We’ve been waiting a couple years for a new album by one of our favorite songwriters in the Twin Cities. Brian Just (whose Brian Just Band once told the City Pages “We didn’t waste time thinking up a cool band name”) is equal parts Brian Wilson and Jay Kaye — that is, he walks his own wavy line between almost familial familiarity and the detached amgibuity of the latter’s single album (a 1968 psychedelic masterpiece titled J.K. and Co.). Just often offers everything the others lack, especially in delivering a live performance that can alternately cut right to the core of rock & roll yet also offer inspirationally pondering moments. His albums are superbly crafted and often to our ears earn that old compliment offered to be very best and briefest of Rossini and Verdi’s operas: there is not a single superfluous note.
These things take time and we’ve been patient even though we’ve heard about it’s recording for what feels like ages. It sounds like the anticipated album, Changing Traffic Lights, will drop the “Band” from the spine, but we don’t expect a stripped down affair or the disappearance of his long-time collaborators. In fact, the two early ‘sneak peeks’ through these videos suggest something more substantial than 2013’s Enlightenment and the group’s over-titled first album released two years earlier. The video for “She” posted on Youtube today, coupled with an earlier one for the title track, offer a sample in line with what we’ve expected.
It’s planned for a September 9th release with a special show at the Turf Club, and it will be Just’s first recording available on vinyl. We are sure to post again about this album’s anticipated arrival.