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Harsh Vibes Ready to Harsh Your Mellow at KFN Oct. 9

Harsh Vibes mastermind Ragnar Bergan came up with the band’s name when trying to describe to the rest of the group his concept for their sound. It was also the initial title for a song that is now called “Good Times”. Well, the shoegazey acid rock outfit lives up to their name with ferociously noisy guitar licks and static-y synths that could harsh anyone’s mellow. They’ll be opening for psych rock lovers The Tweeds and Dead People at Kung Fu Necktie tonight so get ready to “turn on, tune in, and drop out.” Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 8pm, $5, 21+ - Alexis V.

   

Live Review: Girls at Great American Music Hall

When my editor emailed offering me a ticket for the most regarded San Francisco band in indie right now, I couldn’t turn it down. Even though Girls, the San Francisco pair of Christopher Owens and Chet “JR” White, have earned a precious 9.3 on Pitchfork and have raked in astounding reviews from every corner of the media for their second full length, Father, Son, Holy Ghost I just haven’t grown into a fan. After their show last night at the Great American Music Hall, the first of a two-night run, and the last stop on a countrywide tour, I can still maintain, I’m not really a fan.

Owens and White took to the flower adorned stage with a full band that included a set of brothers on guitar and drums, their touring keyboardist, and three Supremes-inspired backup singers who stole the show from the small blond-haired front man.

In interviews, Owens has openly expressed how he feels the latest album is better than the last because he was able to fine-tune the backup vocals with voices other than his own. In concert, this really held true. As the main set came to a close before the encore, the lead backup vocalist joined Owens for an unbelievable solo on “Vomit” that garnered the loudest applause of the evening. Her voice was hands down the greatest instrument on stage.

Doo-wop girl group backup or not, Girls music sounded quite fine tuned as they played through more than 15 songs to the sold out crowd. They kicked the set off with “Honey Bunny” and continued to play a smattering of songs from Father, Son, Holy Ghost, their EP, Broken Dreams Club, as well as a handful of cuts from their debut, Album, including “Lust For Life, “Laura,” and “Hellhole Ratrace,” among others.

Girls’ shoegazey, surfer rock downer songs left the crowd barely elated. Yes, the audience clapped, yes, they cheered during the encore after the band bridged the gap from retro rock to anthemic guitar solo on “Hellhole Ratrace," but for a band to be back in its hometown following a long, celebrated tour, it just didn’t seem as exhilarating as I imagined when I received that email from my editor. Girls will have another go tonight and tickets are still available.

-Justine Fields

 

   

Bonjour Ooh La L.A.!

Los Angeles flew to Paris for a weekend with the Ooh La L.A. festival, sponsored by Goldenvoice, KCRW and the French Consulate, among others. The El Rey theatre, one of LA's prettiest and most elegant venues, was home to three nights of the hottest acts in the French music scene. Saturday Oct. 1st was the night of the electronic music showcase. You knew it was going to be a LA-Paris infusion night when the DJ spinning tunes before the night began was playing French covers of popular American songs such as "These Boots Are Made For Walking" and "Paint It Black". A fascinatingly diverse crowd showed up spanning the ages and the cultures. It wasn't unusual to hear snippets of rapid French conversation taking place everywhere.

The first act of the night, Chateau Marmont, were a band straight from Paris whose arpeggiated 80's style synths and vocoders paired with rock n roll drums and bass was like stepping into a nightclub twenty years ago. Yet their sound seemed so modern. Adding some grunge and dirt to the sound, it was so deep, the old wooden floorboards of the theatre started to shake. And the same phenomena occurred when DJ Cam took the stage to a simple set up of samplers, a turntable and a computer to create these sounds and frequencies that should not be audible to the human ear. On both sides of the spectrum. If the floor was shaking before, that was merely a tremor.

After the crowd had warmed up, in terms of drinks and dancing, the real party began when Etienne de Crecy took the stage for another round of electronic explosions. The crowd rushed the front to be a part of the fun. Again, on a stark stage, the lights bounced off the lights and the crowd. The bass was beyond intense. It was deep and dirty, and the audience was transported from downtown LA to an underground club somewhere in the outskirts of Paris. The music inspired many different dance styles from ladies on a night out who'd had a bit too much, to the lover's melding together to the one guy dancing like Frankenstein as a robot. Etienne de Crecy really showed the crowd how much American electronic music has developed out the ideas first created by the European movement. I bet all the kids wearing tails and leg warmers at EDC, etc. don't know that.

Under the strobes and within the pulsing beats, LA was given a special taste of live music from across the sea. Everyone wanted in and didn't let go until the equipment clung onto those notes to the bitter end. - Taylor Lampela

 

   

Get Nostalgic w/The Eeries at Tritone Oct. 8

If you're like me, you have a love/hate relationship with the fall. Fall weather is a mistress with a split personality: one day you can wear short sleeves and pants, the next you have to bundle up. But you know what always makes me feel better this time of year? Good ol' '60s garage-pop throwbacks. That's where Philly's The Eeries comes in. There's something special and cozy about their vintage sweet-tooth melodies that you just want to cuddle up to their sonic nostalgia. And, if you're free tonight, you can totally do so at Tritone, where they'll transport you back to a time of free love and mod sounds. Tritone, 1508 South St., 9pm, $7, 21+ - Annamarya Scaccia  

   

Archie Powell & The Exports “The Darndest Things”

Archie Powell & The Exports are putting the finishing touches on their new album, but in the meantime they have released a new video for their track "The Darndest Things".

You can catch them Sunday, Oct. 9, at the Chicago Marathon and then again on October 28th at the Elbo Room.