A cure for the Summertime Blues

Rogue Valley’s hard-rocking but still folk-calmed LP “The Bookseller’s House” is about summertime and is set to be released next week.

A cure for the Summertime Blues

Mark Brenden

Rogue Valley with Communist Daughter and Total Babe What: CD release party Where: First Ave., 701 1st Ave. N. When: Aug. 13, 6 p.m. Cost: $9 advance, $12 at the door Local folk strummer Chris Koza sits where youâÄôd expect a local folk strummer to sit: in a coffee shop. This one is Common Roots Café in Uptown, and Koza is right at home. The creative juice behind the moniker Rogue Valley talks the way youâÄôd imagine a folkster to talk: kept, with a quality of pliable candidness. His wife of just over a month is the barista, and she brings him a coffee topped with a foam heart. Iced coffee, because itâÄôs summertime, damn it. Koza just finished the second installment in Rogue ValleyâÄôs four-LP project dedicated to the seasons. The summer-inspired LP, âÄúThe BooksellerâÄôs House,âÄù follows the same folky thread as its spring predecessor, âÄúCrater LakeâÄù âÄî with an added shot of summertime glory. You could say itâÄôs âÄúCrater LakeâÄù sunburned. âÄúThe summer album was kinda challenging, because we wanted to be more adventurous,âÄù Koza said. âÄúWe wanted to get near what, for us, was a deep end, but not get too self-indulgent with things.âÄù For Koza, spring represented awakening âÄî from the claustrophobia of winter, from the halls of academia, from everything winter. If âÄúCrater LakeâÄù was a man waking up, then âÄúThe BooksellerâÄôs HouseâÄù is one wide-awake, jacked on living, for good or bad. Or both, as Koza reminds us on the albumâÄôs first track âÄúRose FestivalâÄù: âÄúNothing goes together better than the good and the bad.âÄù âÄú[Summer] is a shoot first, ask questions later sort of time. ItâÄôs a time where âÄî at least when I felt younger and more invincible âÄî you stay up all night and ride your bike âÄôtil dawn,âÄù Koza said. âÄúItâÄôs a time to have fun with little repercussions.âÄù Whereas âÄúCrater LakeâÄù was a literary folk opera performed at the sumptuous Fitzgerald Theatre with actors and poets abound, âÄúThe BooksellerâÄôs HouseâÄù translates summer as the season of rock âÄònâÄô roll. Not only will the clan take its act to the dirge-y sweat chamber of First Ave., but there will, indeed, be electric guitars. âÄúI used to play electric guitar a lot. I used to play it too much. It didnâÄôt match up well with the kinds of songs I was writing. So when I was approaching this album, I wanted to bring back the electric guitar because itâÄôs one of the contextual differences I wanted to convey on the summer album: to have more energy, to change the instrumentation a little bit,âÄù Koza said. The band encourages audience members to dress like their favorite pop/rock icons, with âÄúincentivesâÄù promised for the festive folk who play along. Wonder if anyone will go as Prince âĦ Onward, Koza said we can expect the autumnal edition by mid-to-late November, also promising a step out of the sunny grandeur of summer, and into the amber melancholy of fall. âÄúItâÄôs gonna be a little more atmospheric and organic and earthy,âÄù Koza said. âÄúI just wanna capture the ruggedness of fall.âÄù