It’s a South By rule that while bands from Tokyo and New Zealand and Denmark play their little frequent-flier-mile hearts out all over town, you end up seeing a band that shops at your same grocery store back home. So it was that I started day three in Austin with Brooklyn’ The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. The co-ed foursome’s sound is a sweet jumble of late ’80s/early ’90s shoegaze and jangly Britrock, and just as achingly sincere as the name implies. Singer Kip Berman, sweating gamely in 80-degree heat in a olive anorak, captured all the wistful longing of those Cure and OMD records you had in high school, minus the lip liner, and keyboardist Peggy Wang bopped around like Janice from the Muppets, punctuating the choruses with wispy harmonies. The clip “Everything with You” has been on repeat in my cubicle back home for a while:Next up? Psych-jammy trio Woods, whose immediate live sound gave me weird Credence Clearwater Revival vibes, but it panned out to be more of a pretty, folksy country-ramble thing—think Fleet Foxes with falsetto (Odd to know that they were once signed to Rough Trade). A request to the band, whose combined age appears to be about 37, so they know about these interweb things: please be more Googleable! For now, all we’ve got is your Myspace and this one clip, which doesn’t really do the recorded stuff justice:The relentlessly hyped-slash-already-backlashed Wavves, meanwhile, is so new that they (actually just 22-year-old San Diegan Nathan Daniel William, who looks like a lost member of Vampire Weekend’s deck crew) didn’t even have enough material to fill his half-hour slot. When told he still had 15 minutes, the 22-year-old responded with a bewildered “F—.” Still, his psych-thrash fuzz is fun, kind of like the Pixies for stoned eight-year-olds (not an insult. Seriously!) with a big dose of art-school lo-fi bedroom shtick—a sort of giddy sonic fuzzbom of repetitive, simple, ear-wormy choruses, and sentiments like, well, “I’m So Bored”:
Posted March 20 2009 — 11:46 PM EDT
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