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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tonight in Music: Silver Jews, Horse Feathers, High Places, MSTRKRFT

posted by on October 2 at 9:05 AM

Hell of a night for live music, my friends. There are two shows featured in the highly-coveted Stranger Suggests spot: Brightblack Morning Light at the Tractor and Mark Farina at Last Supper Club.

Silver Jews are in town tonight as well. In this week’s paper Sean Nelson interrogated David Berman and got him to rant about everything from controlling his “product” in the digital-age to being “the asshole who says, ‘It was better in my day.’

Also tonight, from this week’s Up & Comings:

Horse Feathers live at Portia and Slim Moon’s House
Horse Feathers, Matt Bauer
(Sunset) Horse Feathers began as the solo acoustic project of Portlander singer-songwriter Justin Ringle, but they’ve since grown to include multi- instrumental collaborator Peter Broderick as well as a host of live players. The band’s debut album for Kill Rock Stars, House with No Home, finds Ringle and company delivering spare acoustic numbers accented by such rural signifiers as banjo, fiddle, and saw (as well as the more urbane cello, celeste, and, of course, guitar). But the focal point is always Ringle’s whisper-quiet, feather-soft voice, which ranges from a low singing tone to a wounded whimper to an airy falsetto. Opener Matt Bauer’s latest record, The Island Moved in the Storm, is a song cycle inspired by the case of a mysterious young girl found dead along a dirt road in Bauer’s native Kentucky in 1968. So, good times. ERIC GRANDY
High Places - “Golden” (Not the official video)
High Places, Ponytail, Oh Man!
(Nectar) I just conducted an unscientific survey with myself and came to the conclusion that High Places are the most interesting, distinctive American indie-rock band working today. Robert Barber and Mary Pearson compose using the surrealist creative process known as “exquisite corpse,” a cumulative layering of elements generated by a participant without knowing what the previous contribution is. The 10 songs on their Thrill Jockey minialbum 03/0709/07 sound exotic (quasi-Caribbean, perhaps) yet homespun and idiosyncratically mongrel in ways that don’t feel exhausted. Their beauty is a rare thing. Baltimore’s Ponytail exude outrageous exuberance, coloring outside of the indie-pop lines with cute bundles of radiant clangor. They recall tightly wound, early-’80s Scottish bands like Josef K and Fire Engines, sans British moroseness. DAVE SEGAL See also Underage.
MSTRKRFT Live at Coachella
MSTRKRFT, Felix Cartal, Congorock
(Showbox at the Market) Along with Justice, MSTRKRFT have the blog-house/n-rave scene on (caps) lockdown. Toronto duo Al-P and Jesse F. Keeler crank out the sharp-toned synth motifs, snappy disco beats, and talk-boxed bittersweet nothings that reliably push the pleasure buttons of mid-’00s metro- sexual clubbers. The title “Neon Knights” (off the twosome’s 2006 album The Looks) succinctly sums up MSTRKRFT’s candied and ‘cained ’80s aesthetic. An early taster for their Fist of God full-length (out in October), “Vuvuvu” tilts MSTRKRFT into harder EBM territory, recalling Visage’s “Frequency 7.” It’s a good look for them. Vancouver’s Felix Cartal has remixed Britney Spears and Ashlee Simpson, but his own tracks lean toward corrugated, unhinged, and sinister electro. DAVE SEGAL

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