By Gabe Meline
With repetitious chord changes, vaguely hip-hop-inspired rhythms and a vocal delivery combining the softer edges of both grunge and soul, the Pat Jordan Band have done well by assimilating the staples found in radio-friendly hits of the past 10 years. On a recent night in Sebastopol, the newly reopened Jasper O'Farrell's was filled to the brim with an easy 5-to-1, women-to-men ratio of low-rise jeans, perfect hair and low-cut babydoll blouses bouncing amid a collage of clashing perfumes.
Despite the public's embrace, however, the band may be facing an existential crisis. "There's a lotta music around here," said bassist Justin Bordessa during a set break, "but it's hard. We don't really fit in." Citing the prominence of both modern indie rock and punk rock in the area, Bordessa cautiously places his band in a challenging limbo: "I guess we're pop-rock," he surmised, as if the genre were a swear word.
Whatever the Pat Jordan Band's style, there's no denying their quest for taste. Frontman Jordan has the ability to command his band with only the slightest touch; he plays acoustic guitar with no effects pedals, which makes the control of vast dynamics a near-heroic feat. On the bass, Bordessa has a craftsman's touch, while drummer Steve Toomey hesitates until each song's absolute climax before unfurling his flashiest fills. All of this comes through on the band's recent eight-song CD, April's Fools, but for the whole arms-waving, booty-shaking, Delia's-catalogue experience, it's best to see the Pat Jordan Band live.
Before they head south for a proud booking at the Viper Room in Hollywood, catch the Pat Jordan Band with Matt Vrba on Wednesday, June 13, at the Sweetwater Saloon. 153 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 9pm. $7. 415.388.2820.