Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Repeating myself all over again

Maybe a week and a half ago, I put up some videos from three spazz punk bands without much in the way of analysis or verbiage. Today, just the opposite, words, words, words, and not a bit of TV.

(Though feel free to reach back into time for the accompanying images here:
A record review from this week’s Philadelphia Weekly (

Abe Vigoda
Skeleton (Post Present Medium)

Rating: Excellent, like John Oates’ mustache.

Part of the noise-pop phenomenon centered around L.A.’s the Smell, Abe Vigoda have none of the world-weariness of their ’70s actor namesake, but rather jitters like a Montessori class on an Easter egg hunt. There’s a world-ish shimmer to this band’s splintered melodies, south-of-the-border rhythms breaking through eerie distortion. Vocals also drift in from sunny distances, leading a far away parade against a Day-Glo array of keyboards and drums. You feel every minute as if songs like “Bear Face” will open up, and yet they remain bright, inscrutable and full of wordless joy. (Jennifer Kelly)

And a coupla show previews:

No Age

Thurs., July 10, 8pm. $10. With High Places + Abe Vigoda. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 215.733.9623.

Even No Age’s records—whether last year’s singles or this year’s Nouns—are like grabbing onto the business end of a power wire. Live, this L.A. duo sputters and spazzes, guitarist Randy Randall locked in an epileptic fit of up and down strumming, drummer/singer Dean Spunt bouncing up and down on the seat, arms flying in frantic eighth-note banging. The energy is all punk and noise, but the songs themselves hide broken shards of poplike melody, glittering once or twice, then disappearing into a firestorm of aggression. (Jennifer Kelly)

Titus Andronicus
Mon., July 14, 8pm. $8-$10. With Wye Oak. Circle of Hope, 1125 S. Broad St. 215.468.2726.
Titus Andronicus
, the Shakespeare play, begins with a ritual murder, winds its way through rapes and dismemberments and ends with pretty much everyone dead. Titus Andronicus, the Jerseyite punk band, begins with pogo rhythms and mindlessly catchy choruses, winds its way through cheerful images of death and dismemberment and ends up with a bouncy chant of “Your life is over.” That’s “Titus Andronicus,” the band’s brilliantly oversimplified take on the bard’s least-known tragedy—Shakespeare not just for dummies, but for beer-swilling spazzes. Who says the kids aren’t learning the classics these days? (J.K.)

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