Thursday, February 5th, 2009
A Teenager In Love
Review of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart's self-titled debut
Annie PowersFor those inclined to do so, it’s not difficult to criticize the self-titled debut from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. It’s true that the New York quartet are unabashed about wearing their influences – all things C86 and Sarah are obviously held in high regard – and in that sense, bring little new to the table. But rather than try to refute these arguments in any debate, I encourage those who’d want to defend the band to pose the following question to any detractors: Why do you hate fun?
Because more than anything, more than the layers of fuzz guitar that envelop the songs like cardigans, more than the sugary boy-girl harmonies, more than the undistilled pop wonder of the songs, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart are fun. Whimsical, heartfelt, unadulterated fun. This, of course, assumes that you have a warm place in your heart for all things twee and that the idea of The Field Mice borrowing The Jesus & Mary Chain’s gear sounds like your idea of heaven. Other common name-drops include Velocity Girl, My Bloody Valentine, Teenage Fanclub… the list could go on and on, and the thing is – these comparisons are being made by those who hold these acts in the highest regard, and are really the highest form of compliment.
Though I was alive for it, I didn’t live through the original wave of jangle-and-feedback indiepop that arose on both sides of the Atlantic in the late ’80s and early ’90s. I came to it somewhat later, but The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart gives me a sense of how fresh and exciting it must have been at the time. How can you be nostalgic for something you never actually experienced? I don’t know, but I kind of like the feeling. And I love this record.
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart are playing Lee’s Palace next Thursday, February 12, with The Depreciation Guild, who were praised earlier this week. To say I’m excited about this show is just a smidge of an understatement. Tickets are $10 in advance, and considering the show is now at a venue about 150% larger than its original home at Neutral, there’s plenty to be had. Do yourself a favour and get one.
MP3: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Everything With You”
MP3: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Come Saturday”
Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Everything With You”
MySpace: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
Though he just paid us a visit in November, Neil Halstead is coming back to the Drake Hotel on March 21 as part of a North American tour. CBC Radio 3 points out that the show is part of the Drake Hotel’s month-long fifth anniversary celebrations, at least some of which are invite-only. I myself will still be at SxSW when this show goes down but any information or conditions about it that come to light beforehand, I will dutifully inform you all of.
Metromix talks to Beirut’s Zach Condon. They release their new double EP March Of The Zapotec/Holland and having heard it, I understand why the latter half is presented under the “Realpeople” name… it’s out February 17.
John Vanderslice will release his new album Romanian Names on May 19.