Possibly 4th Street 21: Annuals


Rob Trucks’s “Possibly 4th Street” expositions, in which he invites musicians to perform live and impromptu somewhere in New York City, run intermittently here at Sound of the City.

all photos by Rob Trucks

Possibly 4th Street
Number 21 (Part One)

by Rob Trucks

We’re back in Central Park. Specifically, just southwest of Heckscher Playground. Five months in real time after our last sojourn here with Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin, but just over a week in web time.

Ain’t it a kick in the pants?

As a warmup to a short set performed on a bedrock base, the sextet that comprises Raleigh, North Carolina’s Annuals–vocalist Adam Baker, lead guitarist Kenny Florence, keyboardist Anna Spence, drummer Zack Oden, percussionist (though today he played guitar) Donzel Radford and bassist Mike Robinson (who, absent electricity with which to power his axe, spends several minutes dog-sitting)–chew late afternoon lunches from Whole Foods. Then with containers properly disposed, play a little hacky sack at the convergence of 59th Street and Broadway, a/k/a Columbus Circle.

The Annuals’ sophomore full-length, Such Fun dropped last week, complete with Bob Ross cover art. Their nationwide tour with Minus the Bear will bring them back through town on October 25th for their first plugged-in New York City performance since Siren Festival.

Annuals Perform “Sore”

Possibly 4th Street
Number 21 (Part Two)

Adam Baker of Annuals

Monday, September 22

On the one-sheet your influences are listed as Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys and Paul Simon. And I know that it’s more than those four . . .

Those are the most important ones.

That doesn’t sound like a young man’s record collection. It sounds like a young man’s parents’ record collection.


Where do you get your musical taste from?

Well, it’s kind of weird. A lot of those, like the Beach Boys and Johnny Cash, came from growing up in my parents’ house. Like my mom loves, loves, loves beach music. My dad was really into Motown and country. But I feel like I started in a band so early I got the young man’s playlist out of me already. Like I used to love NOFX and I loved Blink-182 for a time even. That was back when I first started. And once we had played through that music I just realized it wasn’t . . . it just wasn’t exciting enough for us. It wasn’t pushing me in the right direction, I felt. And then once I started re-listening to, especially a lot of Brian Wilson’s stuff, like Smile is probably one of my favorite records of all-time. A lot of Johnny Cash stuff, it’s timeless. And I guess their own influence on our music is that we definitely want ours to be timeless, but we’re not exactly up to their caliber yet. Working on it.

Draw a line for me between a song on the new album and your Johnny Cash influence.

Okay, two songs on the new record would be “Down the Mountain,” which is pretty much just a straight forward, really fast, like shit kicking country song. And the other one is “Always Do,” which is actually more Hank Williams Senior influenced because it’s pedal steel heavy. But it breaks into a more like standard rock at the end, but those are definitely . . . it seems pretty obvious to me where those influences came from when you listen to those two songs especially.

Annuals Perform “Confessor”

Great. For whatever reason your tour manager’s on vacation and someone in the band has to take the wheel of the van. It’s two o’clock in the morning and everyone’s falling asleep. Who do you want driving?

Mike, the bass player.

Who, of your fellow band members, would you be most comfortable lending money to?


And who would you go to if you wanted to peruse a new and adventuresome record collection whose taste is nothing like your own?


More from the Annuals’ Adam Baker