Please pardon my lack of enthusiasm today; I'm still mourning that crushing playoff-ending defeat our city's beloved Redbirds faced on Friday -- damn those victorious Nationals. Also, Dewey Defeats Truman! Oh, ESPN.
There's good shows this week: Smashing Pumpkins plays the Chaifetz on Thursday -- it should be noted that Die Antwoord is that same night as well, so here I am noting it. Pop-punkers Teenage Bottlerocket will play at Firebird tonight. Pro tip: absolutely do not miss opener Masked Intruder -- heed my words! Finally, this weekend Fubar will host Gateway to the West Fest Five, bringing to town dozens of top-name hardcore bands from all over the country. Word to the wise on that one: I hear it is in danger of selling out, so do not sleep. The rest of our picks follow!
Teenage Bottlerocket Mon., 7:30 p.m. October 15 w/ Smoke or Fire, Masked Intruder, the Haddonfields, the Fuck Off and Dies @ The Firebird - $12 By Scott Heisel While punk legends the Ramones are worthy of being an influence of just about every contemporary punk band, few decide to base their entire career off that New York City trio's three-chords-and-the-slurred-truth sound. Meet Teenage Bottlerocket, the current leaders of the still-fledgling Ramones-core scene. The Laramie, Wyoming, quartet wears leather jackets, plays with its collective legs spread as far apart as they can go and pauses between songs only long enough to shout "1, 2, 3, 4!" The result? Its concerts feature tune after two-minute tune of Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy worship. (And frankly, we can't find many things wrong with that.
Old 97's Tues., 8:00 p.m. October 16 @ The Pageant - $20-$22.50 By Allison Babka Anniversary parties often are lame affairs that star relatives you haven't seen in 23 years and feature food from the local church ladies. Not so with the Old 97s; it is planning a raging kegger to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Too Far to Care. Ok, the keg action is really between you and the Halo Bar staff, but it'll still be a sweet party. As so many bands of a certain age have been doing lately, Old 97s will perform its third studio album in its entirety and follow that up with some recent tunes. Head honcho Rhett Miller will kick the evening off with his own solo set, offering us a stellar anniversary gift. Not a Gift Horse: Are you an Old 97s superfan? The band is giving away two lifetime passes to its shows. Just find a winning copy of the reissued Too Far to Care on vinyl online or in your favorite local record shop.
Spectator Wed., 9:00 p.m. October 17 w/ Adelyn R @ El Lenador - $5 By Christian Schaeffer From this June 2012 album review: Dream-pop bands rarely get both sides of the hyphen right. Beach House may wrap its organ-fired whims in a beautiful, engrossing gauze, but you're more likely to bliss out than bop your head along. So it's a comfort that Spectator, a relatively new quartet, makes its recording debut with such a rich, elegantly produced piece of mood music. The songs on this six-track EP reverberate with the plucks of hollow-body guitars and the gentle pulse of warm keyboard tones. Megan Rooney leads this band with a deft hand on the keyboard and an assured, if restrained, approach to her vocals. She honed her craft singing with local Latin-inspired groups, but the only obvious nod to her past comes in the light Tropicalia of "Daytime." On the EP, Rooney holds court with a controlled quaver that has enough body to be the center of songs that are, by design, patient constructions of ambient space and more aggressive push/pull dynamics. Opening track "We've Been Through This Before" displays this artful tension beautifully. Earmark it for your next post-breakup playlist.
Smashing Pumpkins Thurs., 7:30 p.m. October 18 @ Chaifetz Arena - $35-$49.50 By Shae Moseley From this 2008 review: The latest incarnation of the Pumpkins sounded proficient, air-tight, agile and capable of attacking pretty much any part of the band's diverse back-catalog. As the band opened with two newer songs ("Tarantula" from last year's Zeitgeist and the new single "G.L.O.W.") a dusky auburn backdrop of warm L.E.D. light signaled that night had fallen and Billy Corgan was about to spew some sonic evil in the general direction of the anxious crowd.
Tilly and the Wall Fri., 8:30 p.m. October 19 @ The Firebird - $15 By Christian Schaeffer In the beloved Omaha, Nebraska indie scene packed with brooding and emotive acts Bright Eyes, Cursive and the Faint, Tilly and the Wall always seemed like the apple-cheeked innocents among a cast of dark hearts. It even used a tap-dancer in lieu of a drummer, for Christ's sake. But there was always a frothy mix of burbling hormones and pop-music energy in the band's songs, and the dance-rock vibe on the just-released Heavy Mood shows a continued movement toward electronic pop music. "Defenders" strike a bellicose pose through rugged drum machine patterns and strident vocals, but elsewhere on the LP, the band's shared vocals are used to gentler but no less effective ends. Icky Sticky: Tilly and the Wall guitarist showed off his new project Icky Blossoms at the Firebird this summer while on tour with the Mynabirds, pumping out sinister sex jams and strobe light pulses in relentless measure.
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