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That’s the sway: I like it!

| June 14, 2012 | 1 Comment

Despite how bus schedules generally draw it back, or renewed efforts to extend the day, 3:00 represents nirvana for schoolchildren. 2:54 have something to add to that this weekend, as do The Flatlanders, Boom Chick, Baby Dee, Pinback, Sean Bones, and The Sights.

3 p.m. is the time of day when the sun bursts through the clouds and glory welcomes youngsters out to play, free to skip, gallop, whip balls at each other, and eat dirt. For 2:54, a British duo comprising sisters Colette and Hannah Thurlow, it apparently represents anxiety about reentering a shadowy world fraught with peril. Their self-titled Fat Possum debut is a bedroom sanctuary, a place to draw the curtains, throw on some used Cure records, close your eyes, and sway. The Thurlows have a confident grasp on the architecture knowledge required to give their aesthetic choices a palpable depth, one that supersedes breathy, echoed vocals and filmy distortion. The hidden treat is their vocal harmonies, which don’t typify the intuitiveness we usually attribute to siblings but instead imagine Sleater-Kinney visiting the ghosts of Cocteau Twins. (Sunday@Empty Bottle with Widowspeak.)

Few people would soberly compare The Flatlanders to Boston or The Bee Gees, but indulge me: Boston caught a lot of flak for taking ages to finish their third album, but the trio of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, and Bruce Hancock waited nearly 20 years to complete their sophomore outing — the third coming upon their 30th anniversary. For August, in celebration of the big 4-oh, New West has readied a collection of pre-debut recordings called The Odessa Tapes — and you know what album The Bee Gees released around the same time, in 1969? Odessa. Boom. (Friday@Old Town School Of Folk Music with Jason Eady.)

Though their name more likely refers to the sound of a gun, Boom Chick more accurately recall the presence of a beater backfiring its way down the alley. A quick look at the Brooklynites’ setup makes you think it’s a bit early for a White Stripes revival, but the duo toss in a rickety, surf-inspired reverb is the tweak that gives them an original touch. (Saturday@Reggies Music Joint with The Sexists and The Weather Underground.)

Regifted Light (Drag City) has been available for more than a year, but an encounter with Baby Dee always merits mention. Often compared to Antony & The Johnsons, Dee and Antony Hegarty come from different generations and the latter wears a preponderance of mortality like a shawl. Hegarty also — through no fault of his own — become a sort of spokesperson for the avant LGBT cabaret realm, and gives lengthy interviews that influence the way you listen to his music. Having been more obscure for most of her life and now coming into her own at the intersection of pop art and fierce individualism, albums like Regifted Light allow for more innocent approaches, or at least less-encumbered views that leave room for merriment and wonder. Dee’s theatricality might be highly developed, but compared to Hegarty she’s much more awe than oh. (Saturday@Old Town School Of Folk Music with Azita.)

Just as the At The Drive-In reunion overshadowed the release of a new Mars Volta LP, Pinback‘s summer jaunt — a tune-up in preparation for a long-mooted fifth album — has suddenly taken a backseat to the return of the band who fostered them and Black Heart Procession: Three Mile Pilot. With the sheer volume of side-projects and aliases Rob Crow and Zach Smith record and tour under, it’s remarkable that Pinback held together to issue the four albums that do exist. Pinback’s easily their most accessible (if not conventional) guise, and would probably hold a chair near the head of the indie-rock table were they not so intermittent. (Sunday@Bottom Lounge with Tim Kinsella.)

If Sean Bones didn’t have pedigree with Brooklyn outfit Sam Champion, you could interpret his surname as the fist-bump handshake favored by athletes and those who want to be them. On his second solo outing, Buzzards Boy, he reinforces the notion that falling asleep on the beach while listening to The Walkmen on your Walkman can take years to reverse. You bring the frisbee, I’ll tie a bandana around the dog’s neck.(Sunday@Schubas with Mynabirds.)

You wouldn’t know it from their music, but Tenacious D clearly have a thing for Cheap Trick. The openers for their Chicago set next month are Urge Overkill and The Sights, the latter of whom will give a special showcase for the forthcoming Left Over Right (HRM) this weekend. The title track borrows a little “I Want You To Want Me” bounce, while the rest of the album deftly mixes churning guitars with left-of-center, Beatlesque power-pop melody. (Sunday@Double Door with Reigning Sound.)

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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