Friday, August 24, 2007

POPFEST Highlights, Part 6: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Laminated Cat

#11 The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

It figured that the first time that I had to walk out on a band, wilfully missing a portion of POPFEST, when I came back I was stepping into the middle of another band's set that I fucking loved. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, from Brooklyn, bear a passing resemblance to My Favorite, a band (recently split up) whose two albums have been permanently stuck in my CD wallet for a couple years now. Both, at least, seem to have an affinity for British New Wave, while reworking their idols into the landscape of modern pop. TPOBPAH, as I shall smoothly call them, have just released a too-brief EP, five songs with killer hooks. They already seem primed for bigger things. Here's their theme song (every band ought to have one):

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

#12 Laminated Cat

Laminated Cat
proudly live up to their name, though not in any disturbing way, but by being imaginative and trippy. Their vibe is of the early 70's, when psych- and folk-rock began to touch upon the ambitions of prog rock, but they manage to keep on the sane side of overindulgence. Their songs do have a tendency to stretch their arms a bit, fully exploring the musical possibilities without completely devolving into aimless jam. Laminated Cat has a certain relaxed grandeur, ascending into outer space from the comfort of a beer-stained sofa. Listen to "Sweet Sixteen" and you might have an idea of what I mean. Also, I should say that to the band's credit, they were omnipresent at POPFEST, enthusiastically checking out all the bands--they were Athens fans, psyched to be present and playing.

Laminated Cat - Sweet Sixteen

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