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Life and love and lack thereof

Humble Cub releases self-titled ode to Owen and the Point

HUMBLE CUB: Like eating Popsicles by yourself. Photo courtesy of MySpace

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The first time I saw Allan Boothe perform, it was a solo set at a benefit show at The New Frontier for the Squeak and Squawk music festival. His performance was bizarre.  He stood atop an amp, clear across the room from the stage, guitar in hand, back to the crowd. It was strange and playful, though marked by an unmistakable loneliness.

This is how I approach the new full-length release from Allan Boothe's full band, Humble Cub. The album features mostly guitar pop, dominated by Boothe's nervously diminutive voice. As the album opens, Boothe laments what a struggle it is to capture and retain happiness, how hard it is to love.

I saw Humble Cub altogether recently at a house show, and Boothe approached the sometimes melancholy themes of his songs with aplomb, wrapped up in a wave of guitars and snappy drums. In person, Boothe is funny and open, with an easy smile, and on stage he is no different.

On the album, amidst Boothe's skin-intimate depictions of life and love and lack thereof, he keeps returning to the beach.

"I knew that Point Defiance and Five Mile Drive were there, but I had never really explored that area, and specifically the beaches, and I think that had a strong effect on my writing at the time," says Boothe. "Where I was at in my life was pretty dark. It's always been kind of dark. Someday, maybe, I hope to get brighter."

Humble Cub's self-titled LP is no downer, though. There is always a humor bubbling beneath the surface, most explicitly in the intro to "Awesome Island," with Boothe affecting a weird accent and threatening to fuck someone up if he fails to give him "Internet."

Saturday brings about Humble Cub's CD release, and I advise you to attend and pick up a copy. The record is lush and rewarding on multiple listens. If you've ever wandered through the trails of Five Mile Drive, you'll recognize this as the perfect soundtrack to getting so wonderfully lost.

Humble Cub

with Fall Electricity, Outdoor Voices, Mary Mary
Saturday, Sept. 11, 7 p.m., all ages
The Peabody Waldorf, 745 Broadway, Tacoma

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