Jason Narducy wins audience for solo work with funny, star-studded viral videos

Jason Narducy isn’t just one of the busiest musicians in the indie world, he’s also the proud owner of the sexiest elbows in rock.

Indie rockers know Narducy as the former singer/guitarist in Verbow, currently in Split Single, a former bandmate of Robert Pollard and a longtime member of Bob Mould’s band. But he’s lately won a new audience with a number of dry-witted videos that have gone viral. In Split Single’s recent “Untry Love,” he struggles to learn the stage moves that lead singers do between tunes. Mock-expose “The Sexiest Elbows in Rock Music” became a three-part series with cameos from such famous friends as Mould, Dave Grohl and “Saturday Night Live’s” Fred Armisen.

According to Narducy, who plays a solo show at the Plough & Stars on Thursday, those videos came out of necessity, after five indie labels turned down the first Split Single CD.

“I released it out of my basement, and got to thinking how to reach an audience that might like this sort of thing. Then I found an old promo picture of myself when I was 22 years old, and for whatever reason I was leaning in and holding my T-shirt sleeves. So I posted it with the caption, ‘I used to have a manager who insisted I show my elbows.’

“I had a lot of help from there — I reached out to Fred Armisen and asked if (his punk rock character) Ian Rubbish would say something about my elbows, and from there it was off and running.”

Mould’s tongue-in-cheek appearance may be a surprise to people who only know his music.

“His music is intense, and he’s an intense guy, but he’s also one of the funniest people I know,” Narducy said.

The solo Plough show won’t be acoustic; the guitar will be plugged in and cranked up — “that Billy Bragg sound with some dirt in it,” he said.

He’ll be drawing mainly from the two Split Single albums, both full of beautifully crafted, punk-edged pop — but there will be room for his sense of humor as well.

“There’s a fair amount of talking and storytelling. Most of it’s personal stories, usually pretty self-deprecating, mostly about me being a middle-aged musician with kids.”

After the tour, Narducy rejoins Superchunk, whose forthcoming album “I Hate Music” is getting a strong advance buzz.

“There’s a lot of depth and a lot of layers, and maybe it’s a little bit darker. But it’s still catchy as hell because it’s Superchunk.”

With another Mould project likely next year, Narducy’s had to become an expert multitasker.

“I have the joy of collaborating with different people, and with Split Single I get to reach out to ones I wouldn’t normally play with, so it’s kind of a dream situation. I try to be a multitasker, but I can’t say I’m great at it. Even packing for this solo tour, I’m pretty sure I left something at home.”

Split Single with Anya Marina, at the Plough & Stars, 912 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge; Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; free; ploughand stars.com.

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