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Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ SXSW 2009

I’ve been a solid fan of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart ever since they burst onto the scene in late 2008/early 2009. I was pretty amazed when I read this article on Stereogum reporting that they’ve finished up their 2nd full-length with none other than Flood behind the faders. Knowing that a producer who was behind such huge massive sounds as U2, Depeche Mode, Smashing Pumpkins, etc… was working with POBPAH initially scared the hell out of me. Adam Gold of the Nashville Scene/Cream once told me “they rock about as hard as a cupcake” referring to POBPAH. And honestly that’s a pretty accurate statement, but I’m actually fond of several “cupcake” bands, so that is (in some ways) a very good thing in my mind. Such a “big sound” production style would certainly spell doom for the tenderness and teenage awkwardness that is part of the reason I loved their debut album so much. At least that was my initial reaction. The quotes in the article, however, quelled most of my pessimism about this second album. Quotes like “the loud parts are louder and the quieter parts are quieter — with a lot more variation between the two” really make me feel like Flood didn’t just come crashing through the walls and lay down the law while POBPAH cowered in the corner. The band actually developed a “good push-and-pull with him” and believes that he actually learned as much from them as they did from him. To me, a big part of what made their debut so good was the way it was mixed, and most specifically the guitar sounds. Honestly there were a few moments where I found myself wanting the guitar parts to come through a little clearer; that they were a little too awash in fuzz and re-verb. So when I read that they were going for “a guitar sound that hit you in the chest.” I’m all about that. So with slight hesitation, I look forward to hearing this new album. As I’ve said all along, I really think this band has some staying power.

A few random other notes:

Congrats to everyone involved with Make-Out With Violence, the locally shot and produced feature film is now officially out on DVD and On Demand. I mentioned before they’d finally found a distribution home with Factory 25, but now you can actually go order a copy for yourself. Go forth and buy! These dudes sunk a lot of their own cash into this movie and worked tirelessly for years- they deserve it! (Via Nashville Cream)

Just watch this amazing feat of choreography and lighting that happened in NYC for the Target 2010 fall fashion spectacular. Mind=blown. (Via Vitalic Noise)

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Image via Pitchfork

Image via Pitchfork

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Their debut album earlier this year is sure to be on my top 10 list, if not top 5, of 2009. I was quite happy and somewhat surprised to see that they’re following it up rather quickly with another EP and single. The EP will be called Higher Than The Stars, and will be available on Sept. 22nd. This band is the real deal, and I have no doubt they’ve got at least a few more good albums in them. (Via Pitchfork)

While we’re talking about indie pop, I must mention a band that’s just popped up on my radar called Darlings. I received a promo copy of their album Yeah I Know the other day and I’ve had it on repeat almost nonstop ever since. Murfreesboro/Nashville peeps will no doubt compare them to local indie poppers Velcro Stars. It’s a bouncy, playful, honest sound that’s adorned with great melodies. It’s still very simple, however, and not overproduced. This track “Eviction Party” is easily a standout in my opinion.

Darlings-Eviction Party

Another new-ish band that I’ve enjoyed is The Blacks. If you can get past the name (we’re all pretty sick of bands that have “black” in their name by now, right?), I think this band has potential. I like the reverb-y drums and overall dark sound. One might initially group this band in with other girl-fronted groups such as Hole or the Donnas, but it’s not nearly as glammy/gimmicky. I need to hear more before I’m fully sold.

The Blacks-Sunday Boys

Ok enough mp3s. Here’s what’s going down in Nashville this weekend:

Tonight I have a photo gig right after Vandy work and then will be hi-tailing it to M’boro for the DCI show at MTSU. Yes, I still have a marching band geek inside of me. It comes out every summer when this show comes around.

Other stuff of interest tonight- The Whigs, Glossary, and Ascent of Everest at 527 Main St. Or whatever the hell that place is called now. Also, Heypenny, Caitlin Rose, and The Saps are at the Basement.

For Saturday, I’ll be photographing Neko Case at the Ryman. Also of interest- Chris Freeman makes a triumphant return to TN with a show at the Boro. He’ll be backed by Kelly Kerr’s Distractions. The Kindergarten Circus is releasing their debut self-titled album at the End. Joining them will be The Clutters, Denny & the Jets, and Daniel Pujol & Some Beaus. I may try to make it out to this after Neko Case, since End shows tend to go pretty late.

Then Sunday will be band rehearsal for the Cream 90’s cover night on Monday. Are you excited? Because you should be.

Have a great weekend!

