Yoni Gordon and the Goods

Jeremy Shulkin

For years Yoni Gordon and the Goods’ PR outreach has been pretty simple: play shows in houses, basements, collectives, all-ages venues, and tour with the mantra of gaining fans “one person at a time.”

“We’ve done PR stuff and we definitely tried to promote the last album really hard, but our MO is just play shows and have that be what we put our effort into,” says singer/guitarist Gordon. “Eventually we’ve built up little pockets of fans,” he notes, citing concentrations in the Northeast, Midwest and Canada.

Gordon should have a recognizable presence here in Worcester. A Clark graduate now living in Brooklyn, Yoni Gordon and the Goods have played Worcester—especially the underground house party Collective A Go-Go—numerous times. He even gives shout outs to the city and Kelly Square in his songs. “We’ve done a lot with Worcester,” he says.

The band’s music should catch the attention of those who like their music in basements and clubs. Gordon’s lyrics touch on the small events that pepper any Rock and Roll fans’ life, from acts of rebellion to that first time your crush told you what her favorite band was, all while fusing the nasally delivery of Ted Leo and the sharp guitar lines of the Exploding Hearts, and at their most carefree, a touch of Big Star.

People have started to take notice too. Their latest album Turning Chaos into a Career features Franz Nicolay (formerly of the Hold Steady) on keys, and there was a recent push to get fans to nominate Yoni Gordon and the Goods to play on NPR Music’s stage at the South By Southwest music festival. While the band ultimately wasn’t selected, their fan base’s push was fervent enough to get a mention from Paste Magazine.

But as the Good’s best PR is their performance, it’s clear their shows aren’t something to pass up. With bassist Faisal Aswat, drummer Scott Eisenberg and keyboardist Steve Mossberg (another Clark grad who Gordon admits “I don’t know why it took me eight years to play with that guy”) the group’s March 12 show with Hey Now, Morris Fader, Castine, Grand Evolution and Red Lanterns at Ralph’s has some kinks that should make it a memorable one.

“This set of shows we’re trying to do something different every night,” offers Gordon. This time around? Band karaoke.

The band is accepting karaoke song requests via email, which the band will learn for the show with the expectation that the requester will come up on stage and belt it out. So far the list of songs offers a range, from Patsy Cline to Weezer to Hole’s “Miss World,” which Gordon says he’s especially excited for.

“Typically you can expect that we’re going to go out of our way to bring you into our show,” says Gordon, whose energetic performances add another dimension to the music.

With the band making more noise around the country (they’re hoping their current five date tour is a precursor to a much larger one in a couple months) they’re hoping that this will become a full-time gig, which means more shows in venues. What that doesn’t mean, however, is a change in approach.

“The music has got to be solid, exciting, well-played,” says Gordon, who adds with a laugh, “not too well-played.”

Yoni Gordon and Goods play with Hey Now, Morris Fader, Castine, Red Lanterns and Grand Evolution at Ralph’s on Friday, March 12. The show starts at 9:30p.m.