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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tonight in Music: Tapes ‘n Tapes, the Posies

posted by on May 14 at 11:50 AM

Robyn, as already reported on Line Out, is NOT playing at Neumo’s tonight. Sorry.

Tapes ‘n Tapes - “Hang Them All”

Tapes ‘n Tapes is at the Showbox, though! Michaelangelo Matos reviewed their new album, Walk It Off, in this week’s paper:

Tapes ‘n Tapes
Walk It Off

The knock on music beloved by blogs is that bloggers are too frequently beholden to instantaneous turnover for their analyses to mean much. So the fact that this Twin Cities quartet were picked up (or picked on) as a blog favorite is sort of amusing, because they’re anything but immediate.

The first time through Walk It Off, Tapes ‘n Tapes’ second album, was honestly confusing: Sure, it’s guitar-based indie rock, but it sounded awfully undifferentiated. So much for web hype. But the next couple listens settled it in, and I started hearing songs—even better, I started hearing guitars.

Those guitars tend more toward hyperactive rhythm than lead lines or even noise. They’re not especially tricked up, à la Sonic Youth and their woolly progeny. Though they get loud pretty frequently—most ecstatically, and clinically, on the expansive opener, “Le Ruse,” and the bottled-tension closing number, “The Dirty Dirty”—the guitars, like the band’s songs, generally stay neatly ordered.

If Tapes ‘n Tapes recall any single band it’s the Pixies, only Tapes ‘n Tapes’ melodic and rhythmic sense is staccato rather than widescreen-dramatic. Josh Grier’s gulping, fragile vocals are mixed back just enough to bob to the surface without dominating. “Conquest” is an instructive exception: In addition to its attractively loose strumming and cymbal-bell-accented drums, Grier is further up front, but my attention keeps wandering to the rhythm section and a buried, tricky little synth part. MICHAELANGELO MATOS

Also tonight, the Posies 20th Anniversary celebration continues in Tacoma:

The Posies, the Joshua Cain Band, Bumma Stoge
(Hell’s Kitchen) They just keep going. This spring, the Posies celebrate 20 years of making magical pop songs. While Ken Stringfellow and company’s more recent efforts have been less memorable (2005’s Every Kind of Light neglected to deliver the kind of addicting hooks that make 1997’s Frosting on the Beater so cherished), the band are still worth celebrating, with a back catalog of gems that are forever the soundtrack to my teen and young-adult years. “Dream All Day” blasted as I drove down the highway for the first time alone after getting my license; “Coming Right Along” haunted and hugged me through my first heartbreak. This anniversary is as much ours as it is theirs. MEGAN SELING

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you are about four years off on frosting on the beater's release. '97? amazing disgrace came out in '96 and that was the album after frosting.....

Posted by p | May 14, 2008 5:58 PM

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