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Author to bring sunny disposition to Upper St. Clair library

| Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Gustafer Yellowgold

The Upper St. Clair Township Library will host a free family concert Thursday night by Woodstock, N.Y.-based Morgan Taylor, creator of the gentle, friendly and slightly trippy “Gustafer Yellowgold” character.

In a mashup of 1970s-style soft rock, minimalist animation and silly lyrics, Taylor tells stories about Gustafer, a being born on the surface of the sun who comes to explore Earth by way of an absurdist version of the Minnesota woods. A projection screen will display Taylor's “moving illustrations” while he plays music and sings.

“If you weren't told it was kids' music and you weren't really paying attention to the lyrics, you wouldn't know,” said Taylor, 43, whose Gustafer Yellowgold shows have opened concerts for such noted artists as alternative rock band Wilco and pop rock band Polyphonic Spree.

“It's a Beatles-influenced, acoustic alternative pop. … The lyrics just happen to be about pterodactyls and eels.”

Baker & Taylor, the company that distributes the Gustafer Yellowgold DVDs and CDs, awarded Upper St. Clair the concert through a drawing held at the American Library Association's annual conference in Anaheim, Calif., in the summer, said Debra Conn, head of the children's and youth programs at the library. Library board member Paula Holmes attended and entered Upper St. Clair in the contest.

Taylor, who works with his songwriter wife Rachel Loshak, said that writing, illustrating and performing the Gustafer Yellowgold catalogue — five CD/DVD sets — has become his full-time occupation.

“Rachel and I started it as a fun side project in 2004, and now I'm getting to do the things I love all the time,” he said.

This will be his first appearance in the Pittsburgh area since a performance at the closed Joseph-Beth Booksellers in the South Side a few years ago.

The concert starts at 7 p.m. in the library's multipurpose room 1. Admission is free, but space might be limited to about 100 people.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412 380 5625, or msantoni@tribweb.com.

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