Brittle Stars @ Pop Mayhem, Thursday, May 8

6500 miles can’t stop the rock. Thursday, May 8th, a reunited Brittle Stars play Common Grounds as a part of Gainesville’s Pop Mayhem festival.

Hear songs such as, but not performed as well as, these:

Also that night: Ifwhen, the Buddy System, Giddy-Up Helicopter, and maybe one other band. Sorry to hear about Que Possum! :(

The show is $10 at the door/on tonevendor, or get the full pass to get in all the shows.

Missing a show twice

Saturday night. Josh called from Common Grounds to remind me to come to the Holopaw show. It’s a bit after 11, so I still have time to see them. When I get down there it’s some sort of free event and Neko Case is a surprise opener! She starts playing Buddy Holly’s “Baby Won’t You Come Out Tonight?” with the rockabilly “go baby, go baby…” and I’m thinking Kathleen needs to be here. Since she loves Holopaw I don’t know why she didn’t wanna come but I run toward the entrance to head out and go get her. When I get out in the parking lot I realize it’s raining and I’m not wearing shoes. I run back inside and start waiting in line to talk to the doorman, because CG has some weird policy now where you have to check your shoes in at the door. As I start to get frustrated, I wake up.

Not only do I miss the dream show with Neko Case and Holopaw, but I check the clock to see it’s past 5 and we’ve missed the real Holopaw show as well. My brain is mocking me! At least earlier that evening we got to see Neko Case on Austin City Limits (wow). I’m so pissed at myself because I’ve been waiting to see Holopaw for several months and I don’t know why I didn’t just buy an advanced ticket as a reminder.

WDHV and Maria Taylor

WDHV 101.7 is a little FM station in Trenton that plays some great pre-70’s classic country. The other day I caught the tail end of “Talk Back Trembling Lips” from 1963 and the rhythm section and reverb filled the van so nicely–it made my morning. They do slip in later stuff and even up to the awful she-thinks-my-tractor’s-sexy “big hat” country, but it’s in moderation and all played by people who actually seem to remember this stuff.

I mention this because this week I’m helping sabotage statistics by recording my radio listening habits for Arbitron (think Nielsen for radio). Three things are great about this: 1. Per day, I only listen to maybe 45 mins of NPR and 10 minutes (if I’m lucky) of some hodunk out-of-area oldies station. 2. They bribe you with dollar bills in the envelope…$10 so far, and since Arbitron works for the LPFM-hating NAB, I’m happy to take their money. 3. This makes twice that I was randomly selected to do this, first being probably a decade ago.

Tonight I’m going to see Mates of State, Maria Taylor and papercranes at Common Grounds. Maria is/was(?) one half of Azure Ray, who put out a great debut album and some OK follow-ups. It’ll be nice to finally see the Mates outside of Wayward Council, they’re sometimes a little much for casual listening, but a blast live.

Hana’s First Show

I posted on

This is Hana’s first show and you should be there. They’re writing the most beautiful mellow songs you’ve never heard…songs that you’ll come to treasure and nestle in your mixCDs and playlists around Low and MBV and the Clientele for years to come, but you get to enjoy them NOW out in the loveliest weather Gainesville has seen for months.

I just got back from it and was not disappointed. This was one of my favorite shows of the year. I’d never been to Tim & Terry’s for a show; I didn’t even know they had the back patio area where bands play, so it was a really nice surprise to walk back there and find Hana setting up in the corner. After some PA setup they started and everything sounded pristine and at a perfect volume. Two clean, reverb-drenched guitars and a solid, tasteful rhythm section.

And the songs… Around every corner of a Hana song is something unexpected: Classic pop progressions twisted around; vocal melodies that refreshingly do a little more or less than you’d expect; subtle key changes (the kind the Kinks did so well); arpeggiated guitars that recall the Clientele or a more mellow Pinback; lyrics that sketch the everyday (like having your apartment broken into) and ring with simple truths and quiet realizations. “Tragically, you might be one of the few left out.”

This was the kind of experience—a great band’s first show—that makes me feel guilty for not forcing my friends to attend.