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by Vijith Assar

22 Oct 2009


Suckers
Bowery Poetry Club, New York City
If there’s any way to graciously play 90’s alternative rock at this point, this would be it.  Kaleidoscopic projected visuals emulating quilts and snow-capped mountains give way to vaguely homosexual encounters between cartoon peacocks with harps for tails; meanwhile, the performers gradually move between emulating the Foo Fighters and the better aspects of Better Than Ezra (that last one is indeed meant as
praise.)  I’m as nostalgic for those days as anybody, but a contemporary glaze kept the word “retro” firmly at bay.  Good for them.


Fool’s Gold
Bowery Poetry Club, New York City
Driving this band is former soloist and current front man Luke Top—who recalls a young David Byrne in both looks and stage impact.  The proposition that a set like this is another example of indie-rock’s continuous co-opting of Afropop (also Byrne-like, actually) is perhaps a tenuous one in the wake of you-know-who, but it’s nevertheless pretty hard to resist.  The performance, that is, not the idea.  But yeah, that too.

by Thomas Hauner

21 Oct 2009


Mon Khmer
Cameo Gallery, Brooklyn
A quintet of shoegazers, Mon Khmer were going somewhere in their music, but slowly.  So slowly that the sometimes beautiful sounds they crafted after layering two guitars and a pedal steel guitar never materialized.  The occasional coalescence of harmonies was further diminished, however, by muddled and confused vocals.  But whenever the group did seem to hit its stride (pulsating tom-tom rhythms under blending, repetitive guitar lines) the transformative capabilities of the pedal steel stalled, the player caught looking up and just admiring his own band mates.  Hunker down and join the party already!

Photo by Thomas Hauner

Photo by Thomas Hauner

Photo by Thomas Hauner

Photo by Thomas Hauner

Photo by Thomas Hauner

Photo by Thomas Hauner

by Jonathan Kosakow

21 Oct 2009


Warpaint
Mercury Lounge, New York City
You probably wouldn’t say that the members of Warpaint came on stage looking ready for battle.  In fact, based on how they dressed on stage last night, you’d be more inclined to say they look ready for bed.  But put you to sleep is the last thing the mostly–female quartet did on Tuesday (three of four musicians are women).  Their haunting bass lines and drumbeats kept a steady groove as their ethereal guitar parts and vocal harmonies elevated above the room.  The juxtaposition between psychodelia and dark pop came together smoothly and left you wanting more.

by Vijith Assar

21 Oct 2009


Kingston
Red Bull Space, New York City
The sort of indie rock band that probably has no problem labeling itself as such, Kingston is led by a shaggy-haired frontman apparently so chosen more for his love of the attention than any other obvious qualifications.  Engaging drums, but between the words “thank” and “you” during that last climactic fill I somehow forgot literally all the lyrics and riffs from the songs they’d just performed (I know because I was trying to write this down at the time).  I give this two kiwis out of a possible five, but to be fair, I was getting pretty frustrated trying to figure out what this image had to do with New Zealand, CMJ, indie rock, or, you know, anything.

by Mehan Jayasuriya

20 Oct 2009


Saturday night was about as cold and rainy as they come here in Washington D.C. but that didn’t stop a few hundred kids from packing into the Black Cat for an evening of ethereal, psych-tinged rock.  First up were Atlanta’s Selmanaires, who did double duty, serving as both opening act and backing band for Bradford Cox.  As the Selmanaires, they ably warmed up the crowd with a set of energetic, Talking Heads-indebted dance rock.

Though they easily could have headlined, Birmingham, England’s Broadcast hit the stage next, serving up one half-set of protracted, ambient experiments followed by another half-set of recognizable songs.  Trish Keenan, fittingly outfitted in a white robe, hovered wraith-like over a table crammed full of blinking electronics, her long, dark hair obscuring her face.  A series of brightly colored projections behind the band provided most of the visual stimulus, as Keenan and James Cargill did their best to remain hidden in the shadows. Though the first half of the band’s set was captivating in its own right, the audience seemed to breathe a collective sigh of relief when the duo dusted off a few familiar numbers during the second half, including the obligatory “Black Cat.”

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Country Fried Rock: Drivin' N' Cryin' to Be Inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame

// Sound Affects

""If Drivin' N' Cryin' sounded as good in the '80s as we do now, we could have been as big as Cinderella." -- Kevn Kinney

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