Annuals, Evangelicals, El Perro Del Mar, and The A-Sides

November 17, 2006

The Mercury Lounge – November 16, 2006

 

I suppose the unifying theme of the Mercury Lounge’s November 16th line up is pop music, though none of the four bands featured sound anything remotely like the others.  

North Carolina’s Annuals definitely play pop music, but their catchy tunes attack the most unexpected part of your brain with oddball patterns of electronic noises over traditional rock and roll instrumentation and layers of dreamy psychedelic vocals. The band fills out the stage with six members and a seemingly random assortment of instruments (check out the slide whistle); at one point in their set, three people are playing the drums. The songs are dense sonic experiments, and yet somehow you’re left humming them by the watercooler. 

Listen: Brother, Bleary Eyed, Dry Clothes from Be He Me, out on Ace Fu Records.

Evangelicals, a young band from Oklahoma, are also a bit difficult to categorize. The songs are momentarily pop, and then flick-the-switch, on to a spazz-rock freakout (free-form jazz exploration). Complete with fake foliage and home-made green and red lighting, the Evangelicals’ live show seizes with an appealing youthful hyperactive glee.  

Listen: Another Day and Here Comes Trouble from So Gone, on Misra Records.

Sarah Assbring is El Perro Del Mar, a singer-songwriter from Sweden. While on her album cover she looks a bit like the star of a forgotten foreign black and white film, in person she proves to be a very capable folk artist. Accompanied by three men dressed in dark suits with Scandinavian-sounding names, El Perro Del Mar dazzled the audience with her beautifully sad voice and set of songs that pay homage to Mazzy Star, Joni Mitchell, and 60’s girl bands. 

Listen: God Knows, Here Comes that Feeling and It’s All Good from El Perro Del Mar

Philadelphia retro-popstars, The A-Sides, opened.

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