Nothing Primitive: Roger Sellers Defines Eclectic
Photo: Tess Cagle
It’s not very often that you’ll hear me say, “check out this act from Austin.” That’s mostly because I feel like Austin has more than enough people praising it and everyone who pursues art as a career there. But, when it comes to musician Roger Sellers, it’s a different thing all entirely. Sellers might be the most eclectic artist I’ve seen in the past twenty years, and his approach to music is organic and honest as you’ll possibly ever see. On August 22nd at Fitzgerald’s, Sellers will bring his eclectic brand of music to town, in a line up that equates to a do not miss show.
I first heard about Sellers through Eric Todd when Todd was putting together his Crasis art show. Though it was a diverse mix that included Houston’s magical LIMB complete with a homemade instrument, it was Sellers who stood out to me that night. What I saw was an odd mix of sounds and manipulation that made me think about what I saw on YouTube. The Roger Sellers I thought I was going to see was a guy with an acoustic guitar, however that wasn’t what I witnessed. The next time I saw Sellers, he had a full band and there was none of what I saw at the Crasis show. The next time, it was just Roger by himself, playing varying instruments. When you look up Sellers, you immediately realize that you don’t know which version will show up to a show. However, in a world where acts have their thing and that’s it, Roger proves that being a diverse entity is just as entertaining as the sounds he emits. In three albums over the past three or so years, Sellers has figured out a way to live out his music while still staying true to himself. With his new release, “Primitives” out in the latter part of September of this year, Sellers has come full circle with a sound that zig zags across everything in his head. He might be as close to Frank Zappa and George Harrison that you’re going to see anytime soon. Like Harrison, he does what he wants and doesn’t care if he “fits in” to one genre or another. And like Zappa. he’s willing to use any means necessary to emote the vision for his sound. Whether it be folk, pop, or electronica; in the end, it’s just music coming from someone who’s reinventing the wheel one fan at a time.
Touring is expensive, difficult, and literally almost impossible to make money at nowadays. Now that the major label system is basically three companies, and that they don’t offer much tour support money; neither do many of the smaller labels. Digital releases are great, but physical copies are still pricey on the vinyl end of things, and sometimes artists need a little help to accomplish both of these tasks in order to survive in an already flooded marketplace. But, thanks to places like Indiegogo, artists can link to their fans, and possibly earn enough to make these difficulties a reality. If you’ve had the pleasure to catch Sellers live over the past five years, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard bits and pieces of his new album alongside whole songs. Roger has started an Indiegogo campaign to give “Primitives” a proper release, to tour, and to have those physical copies to sell at his shows that are so vital as a part of the artist merch table. He’s dropped all sorts of great and generous awards for anyone who supports his endeavor, including a party at my favorite Austin arcade, Pinballz. There aren’t too many times you can be a part of something great, just like there aren’t too many times you can help a man achieve his goals. Through Roger’s campaign here, you can do both.
You can catch the magic that is a Roger Sellers performance on August 22nd at Fitzgerald’s. The show is a great lineup that includes Houston’s most talked about trio BLSHS, the up and coming power of Children Of Pop, TOAST, and the Children Of Pop/Buxton hybrid, Guess Genes. The doors are at 8:00, it’s an all ages show, and the tickets are $5.00 for under 21, and FREE for 21 & up.