Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart at the Echo

It was a hot summer day and an even hotter line up at the Echo. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart kicked off their tour after their well received set at the Pitchfork Festival.

Champagne Socialists

Champagne Socialists kicked things off with a garage rocky set led by the spunky lead vocals of Jihae Simmons Meek. They seemed like a young band trying to work out the kinks as indicated by their myspace page originating back to November of 2008. They happen to be labelmates of The Pain of Being Pure At Heart with their EP being released on Slumberland records.

I was thinking their set might have been more appropriate for the Smell. It was no coincidence that they will be playing the Smell in November after their short tour with The Pains of Being Pure At Heart ends. They reminded me vocally of Dance Hall Crashers if they listened to Sixties garage rock especially "Teardrop Tattoo".


Girls started slow but finished extremely strong. Looking like they just got off the trolley from San Francisco, Girls defied my visual expectations with a solid sonically sculpted set. "Solitude" was my only prior exposure to their wide branching sounds with its breezy '50s stylized rock.

The Girls recently made headlines about their penchant for drugs elucidated by Stereogum. It was interesting to note the Girls walk the walk and talk the talk as the members had some dark circles under their eyes. I guess they didn't get much sleep the night before.

I also dug their live rendition of "Hellhole Rat Race". I will be investigating their full length album when it is released. Girls will be back soon opening for Los Campesinos! at the El Rey Theatre on August 21 and Detroit Bar on August 23. I hope to catch one of those shows.

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart might be the easiest and longest term to google for a band name. While they probably should have consulted someone prior to choosing their band name, they don't need any lessons on creating catchy tunes.

I had heard "Young Adult Friction" and was intrigued enough to check them out. In the gear department, I was excited when I saw a Nord Lead 2x keyboard for Peggy Wang (Keyboards/Vocals) and a homemade fuzz pedal setup for Kip Berman. (Vocals/Guitars).

I will admit I am a sucker for jangly guitars. It just so happened that the guitars didn't relent with their sugary textures. It was difficult to hear Peggy's keyboards in the mix but the two guitars roared all night backed by the constant thumping of Alex Naidus (Bass) and Kurt Feldman (Drums).

What really sold me was how impressive their new songs sounded. A new EP will be released on September 22 entitled Higher Than The Stars. The title track had parts of Teenage Fanclub mixed with elements of Stone Roses as I couldn't help bounce along. The songs are short and sweet with addiction potential of your favorite candy.

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart will be back for a show at the Troubadour on September 19th with Cymbals Eat Guitars and the Depreciation Guild along with a stop at the Casbah on September 21st. I will definitely catch them again.

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