By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
By now, the good people of Washington, D.C.'s Dismemberment Plan are probably getting sick of being compared to '80s bands. Unfortunately for them, despite the undeniable influence of their hometown's rich punk and post-punk scene, it's wave heroes such as Duran Duran and the Psychedelic Furs that come to mind most often when one listens to the Dismemberment Plan's most recent album, Change (DeSoto Records). Not that the band goes out of its way to employ the '80s-revivalist clichés of dated keyboards and drum machines -- it's simply that the clean vocals and chiming guitars, as well as the ultracatchy melodic bass lines (which would surely get hips shaking in any city other than the notoriously dance-shy St.Louis) have "John Hughes soundtrack" written all over them. Rest assured, we mean this as a compliment.
Sharing the bill is Seattle's Death Cab for Cutie, invested by many in the know with Next Big Thing status. DCFC's newest release, Photo Album (Barsuk Records), mines the territory where emo, indie rock and mid-'90s Superchunk intersect.
Note: Although the two bands have christened their concerts the "Death and Dismemberment Tour," this intriguing appellation refers to their band names only. Fans of black metal and gore who accidentally go to this show will be very, very disappointed.