When: Thu., July 12, 8:30 p.m. 2012
New Jersey bedroom-recording savant Steve Marion could make a credible run for it as a guitar hero, but as long as he maintains his predilection for low-rent production and his devotion to woozy, sunshiny melodies, I don't see it happening. On the brand-new Positive Force (Luaka Bop), the second album by his one-man band Delicate Steve—two collaborators add largely wordless vocals on a handful of songs—he uncorks one ultracatchy upper-register solo after another on his pitch-manipulated and occasionally slide-enhanced electric guitar, and even when he gets noodly (on "Big Time Receiver," for instance), his playing is so hooky it's easy to forget no one is singing. Marion's murky but perky synth-heavy backing tracks make me think of the arty side of 70s Top 40 radio (I'm hearing 10cc especially), dusted with a bit of Afro-Caribbean sparkle—but his gleefully hyperactive, plasticine guitar leads couldn't be from any time but the present. —Peter Margasak Earth Is a Man and Noumenon open.