February 11, 2006


Posted by Arcane Gazebo at February 11, 2006 3:48 PM

Last night I went to The Fillmore to see Canadian band Stars, whose most recent album I reviewed here. If you get a chance to see this band live, definitely take it—this show was amazing. I spent most of the performance completely enraptured by the music, and towards the end even found myself compelled to dance, despite the fact that this is not usually done at indie rock shows. I wasn't sure beforehand if a violinist would be present, since the violin on their album wasn't played by one of the band regulars, but indeed they had one who put in a stellar performance. I'd like to say something about the setlist, but I didn't recognize a lot of the songs since I'm only familiar with the ones on Set Yourself On Fire. They played most of that album, but about half the songs were unfamiliar to me. (And somehow they skipped two of my favorites: "Sleep Tonight" and "Celebration Guns". But the rest of the show was good enough that I'm willing to forgive that.) Today I went out and bought another one of their albums so I will be more knowledgable the next time they come to SF.

The opening band was Rilo Kiley spinoff The Elected, playing country-tinged indie rock. They were decent but not terribly exciting.

Tags: Concerts, Music

Travis, it might be worthwhile to let us know what def of indie rock (or indie music, at any rate) that you're using. If one takes it literally (which I realize is not necessarily how the term is being used these days), it has nothing to do with the style of music but only with issues pertaining to the recording contract (or lack thereof, in at least some cases) and other such business. If one wants to go the literal route, two people saying that indie rock is their favorite genre might be listening to completely orthogonal musical selections. (OK, this is true for more "traditional" genres as well, but I think you see where I am going with this, even though my phrasing is suboptimal.)

Posted by: Mason | February 11, 2006 4:17 PM

Yeah, I tend to be fast and loose with that phrase. In fact the two times I used it in this post I meant different things. When I said "indie rock shows" I was referring to a particular subculture whose focus is indie rock in a very broad sense. But when I describe The Elected as an indie rock band, I have in mind a certain lo-fi style in the tradition of, say, Pavement. This is still a very broad descriptor; The Elected don't sound very much like Pavement outside of the stylistic conventions they both adhere to; a better comparison would be something alt-country like Wilco.

And while Stars are on an indie label, I think of them more as synth-pop rather than indie-rock.

All this is to disguise the fact that I don't actually have a rock critic's vocabulary to describe these things properly.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | February 11, 2006 4:31 PM

Synth-pop is yummy. :) Synth-pop and synth-rock are basically my favorite genres. The term 'new wave' is a collective that includes those and some other things, so maybe I evoke the most appropriate image by saying I'm a new waver, because I am one---the term "80s child" has also been used, although one might confuse it to mean someone born in the 80s, which I'm not. The border between synth-pop and synth-rock is rather fuzzy, but one can sort of "define" it by example (or via the Supreme Court's method of defining pornography): Depeche Mode is canonical synth-rock, whereas OMD is canonical synth-pop.

Posted by: Mason | February 11, 2006 4:52 PM

i knew youd want to dance! please call me later and tell me about it!

Posted by: julianne | February 11, 2006 5:29 PM
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