Rave-Ups' Jimmer Podrasky returns with solo album, May 17 show

Roots-rocker Jimmer Podrasky, formerly of Rave-Ups, to play Saturday at the T. Boyle's Tavern in Pasadena

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since roots-rocker Jimmer Podrasky and his band the Rave-Ups were pounding the boards of L.A. clubs in the 1980s, not all of it the sparkling, refreshing kind, a reality alluded to in the title of Podrasky’s first album in nearly a quarter century, “The Would-Be Plans.”

Podrasky is back for some shows in the Southland, including a stop Saturday at the T. Boyle’s Tavern in Pasadena that’s part of a new series with roots-minded music organized by local musician David Serby and the California Roots Union. He's also due to play the Echo in Echo Park on June 1.

Despite having his share of brushes with fame, none ever clicked in a big way. One of the biggest was the inclusion of two Rave-Ups songs in the 1986 teen-culture classic “Pretty in Pink,” a feat that didn’t do much for the band’s fortunes because those songs didn’t appear on the multimillion-selling soundtrack album.

But Podrasky sounded OK with it all in a recent interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in his old hometown, nothing that “The Rave-Ups aren’t the only band that was like, ‘Hey, how come those guys weren’t big?’ The history of modern music is riddled with bands like that. A lot that I really loved.”

Much of the time Podrasky was away from music he spent focusing on raising his son, Chance. With a latter-day assist from musician-actor Robbie Rist, Podrasky went back into the studio to record.

"I never stopped writing songs, even when I was raising Chance," he told the Post-Gazette. "I didn't play, I didn't have a band anymore, I didn't perform, but I was always writing songs and I had really wanted to do another Rave-Ups record."

The other members of that band, with whom Podrasky had done reunion shows occasionally, weren’t interested in working on new material, he said, so he took it on as a solo album, which he’ll draw from at Saturday’s show, also featuring Ted Russell Kamp and Funkyjenn.

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