Andrew Savage is, above all, a stylist. Before he came to be known as the yawpy mouthpiece co-fronting Brooklyn indie rock outfit Parquet Courts, he was one-half of Denton, Tx. duo Fergus & Geronimo, where he and bandmate Jason Kelly made the type of reference-heavy experimental rock that was practically designed to catch the ears of rock nerds as much as it was bound to confound casual passersby. Their sense of humor and slavish devotion to past sounds was reminiscent of Ween, if Ween wrote songs about parasitic music writers and trust-fund hippies. 2011's Unlearn opened with a song called "Girls With English Accents" (try and guess what it was about); the following year's Funky Was the State of Affairs kicked off with Savage and Kelly doing the best "'Allo, guv'nor" affectations they could muster. Funky was a sorta-concept album that carried thematic allusions to Funkadelic's Maggot Brain while sometimes resembling if Gang of Four covered "Peter Gunn" in double time.
It only took two albums for the delightfully, inscrutably weird Fergus & Geronimo to sound like they were running out of steam, and by the time Funky Was the State of Affairs saw release, Savage had put up roots in New York City and was wielding the influences of his new home in Parquet Courts. The band's debut release, the 2011 cassette American Specialties, featured cover art ripped from the light-box Chinese restaurant menus that are ubiquitous throughout the city; the following year's Light Up Gold paired musings about pushy street-team clipboard-brandishers and being stoned in Queens over music smacking of the literate, nervy rock music that emerged after punk's first wave burned out in the late 1970s.