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart totally rocked me Saturday night. Click the image to go the Scene slideshow with my pics. The opening band Zaza were a little too spacey/snoozy for me… I just kinda found myself bored with them after a while. It was basically one big long song for the whole set. But POBPAH totally killed and I loved every minute of it. The singer was super cool when I chatted with him for a minute at the merch booth. I should’ve bought something. Maybe they are a tiny bit over-hyped, but I stick with my previous assertion that they will have at least some staying power beyond their blog hype-wave. OK… I’ll shut up about them now.

I’ll be at the Death Cab for Cutie show tonight taking photos. They’ll also be up on the Scene website tomorrow.

Some links for today-

Oddee lists the 10 scariest/most dangerous roads in the world. I’d kinda like to drive on one of those mountain roads just once. Just for the thrill…. Yes I’m crazy.

John Harrington at Photo Business News & Forum explains the device that Google is using to digitize all of the books in the world. It uses 2 cameras and has an automatic page changer. According to this article, we’re about halfway finished with digitizing all the world’s books! I had no idea… but it’s pretty damn cool.

Some very rare video footage of Virgin Galactic’s White Knight 2 aircraft has been posted at Wired.com. This odd looking plane is the “mothership” for their SpaceShip 2 aircraft, which will soon be taking tourists to the edge of space. The empty space in between the two fuselages is where SpaceShip 2 will hang. Ground-breaking is scheduled to begin on the Spaceport America facility very soon. It won’t be long before Virgin will be launching wealthy citizens into space for fun. Via Daily Galaxy.

A recent survey on the opinions of Americans on the use of torture to get information from suspected terrorists reveals the true nature of many Christians. These results are terrifying, though not at all surprising in my opinion. Most Christians are absurdly hypocritical and choose to ignore certain teachings of the Bible when it doesn’t suit their political agenda. Torture is utterly inhumane/barbaric and there is NEVER an excuse to use it on someone who is only suspected of terrorism. If a person has been put before a court of law and properly convicted of terrorism that involves the murder of 100’s or 1,000’s of people, then maybe it could be justified only if it is necessary to gain information which will save 100’s or 1,000’s of lives. Via Clusterflock.

Via dontstaylong

Via dontstaylong

It’s that glorious time of year again. Moustache May is in full swing! If you have a stache, sign up! If you want to grow a stache and document the progess, sign up! *Update: as of ~12:45pm registration is already closed… ya snooze ya looze!* Or just bookmark it and check often for the always clever theme-days. I did it last year and it was fun, but I think I’m gonna lay low on the stache this year… It took at least 2 weeks for mine to grow enough so that I no longer looked like a creepy child molester.

Tonight I’ll be at a party, but a lot of you will probably be seeing Junior Boys & Max Tundra @ Mercy Lounge.
Also, The Rabbit Release party is going down at the Dirty Eye Warehouse (100 Talyor St.) Featuring Caitlin Rose, Heypenny, and others.

Tomorrow is also looking to be a good night for show-going:
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart @ the End w/ Zaza, Mother Father, and Bows & Arrows. Mother Father are locals… I have no clue about the other 2. I’ve blogged about POBPAH on here before. Obviously this is where I’ll be.

Also Saturday- Pico vs. Island Trees/Butterfly Boucher/The Bridges @ the Basement.

Do I really need to mention the Death Cab shows Sunday and Monday at the Ryman? We’ll be there Monday- I got Megan tickets for her birthday.

The world’s fastest camera can take 6.1 million photos per second. Needless to say, this device is only for scientific purposes. I mean, who else would ever want to take that many photos in a second? It also doesn’t use the conventional CCD or CMOS sensors that regular digital cameras use. Those sensors aren’t capable of anything even close to 6 million frames per second. The technology is explained fairly well in the article, so just go read it if you’re interested.

Universe Today has a story that sheds some much needed light on the confusion over the recent buzz about NASA’s plans for the shuttle fleet, the Constellation program, what we’ll be doing on the moon, etc… In a nutshell, congress is prepared to shell over the dough needed to extend the space shuttle program past 2010 (if needed), NASA still doesn’t have an administrator, and nobody’s really sure just what we’ll be doing on the moon in 2020.

Lastly, I give you the iSnort app:

Have a great weekend!

