All is good in the major-key world of The Long Winters. Singer John Roderick writes solid, spin-up pop songs. Driving from Seattle, they played their first tour stop at The Record Exchange on September 15. It was free, which is a good thing (kudos to the RX). Seeing a band play tunes at 6 p.m. in a well-lit place of commerce takes away a bit of the rock mystique, but I dug it. Roderick played the show in track pants and actually had to borrow a guitar capo from an audience member (me), a clamp that, as he puts it, enables him to "take his songs higher." No matter, the show was a gas. Roderick and his new band (Nabil Ayers on drums, Mike Squires on guitar and harmonies, and Eric Corson on bass and harmonies), are very able and engaging. They culled tunes from the past two Long Winters's albums--2002's The Worst You Can Do Is Harm, and 2003's When I Pretend to Fall and songs to be included on their upcoming EP, Ultimatum. The band's between-songs banter, particularly Roderick's, had me cracking up. They would ramble on about a tangent and then, right as you were hanging on their every word (because they were so funny), they would tear into a new tune. It was a lesson in entertainment, a lesson in pop craftsmanship, and a lesson in what to remember to bring to your gig (extra capos and picks). Check out The Long Winters if you are a fan of the Kinks, the Beach Boys, the Clash or anything in between.