Rainer Maria; Balthrop, Alabama; The Jealous Girlfriends

December 19, 2006

“Slammed to your chest, like a curtain hits the floor…”

Rainer Maria played their sold-out farewell show at Northsix in Brooklyn, on Sunday night. The band leaves behind ten years and five full-length albums, including last years’ Catastrophe Keeps Us Together.

Northsix, they said during the show, was the club at which they most felt at home. The trio migrated from Madison to Brooklyn, apparently taking up residence for practice space above the club.

The band’s last set started with “Artificial Light” from A Better Version of Me, and included favorites from their Atlantic EP, Look Now Look Again (their breakthrough record), Catastrophe Keeps Us Together (the bands latest and best effort), and ended with “Ears Ring,” from Long Knives Drawn.

The night was nothing less than Rainer Maria at their best: Caithlin and Kyle exchanging heart-on-sleeve melodies, Kyles’ guitar swung around his body over his head with Who-esque windmills, William dressed all in black and arms in every direction. About every word was also sung by the audience, but despite a pleading crowd, (“Don’t break up!”) in the end, Rainer Maria bid Brooklyn (and the world) farewell.

For more info about Rainer Maria, see the previous post.

Opening duties were shared by Rainer Maria buddies, Balthrop, Alabama (Kyle and Caithlin both sang during their set at one point, and the band played a Rainer Maria cover) and fellow Brooklynites, The Jealous Girlfriends.

The concept of Balthrop, Alabama seems to be a small town version of “Who are the people in your neighborhood?” (there’s a Mayor and a milkman), and musically sounds like Neutral Milk Hotel meets a group of kids (nine of them, I believe) who found the keys to the a rural schoolhouse musical equipment room (washboard and accordion anybody?).

You can download a free preview of their new album, Your Big Plans and Our Little Town, on their website:  
http://www.balthropalabama.com/

Photo from: www.withreservation.com

The Jealous Girlfriends play a dreamy reverb-laden guitar pop (think Lush or maybe the Darling Buds). Their new self-titled record is out now and available on their website: http://www.thejealousgirlfriends.com/

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