Click image to see bigger version

This has been popping up in a few places around the interwebs for a couple days now, and I should’ve posted about it earlier, but I’ve fallen victim t0 post-SXSW sickness and laziness. A team of physicists have discovered a brand new subatomic particle, which they’re calling “Y(4140).” Ironically this particle was not discovered at the Large Hadron Collider, which is still not operational due to repairs from the catastrophic helium leak last fall; it was discovered at Fermilab, right here in the USA. This new information will be valuable in future mathematical models of the universe, as well as in the experiments conducted at the LHC later this year. You’d think they could come up with a cooler name for a completely new type of subatomic particle… something like “megaquark” or “quarktron.” Lazerquark…

The space shuttle undocked from the ISS yesterday and did a fly-around, capturing the first images of the fully symmetrical, full-length ISS. Universe Today has the space porn, including video of part of the fly-around.

According to Space.com, NASA has decided to go ahead with the Hubble repair mission, despite the increased risk of debris impact due to the satellite collision on Feb. 10th. I’m glad, but kinda scared for the crew. The danger is heightened by the fact that they won’t have the ISS as a lifeboat. Instead, NASA will have Space Shuttle Endeavour on a different pad, ready to launch and be used as a lifeboat should Atlantis be damaged.

Several different time-lapse videos of plants growing. These things are always fun to watch. Via kottke.org.

This has been showing up on almost every blog I read, but it’s definitely worth posting- the first trailers for the Spike Jonze-directed, Arcade Fire-loaded, live-action version of Where the Wild Things Are has been posted. The best place to view it is on apple.com. They have gorgeous HD versions that are true eye candy.

Camera Obscura @ SXSW 2009 Photo: Steve Cross

Camera Obscura @ SXSW 2009 Photo: Steve Cross

I was quite pleased yesterday to find out that Camera Obscura will be kicking off their north American tour in Nashville at the Mercy Lounge on May 27th. To my knowledge, they have never played here, and they’re one of my favorites. Even though I just saw them at SXSW, I will be there enthusiastically. Their new album My Maudlin Career drops April 20th via 4AD. Check out the rest of their tour dates at their myspace.

Another upcoming show I’m looking forward to is The Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ the End on May 2nd. Like C.O., I saw this band at SXSW and they did not dissappoint. But I really look forward to seeing full length sets from both bands, as all the shows at SXSW are showcases with 5 or so bands, thus each band has less time to setup and a shorter set length than normal. POBPAH are definitely one of those “blog-buzz” bands, but I honestly think they will have more staying power and are on an entirely different level than say, Vampire Weekend or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

Everyone is quite familiar with Shepard Fairey’s iconic adaptation of a photograph of Barack Obama. The photograph was taken by well-known photographer Mannie Garcia for the AP. Apparently the AP is claiming a copyright infringement, but technically the image belongs to Garcia because he was not on the AP staff, he was just a hired temporary fill-in when he took the photo. John Harrington has a great interview with Garcia on his blog Photo Business & News Forum, in which you can learn more of the gritty details of this situation. I agree that in fact the issue is not whether it is infringement, it’s whether the term “fair usage” can be applied. I also agree that the copyright owner is entitled to some sort of settlement. Fairey has made A LOT of money off of this image. I find it very honorable that Mr. Garcia is concerned more about recognition than monetary compensation.

Recently I’ve been getting into a new band from New York called The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. I highly encourage fans of The Smiths, Jesus & Mary Chain, or the Raveonettes to check them out. These days it seems like the music world is completely overrun with stupid indie rock bands with beards and animals in their names, who make the same fucking album over and over again. But every now and then a new band will stick out to my ears and I’ll actually latch on and add them to my “bands I officially LIKE” list.

I officially am excited to see Coraline. They Might Be Giants did a song for the movie, which is used in one of the tv trailers, and it was directed by Henry Selick, who also directed Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s also awesome that it was done with REAL stop-motion animation, not CG. Henry Selick+Stop-motion+They Might Be Giants= Awesome. Even cooler is that the filmmakers made 50 customized homemade boxes containing unique items from the movie, and sent them to their favorite bloggers.

Ever see that crappy 90’s scifi movie Anaconda? Ok, maybe not, but it had a big ass snake. Turns out that snakes that big actually did exist a long time ago. They were as long as a school bus, and their body was “so wide that if it were moving down the hall and decided to come into my office to eat me, it would literally have to squeeze through the door.” Whoa.

A company has come up with a way to channel sunlight from a collector on your roof into a light fixture in your house or office using fiber optics. Why didn’t someone think of this a long time ago? Like, when fiber optics were first commercially viable?

And I’ll leave you with the first of three video segments of the Beatles’ last live performance- on the rooftop of the Apple Records building in London on Jan. 30th, 1969. As I said this is segment #1, and here’s segment #2 and segment #3.

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