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SXSW 2009 ARTIST ALERT: Tinted Windows

Lyndsey Parker
Maximum Performance

"I never thought the future of rock 'n' roll wouldbe in the hands of the dude from Hanson."

This is an actual quote from an enthusiastic randomstranger rocking out next to me Friday in the front row at the Fader Fort party,where the Taylor Hanson-fronted super-est of all supergroups, Tinted Windows,made their SXSW debut.

The powerpop combo--emphasis on "power," as instar power--is rounded out by former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha,Fountains Of Wayne's AdamSchlesinger, and cigar-chomping Cheap Trick drumming god Bun E. Carlos. So it's hard to imagine whyanyone would assume Tinted Windows wouldn't be, like, the best band EVER, with a lineup like that.

It's clearly the Hanson factor that makes people so skeptical. I'm extremely certain that if James, Adam, andBun had formed a new band with, say, Julian from the Strokes, every SXSW scenester would be wetting their skinny jeans withexcitement over such a prospect.

But if those naysayers had bothered to follow Hanson'spost-"Mmmbop" (read: post-childhood) career, they'd know Taylor'svocal style and pop pedigree are ideally suited to his new project. And all thedoubters at the FaderFort did finally realize this, once they saw Tinted Windows tear through an exhilarating set of perfect skinny-tie pop that ended,most thrillingly, with a cover of the Buzzcocks' "I Don't Mind."

That anonymous guy in the front row was right: Tinted Windowsjust might save rock 'n' roll in 2009. Hey, stranger things have happened.

Anyway, as TW prepared to set out on their rock-saving mission on theFader stage, they convened with me in the Fort's "Bloggers' Lounge"right before their set. There we discussed all the public confusion surrounding theirunexpected formation, and how they're winning over all those cynicswith their awesome music (and awesome "Rock After Dark" viral video,as seen below).

Here's what they had to say, while all around us bloggerstyped and tweeted furiously:

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