Friday, July 18, 2014

Too Many Excellent Shows Tonight: Modest Mouse, the Hold Steady, and More!

Posted by on Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 2:31 PM

MODEST MOUSE KIND OF SAVED INDIE ROCK, Y'ALL

(Showbox at the Market) If you're new: Modest Mouse are a band from Issaquah, Washington. Fronted by the high-voiced Isaac Brock, they were considered by some to be indie rock's early-2000's savior when The Moon & Antarctica gave everybody chills on the inside with its smart 'n' sincere lyrics and swells of melodic guitar-jangle music that flickered from chaotic to meloncholy. Nerds will tell you the earlier stuff was better, and they may be right; I will tell you that I was a salty college freshman-done with whiny boys and their whiny music-when "Float On" played approximately every half-hour on the radio. I didn't get it then, but I kind of get it now. And that's the best you're going to get out of me. EMILY NOKES
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"THE THINKING MAN'S BAR BAND": THE HOLD STEADY

(Neptune Theatre) The Hold Steady’s boozy, swaggering, late-’70s radio rock has always been a bit of a tough sell for the general public. But their charm stems from Craig Finn’s boisterous storytelling, which manages to address sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll in a capacity that is neither glamorous nor cautionary. Over the course of their last three albums, the Hold Steady have gussied up their sound with bigger choruses and stronger production, tapering Finn’s revelatory rambling into more traditional songwriting. This bodes well for the band’s accessibility, but it also diminishes the impact of their strongest asset. Still, for listeners reading along with the lyric sheet at home, recent songs like “We Can Get Together” are as poignant as anything Finn did in their early years, provided you can see past the glare of the high-gloss production. BRIAN COOK
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GOOD CAUSE, GOOD MUSIC: A PLANNED PARENTHOOD BENEFIT WITH LA LUZ AND JASON WEBLEY

(Nectar) What to say of this talent-jammed bill? We've got La Luz, the badass noir-surf soundtrack to every movie Tarantino should've been making since the late ’90s. We've got folk-mystic superhero Jason Webley, who I've heard is in the habit of killing and then resurrecting himself at shows, via magic or some such. Plus underdog synth-poppers Golden Gardens (really, give their latest EP Bellflower a listen: it nearly equals Beach House for affecting, gothy/gauzy textures), and the brand-spanking new the Gods Themselves, a funk-dance hybrid showing a metric ton of potential. Oh, and it's a benefit for Planned Parenthood, which makes your support doubly important. KYLE FLECK
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THE MISCHIEVOUS DANCE-POP OF OK GO

(Neumos) Like the ’70s British pop group 10cc, OK Go are clever songwriters and visual conceptualists who seem to be engaging with mainstream music industry with one eyebrow perpetually arched. They write effortlessly hummable melodies with sensibly proportioned, danceable beats that, on their new Upside Out EP, show infatuations with New Order and Jackson 5 (see “Writings on the Wall” and “I Won’t Let You Down” respectively). Showing versatility, OK Go’s 2010 track “WTF?” beats Beck circa Midnite Vultures at his own Prince-homaging, sleazy-funk game, and they also do a sweet cover of the Zombies’ timeless pop gem “This Will Be Our Year.” Am I recommending that you go see a Grammy-winning band that played President Obama’s 50th birthday party and participated in a Chevrolet TV ad that appeared during the Super Bowl? Yes. Just this once. DAVE SEGAL
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CARL HULTGREN'S PLACID GUITARSCAPES AND MORE TONIGHT FOR SUBSTRATA 1.4

(Chapel Performance Space) You know Carl Hultgren from his placid, spangling guitarscapes in the long-running Dearborn, Michigan, duo Windy & Carl—right? He finally issued a solo album this year (titled Tomorrow), and it's a sweet dose of his familiar spectral six-string meditations and gilded cascades of loner drones. Lovely. Australian composer/multi-instrumentalist Sanso-Xtro (Melissa Agate) creates a kind of introspective, enchantingly other electronic folk music that recalls outlier artists like Aksak Maboul, Nuno Canavarro, and Colleen. Guitarist Koen Holtkamp has helped lift New York duo Mountains to the forefront of the pastoral ambient movement with his plangent, delicately arrayed oscillations. His solo work doesn't deviate much from Mountains', and that's a good thing. Holtkamp just gives you more of that tranquil, transportive guitar radiation and those yellow-orange drones to ease your damned urban tensions. DAVE SEGAL
Check out the rest of Data Breaker's Substrata coverage here »

And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, and beyond!

 

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Max Solomon 1
I'm the world's only non-Modest Mouse fan. He's just yelling, people. Old Dylan sings better.
Posted by Max Solomon on July 18, 2014 at 3:19 PM · Report this

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