Keith Macbeth wants to be remembered. He wants to be heard.
The 6-foot-3 singer-songwriter-musician didn’t ask his record company to give him a freebie disc of his debut album.
With his wire-rimmed shades and far-out garb, he walked into a record store and bought his own copy. Easy money in his back pocket, eliminating the middle man.
No doubt, customers gawked at the enigmatic man possessing an efficacious presence. “He looks like a rock star,” they say. “Who he is?”
Fabulon (named after a character in Katharine Dunn’s novel “Geek Love”) is a band, but it’s strictly Macbeth. It may not be a household name, just yet, but Macbeth’s glamor group is trying hard to put the rock back into pop (and vice versa) with its Chrysalis/ERG debut album, “All Girls Are Pretty, Vol. 1.”
Macbeth believes, through radio’s oversaturation, people have become desensitized and can no longer distinguish between what’s good and what’s bad.
“It seems like there’s nothing new, and I hate to say this because I am ‘something new’ right now,” he said in a recent interview. “There’s so much out there that, before it can knock you off your feet, something new comes along and distracts you from that.”
“All Girls Are Pretty” is “something new,” but it borrows heavily from rock of old. Macbeth isn’t about to hide his affection for the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Prince and – above all – T. Rex. The catchy tracks “In a Mood” (the first single) and “Say Anything” have Princely overtones, while the pseudo-psychedelic “Jon” fuses T. Rex and Beatles influences.
“I just wanted to make a little twist on pop music and develop a Fabulon sound,” Macbeth said. “This record was actually done three years ago. It was quite a chore, and I believe it’s a collection of good pop songs.
“It’s not going to change the world … maybe the next one will,” he said with a laugh.
Macbeth, a 28-year-old native of Miami, slowly migrated north to Atlanta and later New York after dropping out of high school six weeks before graduation. He received a failing grade in an English class, and rather than go to summer school, he pursued his real dream: music.
He drifted from one band to another before honing the Fabulon version of likable pop with an edge.
What does it take to get noticed among a cast of thousands in the pop world?
“I believe, just by being myself, I’ll stand out,” Macbeth said. “Actually, I’ve been debating this quite heavily lately, because people ask me ‘Are you alternative?’
“I’m like, ‘Hey, I believe all rock ‘n’ roll is alternative.’ It’s a big pie out there, and I just want to get my little slither, but I want to maintain a good integrity and bring pop back into rock. Not like a Bon Jovi pop-rock.
“I’m talking about like what the Beatles and Stones did, where rock ‘n’ roll can be pop and make people smile and make them think.”