21 November 2011

Triple Bills and Mister Bands

Let's talk about triple bills. Sometimes it's so annoying having to wade through hours and hours of openers when all you want to do is rock out to the main act. I can think of a few notable exceptions to this rule, however. The best being the Okkervil River/Titus Andronicus /Future Islands tour that took place earlier this year. Seriously if you missed it, you missed the awesomeness of three distinctly different, insanely talented groups. Moody synth-pop, fierce indie punk and rollicking Americana all rolled into one night -- WHEN DOES THAT EVER HAPPEN? Practically never.

The only other shows that comes close -- Los Campesinos!/Girls/The Smith Westerns (my god was that show really over two years ago??) and Jens Lekman/ Frida Hyvonen/ Beirut (and, yikes, that was over FIVE years ago).

I'm not sure if last night's show could have been ranked among those concerts, as I missed the first band's set (oops, sorry Fort Lean). But judging from the other two, it definitely had potential. Mister Heavenly and Mr. Dream. (I am working really hard here to refrain from making lame "Mister Mister" jokes, folks.)

Y'all probably know Mister Heavenly, or at least know of one of their three main band members. It's the guy from Man Man! The guy from Islands! The guy from Modest Mouse! (And sometimes, but alas not last night, Michael Cera?!) Together they make immaculately poppy music, drenched in 1950s melodies, mixed with a little bit of modern day menace. They literally coined the phrase "Doom Wop" to describe their sound and I'd be hard pressed to find a better term to describe it. On record these songs are catchy, but live they are intense. Check 'em out here.

Opener Mr. Dream was also enjoyable. This is what music sounds like when people stop writing about it and start making it. (I only say this because, just like everyone else who writes about them, I'm obligated to mention this is a band composed mainly of one-time Pitchfork writers) In other words, they sound sort of like the the Pixies. It's heavily-influenced punk with nervy bass lines and noisy guitars. They know their indie-rock history and play off of it with great aplomb. Stream their debut album here

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