Twin Sister's synthy pop rides into SF on a well-deserved wave of blog buzz; as the legacy of Carissa's Wierd is reexamined, the band's founders tour together with their latest projects; SF noise punk trio Mi Ami is sure to confound and astonish in their latest local performance.
Color Your Life, from New York's Twin Sister, is one of my favorite records of late, a sharp six tracks of new-vintage soft pop should-be hits that has made the group one of the year's most buzzed-about acts. The album's songs function like a collection of Rorschach ink blots for indie past, alternately calling to mind Yo La Tengo's understated boogie and Stereolab's electro cool, while a moody darkness permeates throughout. The band's detail-rich tracks also have something of a vintage '80s feel, less copied than sampled or interpolated. They're the perfect accompaniment for singer Andrea Estella, whose voice is as malleable as the band's sound. She can be heartbreaking and grounded, or ethereal and winding. Color Your Life only has five real songs, and its variety makes it feel like the band's trying on some different feels as opposed to committing to a single one, but when every look is a winner, who can really complain? Twin Sister, Bear in Heaven and Beach Fossils play the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco July 26, 2010.
As its members have gone on to projects like Band of Horses and Grand Archives, Carissa's Wierd has emerged as one of those names that most folks see in parentheticals or band bios. An overlooked gem among the many big indie pop names to emerge from the Pacific Northwest's fertile scene, the Seattle group gains deserved reconsideration this month with a retrospective compilation on Hardly Art and a one-off reunion show early in July. After that, Carissa's Wierd co-founders Mat Brooke and Jenn Ghetto head out on tour together with their separate projects, Grand Archives and S. Brooke formed Grand Archives after leaving Band of Horses, so the band's use of reverb might not be surprising, but they've got quite a knack for warm West Coast pop. Ms. Ghetto's solo project S recently released a new album titled im not as good at it as you on Own Records. Grand Archives, S, and The Northern Key will be at the Rickshaw Stop July 21, 2010.
I had initially concluded that SF trio Mi Ami had two states -- frenzied and building to a frenzy -- but the group's latest LP also showcases a more measured side to its dub-infused art punk. Don't get me wrong, Steal Your Face has plenty of bracing moments of fury, and vocalist/guitarist Daniel Martin-McCormick can shriek with the best of them, but there are also some welcome stripped-down grooves punctuated by bursts of noise. Similarly impressive? The album was recorded live to tape, a clear sign of the band's masterful technical precision. Still, as mathy as it can get, this is music for the head, the heart and the feet -- no easy balance to navigate, but the trio does it well. Mi Ami, Pocahaunted, Late Young and Peaking Lights play the Rickshaw Stop July 28, 2010.
Ben Van Houten is the Programming Director of The Bay Bridged.