Scott Reitherman has great hair. This is not the most remarkable thing about the musician who helms the band Throw Me the Statue, but it was the first thing I noticed when I met him at Louisa’s Café two months back.
Reitherman was there eating a croissant with Mt. St. Helen’s Vietnam Band leader Benjamin Verdoes. They were meeting with me to talk about an early-April show at Neumos, a homecoming for both. Verdoes was returning to stage following a harrowing two year absence while Reitherman was coming back after spending two years in California, getting some sun and contemplating the music that might appear on his coming third full-length record for Secretly Canadian. The two were talking about the similarities of their experiences and what its like to return to familiar ground a changed man.
And Reitherman has changed; his hair at the very least. It is not an overbearing haircut. It does not demand attention. These are not liberty spikes. Rather, the new contour of Reitherman’s ‘do is subtle. Most of his head is covered with the same short crop that he wore when he last lived in Seattle. The main difference – and please note that I am a layperson when it comes to these things – is that he has let his bangs grow out and allowed someone with training to sculpt his locks so that the short gives way to the long, effortlessly. The party is in the front, business in the back, but everyone gets along. It is the type of haircut one gets in California. That isn’t a knock; its just the way it is. Reitherman appears cool and confident. It's a fitting look for a musician whose pop songs have always sounded crisp, carefree and inevitable.
I only mention the hair because it is a sign of the subtle change that Reitherman has undergone. The shift was made more clear when Throw Me the Statue performed a raft of untested songs at Neumos earlier this month. The band’s new material was both more aggressive and more buoyant than the group’s early songs. During the show, Reitherman’s feather-light vocals hovered above layers of meticulous pop sounds that sometimes recall the Beach Boys, and at others, the Talking Heads. Reitherman’s talent for writing a delicious pop hook is still fine-tuned, but the hooks he unleashed at Neumos were different.
How, I can’t quite say, which is why I invited Reitherman to appear on the next episode of the Song Show at the Rendezvous on Thursday, June 7. There he will give me, and the audience, a closer listen to his new work, and answer my prying questions about his new life in his old stomping grounds.
Also on the bill are Kelli Schaefer, the striking Portland songstress who recently returned from her honeymoon-slash-tour across the United States, and Jose Bold, the dramatic, inventive and brilliant Seattle songwriter who leads the band Awesome!
All that, plus the fact that both Schaefer and Bold have incredible hair, will give us a lot to talk about.
Photo: Scott Reitherman recording songs for his upcoming third full-length at a studio in Pioneer Square, a winters cap obscuring his hair.