Thursday, November 19, 2009

It List: Thursday

Mostly by Stoned Ranger.

Free Energy/Max Tundra/Deastro (The Cavern):
In the world of electro pop, nothing says "mixed bag" better than a new album from off kilter synth goof Max Tundra. After nearly a decade long career in which he received early and constant praise from Pitchfork, among other publications, Tundra continues to explore r&b, synth pop, funk, free jazz and glitch pop with an eye towards straight forward dance pop and at least one foot planted firmly in the realm of the experimental. Essentially, Tundra often sounds like a guy who wants to tease his listeners, crafting ridiculously catchy pop gems while constantly tossing curve balls in the form of odd tempo changes and surprising twists and turns, rendering many of his best pieces utterly unmarketable yet strangely compelling, a wrench in the turning gears of electro pop. This approach often works quite well, and standout tracks such as "Which Song" off his latest release Parallax Error Beheads You might have you wondering why this guy isn't playing the Granada rather than the Cavern. But just as often, his cutesy lyrics (songs about picking up chicks on Facebook?) and insistence on strange song structure can render the entire listening experience a bit empty, as if you're simply listening to some nerd goofing off. The good times certainly seem to outweigh the bad, however, and the fact that Tundra is playing such an intimate venue should be a real bonus for many of his loyal fans. Elsewhere on the bill, Ghostly International's prolific bedroom sensation Deastro should add quite a bit to this line up with his doses of distorted, reverb-heavy dream pop, pulled from a catalogue of hundreds of self produced tracks that are just now starting to see the light of day after years in the making. Headliners Free Energy seem to be quite a mismatch here, with a rather standard hipster take on glad rock and big 70's stadium riffs, neither of which ever seem to be handled well by dudes wearing Am Appy. (SR)

I just want to add that Free Energy evolved out of the Midwestern indie rock band, Hockey Night, who put out music on the now defunct Lookout. Anyone who remembers their particular style probably won't find their newer Springsteen-inspired sound all that surprising, but what is interesting is that it's produced by James Murphy and is out on DFA, perhaps signaling that the label is branching out. (DL)

80's Night With DJ G (Hailey's)

Top Notch With Sober (The Cavern Upstairs)

Screening: "Beyond Elections" (1919 Hemphill): From the film's website: "From Venezuela's Communal Councils, to Brazil's Participatory Budgeting; from Constitutional Assemblies to grassroots movements, recuperated factories to cooperatives across the hemisphere - this documentary is a journey which takes us across the Americas, to attempt to answer one of the most important questions of our time: What is Democracy?"

Mountain Goats/Final Fantasy/Larkin Grimm (The Granada)

New Science Projects/George Neal/Jenn Gooch (J&J's Pizza)

The Heelers/Roman Candle/Naptime Shake (The Loft)

The Headlights
/Pomegranates/Sabra Laval/Fishboy (Rubber Gloves):
Presented by Day Bow Bow.

Billingham's Defense System (Fallout Lounge)


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