Upstairs Downstairs is a folky indie rock five-piece band from San Francisco. They formed in 2008 and have released two albums, including their self-titled sophomore album which released today.
My mail bag has been blowing up with stuff about this band. Since the album comes out today, I figured that now is the perfect time to finally write something about them.
Everything that I know about this band, I learned through the emails that I’ve gotten. While the band name sounds like an homage to the 1970s British teevee series Upstairs, Downstairs, I don’t think that it is. When the band formed, they were all living in the same apartment house. They shared the upstairs and the downstairs. That’s what their bio says, anyway.
This band has a wide range of influences running through Woody Guthrie, Explosions in The Sky, Jeff Tweedy, and Heavenly. They’ve been described as a mixture of folk and shoegaze, but I’m not real sure that tonight’s song exemplifies that. It is, though, a great song.
“Parkas Indoors” by Upstairs Downstairs
Even though I’m not a fan of The Minutemen, I really like the reference to them in tonight’s song.
To me, this song sounds a little bit like a warmer, less Canadian version of any Broken Social Scene song. I mean that in the best way. I’m a big fan of the early BSS stuff. Their last album —Forgiveness Rock Record— was a major disappointment for me, but I still adore their second and third records.
Check out the really sticky video for “Parkas Indoors”:
That’s a whole lot of tape. Sticky tape, masking tape, duct tape. It’s a lot of tape. And it’s pretty awesome.
You can buy the album on vinyl or in digital format from the band’s bandcamp page.