The Big Pink/A Place to Bury Strangers/Darktown Strutters (Granada)
Uh oh. One of these NME approved British buzz bands with larger than life egos and songs designed to appeal to anyone and everyone who's ever heard of Oasis or U2. Shit, right? Well, not exactly. The Big Pink picked up a lot of steam very quickly across the pond, thanks in no small part to a succession of catchy singles (one of which was remixed by Gang Gang Dance) and its various members' involvement in releasing "nu rave" singles by the likes of Klaxons and others. The songs on their full length debut are certainly larger than life in many respects, and have often been compared to groups like Oasis, the Stone Roses and The Verve. So of course, if these bands piss you off, I wouldn't even bother. However, if you're open to the darker side of brit-pop, as well as doses of shoegaze and Big Beat infused Post-post punk, then you could probably do a lot worse than the Big Pink. Furthermore, attending this show would mean catching the excellent A Place to Bury Strangers, whose live shows aren't to be missed if you're interested in some piercing feedback and JAMC- Loop inspired noise pop. And at the risk of sounding too much like a Homer here, Darktown Strutters are probably still the most compelling act on this bill, which is rather solid overall. (SR)
The Big Pink DJ SET (Good Records, 730PM)
The Istics/Webbed/Peru (4 Horse Saloon)
Damaged Goods/S.A.I./Florene/The Uptown Bums/Power Animal/Old Snack (Rubber Gloves)
Nervous Curtains/Happy Bullets/Bridges and Blinking Lights (The Kessler)
Oak Cliff Art Crawl (Oak Cliff)
Camera Obscura/Princeton (Hailey's)
Camera Obscura have been close to my heart over the course of my post-adolescent life. Their music has been a soundtrack for many a days spent in frollicing in the summer sun and even more night spent alone clutching my teddy bear and reading Satre. Like all great pop music it goes great with any situation. In my opinion all great pop music must be 1. catchy and 2. relatable. Something like Justin Timberlake or Lil' Wayne are undoubtedly catchy, but I can't really relate to them, nor would I ever want to. Now I am not saying that I am a thirty something Irish indie pop band but I do think that the mentality and demeanor of Tracyanne Campbell and co is much closer to where I am in my life, at least for the moment. As pop music tends to do their songs get indulgent at times, both musically and lyrically. Where some one like the aforementioned Wheezie indulgences include crime and bling, Camera Obscusra indulge in loneliness and reflection.
Since the death of John Peel and subsequent departure of Nigel Baillie their music has lost some of the more overtly twee elements and have really filled out their sound with strings and production bombacity. Big, beautiful songs filled with bitter sweet lyrics free of irony or repose. The closest thing we have to a Bacharach/David sound, along with fellow favorite Jens Lekman. I am not afraid to say I cherish this kind of music but I only from a very limited number of artists. Baroque pop or whatever you want to call it is littered with overwrought, schmaltzy, indulgent and other cringe-worthy elements coming from bands too cute or too serious for their own good. But not Camera Obscura; they got what it takes!
I was a little let down with their latest effort, My Maudlin Career, initially because I had such high expectations coming off of Let's Get Out of This Country. Luckily I have come to enjoy it more with age, and can't wait to check them out again. (FP)
Shearwater/Wye Oak/The Hospital Ships (The Loft)
I understand that Shearwater don't feel the need to bind themselves to the structural trappings of modern music but I think their concept has gotten ahead of the physical reality of their music. Their songs have some really nice moments and Meiburg's voice has character but the songs never seem to go anywhere. It all sounds over calculated and a bit pretentious to warrant the amount of listens it takes to appreciate the the desired effect of the music. I would much rather listen to Talk Talk. (FP)
Hello Shark/New Science Projects/Spooky Folk/Roy Robertson (Danny Tanner Manor): What the hell is going on here?
The Buck Pets/Boom Boom Box (Trees): The Buck Pets are from Plano. They are widely known as the only good thing to ever come from Plano in the time that they existed. Had they not signed to a major label and instead formed some sort of scene around them, complete with record stores, a label, and so on, perhaps Plano would not be 85% Republican today. But then they wouldn't be as well-known as they are. Bands have to make a lot of unfair choices. Still, you did a good thing, Buck Pets. -DL
The Theater Fire/Dana Falconberry/Pinebox Serenade (Rubber Gloves)
Musink Festival (Fair Park)
Ani Difranco (Granada)
ANS/Unit 21/Bleach Boys/Dark Forces/Collick (Rubber Gloves): Collick is one of the best examples of tackling the weirdly paranoid mood and heavily chorused guitar style of "Metal Circus"-era Husker Du. That was when they were still nasty enough to sound scary on the hardcore tracks, but you could tell they were just on the verge of being total wimps and admitting to liking The Monkees. Those kinds of extremes are hard for any artist to capture. (DL)