a Ron Gallo show. While I was familiar with his music, I had never seen Gallo live before, but after seeing him live, I now consider myself a fan. Gallo impressed with his clever lyrics and a garage meets art-rock sound, with tunes like “Entitled Man” and the aforementioned “Foreground Music” standing out as highlights.

The absolute standout of Gallo’s set though was the Jonathan Richman-eque “I Love Someone Buried Deep Inside Of You,” a moving portrait of someone who sees that a person they love is too far gone and no longer the person they once were, but the love for them is still there. Check it out below.

Posted on by Paul in South By Southwest