Monday, October 27, 2008

Live: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

When: Friday, 10/24/08
Where: NY Noise CMJ Showcase at Cake Shop

There's been a lot of hype around the Pains of Being Pure at Heart over the last few months and I've been struggling to form an opinion unbiased by the natural resentment I feel towards anyone who is both cuter and more successful than me (please pick one or the other, people! don't be cruel!).

Recorded, the band plays a sweet tweegaze that they accurately describe as some combination of Black Tambourine and the Pastels. The songs are adorable, with love-filled, cheerful lyrics and sing-song melodies, but underneath is a continuous layer of fuzzed-out guitar. Live, the band does exactly the same thing, only about fifty times louder. And, as it turns out, that's awesome. Not only does the band seem to be having great fun on stage, but they actually do know how to rock out (albeit in a rather wussy way).

So far, the Pains aren't doing anything that wasn't done a hundred times over in the UK 18 years ago, but they are doing it better than anyone else these days. And after hearing the shoegazey power of their live show, I have higher hopes that as their sound matures, they could one day break the mold and really move pop in a new direction. But even if all they ever do is play their noisy twee until the end of time, that will be enough for me!

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