Thursday, January 10th, 2008
Here Goes Something
I have to say I thought it was pretty funny that Nada Surf played an in-store last night at a used CD shop where they probably had hundreds of copies of the band’s debut High/Low in the cutout bins directly above their heads (the show was in the basement).
The band – or at least two-thirds of them, bassist Daniel Lorca was not present – were in town on a promotional jaunt to talk up their forthcoming record Lucky, due out February 5, and they were opting to do these little, intimate performances in advance of their proper tour starting in March which brings them to the Opera House on April 7 with What Made Milwaukee Famous.
I’ve seen them live a couple times and have never been especially impressed with their show. The songs are good, but they’ve never been the most riveting of performers so this setting, which put more of a premium on a casual, friendly demeanor than raw charisma, turned out to be an ideal place to see them. Matthew Caws was funny and engaging as they previewed songs from the new record and a couple of choice older cuts from their fine 2003 record Let Go. Even without the bass, the songs came across really well with Caws on vocals and guitar Ira Elliot keeping time on tambourine and percussive box/stool while adding some terrific harmonies. The new material didn’t seem to stray far from the tested and true Nada Surf formula – sensitive, heart-on-sleeve indie pop – but what they do, they do well and the basement packed with fans responded enthusiastically.
Since there wasn’t a “proper” show to get to that night, they ended up playing a longer-than-usual set for an in-store, probably pushing 40 minutes by the time I had to leave. Caws actually pointed out that they were going to be playing longer than some might have expected and if anyone had made plans for after, they shouldn’t feel bad about taking off before the show was over. And since I did, I did. Hey, the man said it was okay.
Update: Caws gave eye a self-review of the in-store. Second item in the page, after the long bit about Fucked Up’s lawsuit.
Photos: Nada Surf @ Sonic Boom – January 9, 2008
MP3: Nada Surf – “See These Bones”
MP3: Nada Surf – “Do It Again”
MP3: Nada Surf – “Blankest Year”
MP3: Nada Surf – “Blonde On Blonde”
MySpace: Nada Surf
And for more in-store goodness, circle February 1 as The Weakerthans will be doing an acoustic set at Sonic Boom in advance of their free show at Nathan Phillips Square the night of the 2nd.
If you’re looking for something to do this coming Monday night, perhaps swing by the Drake Underground for Elvis Mondays, this week featuring The Muggabears. They’re from New York City and sound very New York City, not unlike Sonic Youth in their poppier moments, with less sprawl but still plenty of skronk. Their Night Choreography EP, released last year, got a four-star review in this week’s eye, for what that’s worth. Me, I’m curious enough to make the trek and hey – free is free is free. Gothamist has an interview.
Xiu Xiu have scheduled a Spring tour which will bring them through town on March 17 to
a venue still to be determined Sneaky Dee’s. Their labelmates on Kill Rock Stars and tourmates on this jaunt are Thao with The Get Down Stay Down and both acts have new records coming out on January 29 – Xiu Xiu with Women As Lovers and Thao with her debut We Brave Bee Stings And All. You can stream the Xiu Xiu at their MySpace and/or grab some MP3s below.
Drowned In Sound really takes this “upcoming year prognostication” thing seriously. They’ve assembled their acts to watch in 2008 into three tiers – “Early Doors”, aka the acts that have little to no profile right now but theoretically have the goods to rectify that, “Next-Steppers”, aka the acts that have already made waves but are ready to move to the next level, and “Certifiable Successes”, which as the name implies are their blue-chip picks to bust out all over it ’08. The BBC is far less complicated in their predictions, offering up a simple list of ten acts who they expect to have a good year.