Post Rock Brooklyn quartet Bear Hand's sense of humor is bannered up
front with their name and extends through their playfully weird lyrical
content, which often addresses serious subjects from a skewed
perspective (or vice versa).
When I told a friend via cell phone that a band called A
Lull was about to take the stage at the recently completed Pitchfork
Music Festival his response was, “A what?” Possibly uninspired moniker aside, Chicago’s A Lull went
on to deliver a dynamic, percussively driven set that drew heavily from
the band’s 2011 full-length, Confetti, and this year’s EP, Meat Mountain.
If you’re looking to dust off your dancing Keds or run a
diagnostic test on your pacemaker or combine your aerobic activities
with your club regimen, Izzy and the Catastrophics, the pride of
Brooklyn, N.Y., should be your soundtrack of choice.
On their first three albums together, Grace Potter &
the Nocturnals impressively balanced influences from four decades ago
with a bluesy Rock ethic as fresh as an indie blog posting. On The Lion The Beast The Beat, the quintet amazingly expand their genre parameters without losing the blistering essence of its Blues/Soul/Rock core.
Long before Jack and Meg White made it fashionable, Scott
Lucas and Joe Daniels made serious waves as Indie Rock duo Local H. Anything’s possible at a Local H show; tickets for their 2007 morning
gig at Cellular Field were available only by finding Lucas on the street
and addressing him, “Attention all planets of the Solar Federation, we
have assumed control.” The countdown is on.
Baltimore Noise Punk foursome Dope Body introduced itself to the Indie Rock world with the donkey punch that was last year’s Nupping,
the band’s first full-length. A chaotic barrage of guitar harmonics,
muscular drum/bass pummeling and howling vocals combine in Dope Body’s
What happens when you
put two of Dayton, Ohio’s best music writers in a band together? Turns
out, you get Smug Brothers, a highly melodic lo-to-mid-fi Indie Rock
band with great songs and more than one connection to the city’s
godfathers of Indie, Guided By Voices.
For this band who
self-identifies as “Coincidence Pop” (the frontman once explained his
music as “really just a combination of fuck-ups that coincidentally
sounds pleasant”), things are coming together.
During the past decade and a half,
guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Tim Kasher has served as the reeling ringmaster
for the dark, wonderfully dysfunctional circus known as Cursive. A
constantly fluctuating membership has resulted in Cursive’s fascinatingly malleable
sound, from the Indie Rock gravity of 1997’s Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes to the denser and more
conceptual Early Summer: Semantics of
Song in 1998 to the string-driven Burst
and Bloom and The Ugly Organ in
the new millennium.