The new powerpop combo Tinted Windows - emphasis on "power," as in star power - features former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha, Fountains Of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger on bass, and cigar-chomping Cheap Trick drumming god Bun E. Carlos. So it's hard to imagine why anyone would assume Tinted Windows wouldn't be, like, the best band EVER, with a lineup like that.
It's clearly the fact that singing lead is Taylor Hanson - yes, THAT Taylor Hanson, the blonde "Mmmbop" kid - that makes people so skeptical. I'm extremely certain that if James, Adam, and Bun had formed a new band with, say, Julian from the Strokes, all L.A. scenesters would be wetting their skinny jeans with excitement over the prospect of Tinted Windows playing L.A.'s intimate Troubadour club last night.
But luckily, enough Angelenos have bothered to follow Hanson's post-"Mmmbop" (read: post-childhood) career, and therefore know that Taylor's sunny vocal style and pure-pop pedigree are ideally suited to this new project. After all, Tinted Windows' music is simple, sugary, '70s-style POP, so they need a genuine teen-idol voice that only a full-blooded Hanson can deliver. Plus, Taylor Hanson circa '09 is pretty much exactly like Cheap Trick golden-god frontman Robin Zander circa '79, so it all makes sense.
And so, it was packed at the Troubadour was packed last night, where Tinted Windows tore through an exhilarating set of perfect skinny-tie pop that once and for all silenced all doubts and confusion surrounding their unexpected formation. (Side note: Kudos to Iha for playing in this band instead of in the Pumpkins' "reunion.")
Check out my Tinted Windows interview from SXSW