Friday, April 8, 2011

Pains of Being Pure at Heart with Twin Shadow at Emo's

I know a lot of you are trying to avoid downtown this weekend due to the Texas Relays but if you let that stop you from seeing The Pains of Being Pure at Heart tomorrow night at Emo's I'm going to be very disappointed in you. Trust me, I understand where you're coming from, I don't like to be downtown on Halloween, or New Year's or any other time where there are lots and lots of drunk people milling about. Sure, parking is going to be a bigger pain in the ass than it already is and you're going to have to wade through seas of people just to get to Emo's but hearing the newest tunes from Pains will make it all worth it. Mr. S. is so in love with the new record, Belong, he actually wants to have a polygamist, gay-marriage with me and the LP. I say, let's take it one step at a time Mr. S. there aren't many states that will allow two men to marry let alone two men and a record. In any case, if you want to join me and Mr. S. at Emo's tomorrow night whilst we swoon over the new songs from Belong, I suggest you grab yourself a ticket while they're still available. The tickets themselves are only $12, so you should have enough to buy the new LP from the merch table at the show. Just sayin'.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Heart in Your Heartbreak video via YouTube

Even if The Pains of Being Pure at Heart were playing without an opening act I would suggest you attend this show but the fact that they are touring with Twin Shadow makes this show unmissable. I have been a champion of the Twin Shadow record, Forget, since before it came out and Saturday night will actually be my fourth time seeing them perform. That's right BEFORE it came out and FOURTH time I totally out hipstered you right there. I can tell you that Twin Shadow put on a great performance and their synthy, dark-80's vibe will play perfectly on Emo's outside stage. I feel like if you're a regular reader of this site there really isn't too much more I can say about Twin Shadow so I'll just say they are definitely Bloggy-Approved and leave it at that. Oh, and if you're not a regular reader of this site,

"Hi. Thanks for popping over."

Twin Shadow - Castles in the Snow video via YouTube

For the record, I have also seen The Pains of Being Pure at Heart perform before, on Emo's inside stage and they are also excellent performers. Their set will be filled with energy and will make you want to pogo until the balls of your feet are bleeding in your Chuck Taylors. How's that for some beautiful imagery?

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Books/Wire Friday Night

Like most weekend nights here in Austin, there are (at least) TWO excellent shows to check out tomorrow night. The first one I want to mention is happening at Central Presbyterian Church, which is always a great place to see a show, The Books will be performing. If you want to get tickets, you should do so today while they're $15 as opposed to tomorrow when they'll be $18. The Books are a duo from New York City who have been performing together since 1999. Their music has been described as "folktronica", which kind of makes me want to throw-up. Not the music itself just that word, "folktronica", sadly it's a pretty apt description. The two of them play guitar and cello with electronic beats and textures added, I feel like Central Presbyterian Church will be the perfect place to enjoy their music. The Books' latest release is their first in 5 years, it's called The Way Out and is a 50 minute sound-collage of beautiful folk-inspired electronic music. If you haven't heard it yet, it's definitely worth checking out either in-person tomorrow, or here.

The Books - A Cold Freezin' Night video via YouTube

So, while The Books are holding things down at the church, there will be a completely different kind of worship service over at the Mohawk. Seminal English post-punk band, Wire will be schooling a packed house tomorrow night. While the band has been around since 1976 and influenced/inspired a whole bevy of bands, they are actually touring behind an album that came out THIS year. Don't worry though, chances are they will still play the old songs you want them to play but they'll also be tearing through a lot of the tracks from Red Barked Tree. If you ask me, that's not really a bad thing. Old or new Wire just writes and performs some really kick-ass songs. For some reason, tickets to see Wire are still available but you can bet they won't be much longer. So, if this is your first time hearing about the show and you want to go click that effing link NOW! If you're reading this and you've never heard of Wire, trust me, the bands you listen to HAVE heard of Wire and would be making completely different music if Wire never existed. That's some metaphysical shit right there.

Wire - Adapt video via YouTube

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Papercuts Play Emo's

The only genre I like more than indie-pop is sad-tinged-indie-pop. That's right, I said sad-tinged! So, what? If you, also, enjoy some sad-tinged-indie-pop then you should join me in enjoying San Francisco band, Papercuts as they grace Emo's inside stage tomorrow night. Their third album is their first for Sub Pop, so they're about 3 degrees from Dave Grohl. Tickets will set you back $10 but will earn you loads of street-cred when next year your friends are all like,

"Hey have you heard of this band, Papercuts?"

and you're like

"Bro, I saw them play Emo's INSIDE back when you were listening to Rebecca Black! In fact, now that you know about Papercuts I can't like them anymore, thanks alot!"

That's pretty much, verbatim, how it will go down and your hipster-street-cred will sky-rocket and you can trade that shit in for some new mustache wax!

Papercuts - Do What You Will video via YouTube

Starting things out tomorrow night, will be Banjo or Freakout whose self-titled album is out now via Memphis-Industries. The band is based in London and their PR info refers to their music as shoegaze-pop, which makes me wonder what drugs are best to take when listening to them? I'm leaning towards some sort of dis-associative but will probably just stick to Lone Star. You should probably just stay away from drugs and alcohol altogether so you can, like, totally stay in the moment.

Banjo Or Freakout - Upside Down video via YouTube

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Scissor Sisters Bring High Energy, High Camp

For those of you who missed the Scissor Sisters at Stubb's last night I assure you a good time was had by all. I have only seen Stubb's as packed as it was last night on a couple of rare occasions and never on a Sunday night. Toward the end of the set I made my way toward the back to get a little extra moving, breathing room and I was surprised to see the venue packed in pretty tightly from the stage to the back wall. Generally, there is a pretty big gap toward the back but not last night. Not only that, the back section is usually where the patrons are the least engaged, texting, chatting, generally acting unaware of the concert taking place but I can tell you I saw people dancing and clapping along even in the back toward the porta-johns.

Fresh off their tour with Lady Gaga the Scissor Sisters were sounding well-rehearsed, while looking well-choreographed and fit. Personally, I haven't seen them perform since their first album when they were doing a club tour and I can tell you that their show really hasn't changed a whole lot. The only difference is it's much more exaggerated now than it was then. Instead of wearing just some leather pants, now Jake Shears dons patent leather chaps paired with matching underwear. Instead of just gyrating, now they thrust with vigor. Visually the biggest difference is the band just looks so much more polished than they used to. They were always going for a high-camp, super-fun time but now their back-up dancers have choreographed routines and Jake and Anna seem to have honed what sort of rock 'n roll stage moves get the best reactions. In other words, the club-band I saw has become an arena-band and they did it without compromising their music or their show.

Scissor Sisters - Fire With Fire video via YouTube

As far as the setlist goes, bands always walk a fine-line when promoting a new album. Do you play all kinds of new tracks and risk losing the audience or stick with the classics and hope they become aware of the new songs by the time the next tour comes around? Scissor Sisters managed to blend the new with the old quite nicely. The first part of the set seemed to alternate between the familiar hits and the new tracks. The crowd reacted to the new songs just as well as they did the classics although there was a lot more singing a long to the classics, obviously. I will say that no matter what they played last night people were dancing like no one was watching.

I didn't bring my Bloggy Cam so, unfortunately, I don't have any live-video for you to enjoy but something tells me Austin might see the Scissor Sisters again around Austin City Limits festival time. That is complete conjecture though, I have no connections to the folks who decide those things, I just feel like it would be wise.

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