Fifteen ago The Balsa Gliders stopped listening to indie rock and started playing it.

The Gliders are a loose collective of North Carolinians who formed friendships in Chapel Hill during the 1990s. Their spirited live shows recall some of the anthemic indie rock from the ‘90s that made the Triangle famous. The melodies echo local bands from Let’s Active to Portastatic to even Archers of Loaf.

Now based in Raleigh, Charlotte, D.C. and various other places The Balsa Gliders write and perform alongside an assortment of decidedly “non-indie” day jobs. Bassist Greg Jones is an Episcopal rector with fondness for Motown and Zeppelin. Ben Davis and Charles Marshall are media lawyers who trade Guided By Voices tabs over lunch. Mike Ferguson is a surgeon who loves Propellerhead tools. Chuck Price works at a big bank and admits to liking Better than Ezra. Russ Tisinger has some sort of PhD. They tour in a mini-van.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A great Creative Loafing review leading up to the Visulite Show....we will jangle your socks off.

The Balsa Gliders, Stephen Shealy 

When: Sat., July 14
Price: $7
BALSA GLIDERS What’s the big deal about a group of wannabe indie rockers who moonlight as, you know, doctors, lawyers, bankers, priests, academics — lowlife like that? They’re a dime a dozen, right? But the Balsa Gliders are different. These dudes could jangle the socks off my primary physician any day of the week. Seriously, music may be a sideline for this band of well-paid professionals from Charlotte, Raleigh and other N.C. hotspots, but they’re not just fratboys who made good and now crank out covers of “Free Bird” in a south Charlotte mega-garage. The Gliders — who formed in 1998 when future lawyer Charles Marshall and future PhD Russ Tisinger were still college boys — rock the indie spirit of Guided By Voices under the influence of the Silos. Best of all are the song titles: “In Defense of Air Conditioning” is an acoustic-based ditty that sounds like GBV unplugged with Michael Stipe-esque articulation, and the delicate “Cable Comes to Kinston” is a favorite among, well... Kinston natives. But this is no joke, folk. The Gliders have been dropping albums and EPs since 2009, their latest being last year’s Photographic Friends, all available on iTunes.
— Mark Kemp