The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Girls, Champagne Socialists
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
These NYC purists can't help themselves. They live and breathe their influences. It's impossible not to hear The Go-Betweens, The Smiths, Echo & The Bunnymen, and The Stone Roses, all before the first verse kicks in. This is the kind of pop-perfection that can change your mood; the music your memories will stick to if you let it. It can make homework bearable or traffic fun at the right volume. It can elevate your senses, and isn't that all we ask for from music? Luckily, they have a few releases available for our nostalgic ears. Their latest self-titled release on Slumberland, will be performed in all its pop glory on their current world tour. The foursome conjure several words and phrases that described the music they're reinventing from twenty-or so years ago: Shoe-gazey, drone, fuzz, twee, melancholy, etc. The consistency with which TPOBPAH forges through, primarily first rate reinvention of their predecessors, has made them the well-deserved indie-darlings on the SXSW and upcoming Pitchfork Music Festival.
Girls, out of San Francisco, get to do everything we've been told not to as children. Their hedonistic partying, on display in their video for "Morning Light," makes rebellion look like the only alternative to boredom. Not only do they jump on beds, stuff their faces with food, make out with themselves in the mirror, and apply globs of pink lipstick, their music is a reflection of their image or vice versa. Their graceful tunes are full of big ideas, lyrics, and sounds. Girls are focused mostly toward giant, sweeping ballads. "Hellhold Ratrace" you'd for sure put first on a mix you'll never have the nerve to give your crush. On the flip side, Girls tracks have the tendency for extended drone-laden trips down rainy streets and lay down lyrics of dreams for the future: Pizza, a bottle of wine, and a brand new start. The feel is faux-british new wave [note: Elvis Costello's "ooohh whoaah ohhhs."] and tambourine/bongo beats. The band says of their new album, "We did some work polishing as well as laid some amazing drum tracks with our new drummer Garett Godard. Just two -three mics on the drums in a lovely ill-angled wood floored room made for some great albini-esque results."
It would be wrong to listen to this pop perfection on anything but a record player with a faulty needle. The sound of the Champagne Socialists evokes the smell of your mother's dusty vinyl collection of girl groups and moth-eaten cardigans from decades past. Intentionally scratchy, underwater vocal stylings and lo-fi recording characterize the undeniably appealing elements of this Los Angeles group. It's clear that the nostalgia of the good times of the 60's (think the Beach Boys with a beach ball) is their main point of reference.
115 NW 5th
Portland, OR 97209
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|