The Anniversary

Tuesday, February 4; Gargoyle (on the Washington University campus)

Among the indie-rock cognoscenti, it's well known that if you play the Anniversary's latest album, Your Majesty, simultaneously with the DVD of Amélie, many freaky coincidences occur. Well, not really, but the Anniversary throws a lot of kinks into the emo formula, enough that critics have taken to referencing Pink Floyd more often than Weezer or Fugazi in connection with the group. The Anniversary's lush new album goes to show that no matter how many restrictive labels critics and fans slap on a band, music is just going to keep growing and changing with nary a second thought to semantics.

Keyboard sweeps and epic songs (e.g., "Husam Husam," featuring the Anniversary's best hippie lyric, "Drink mother's milk and be free!") place the Lawrence, Kansas, quintet above most of their Vagrant Records labelmates in both ambition and skill. Sure, there's still the jagged timing and lyrics about girls who've gone, but the Anniversary brings enough good humor and melody to even its more typical songs to keep them interesting.

When a band has the kind of music that pretentious music writers describe as "lush," there's a danger that it won't be able to deliver the goods onstage. The Anniversary squashes this reasonable concern with a legendary stage show, complete with bombastic lights and pyrotechnics. Rumors of a giant floating pig were unconfirmed as of press time.