Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It List: Wednesday

By FP and DL

Islands/Jemina Pearl/Toro Y Moi (Rubber Gloves):
Wow, these guys are still around? I enjoyed The Unicorns' one and only album, but figured the breaking up and then reformation as current entity Island, would be the kiss-of-death for these Canadians. I was pleasantly surprised to see the new incarnation sticking close to the original band's sound, with just a bit more streamlining for the Islands' debut. Islands never had much to make the group really stand out from that wave of cynical indie-pop that came out in the early 2000's, but they are still kicking so you've got to give them some credit there. The music is enjoyable, but doesn't have much substance, although it is certainly better than Arcade Fire. Other Canadian comparisons not withstanding, there isn't much there in the recorded material to keep you coming back.

More by happenstance rather than choice, I have seen both incarnations of this band live and enjoyed both more than I or my respective dates, thought we would. The homogenized sound that the band can easily be faltered for doesn't effect the live performance. They work well as a live band; very tight, and nice enthusiasm from the diverse make-up of instrumentation. If you are bummed that Neutral Milk Hotel haven't released a new album in the past ten years or are still pissed off at Of Montreal for selling out to Outback Steakhouse, I recommend you check out the show, you might dig it. (FP)

So, former Be Your Own Pet front-woman, Jemina Pearl, has started a solo career, and at her best, she sounds like an overlooked side-project that would be on Kill Rock Stars twelve years ago, and the record is aptly on Ecstatic Peace, which is entirely suitable, except for the fact that it makes her label-mates with Richard Ramirez. If this was being released as some sort of weird tween-pop parody put out by what is predominantly a noise label, that might make it more interesting, but that's not the case. The track she does with Iggy Pop ("I Hate People") isn't as bad one would expect, and the rest of the tracks would benefit if that approach were more prevalent. That particular song's composition and melody almost have Pearl potentially moving away from Be Your Own Pet's sound, and reinventing herself with the sophisticated style of a younger Holly Golightly, but unfortunately it's the exception here. (DL)

Old Snack/DJ Dirty Cha Cha (The Cavern): Old Snack is the only actual band listed, and I'm worried about this show since they only have seven songs. In situations like this, it is essential to have a body of work that can be easily split up into two long sets with an intermission. I remember seeing shows like that at The Cavern, before it was "cool." Everyone hates shows like that, by the way. Your co-workers had no idea what they were getting themselves into.(DL)

Blind Pilot/The Low Anthem/Micah P. Hinson (Granada)

Sarah Jaffe/Matthew And The Arrogant Sea (Dan's Silver Leaf)

The Ish with Killtron/Yeah Def/Blake Ward (Ghostbar)


Wacky Wednesday with Select/DJ Playboy (Zubar)


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