As vividly realistic as the first season finale of Documentary Now! might have seemed, there never really was an incredibly mellow California-by-way-of-Chicago pop rock act called The Blue Jean Committee. But that hasn’t stopped them from releasing an EP called Catalina Breeze on the Drag City label this November 20. The imaginary Committee first surfaced on Saturday Night Live before getting their own, elaborate rise-and-fall story on Armisen’s PBS-spoofing IFC series, on which he co-starred with fellow SNL graduate Bill Hader. Armisen has a history of doing this kind of thing: Last year, he released a whole series of 7” singles by his myriad fake bands, including tracks from both The Blue Jean Committee and The Fingerlings. Back then, before settling on the Golden State as their muse, the Committee’s schtick was that they specialized in songs specifically about Massachusetts.
As a prelude to the Catalina Breeze EP, Armisen is sharing a full-length BJC track via SoundCloud. Not surprisingly, “Gentle And Soft” lives up to both of the adjectives in its title. While Armisen has cited America and Seals & Croft as direct influences on his Committee, “Gentle” would not be out of place on an album by The Sandpipers, The Association, or any number of bands Bart Simpson would classify as “wuss rock.” The lyrics rarely venture beyond the words “gentle and soft, smooth and easy,” but there is a cryptic reference to a “Captain Tom” who “points his compass to the sun.” Perhaps it’s a prequel to “Space Oddity?”