Thursday, February 5th, 2009

A Teenager In Love

Review of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart's self-titled debut

Photo by Annie PowersAnnie PowersFor those inclined to do so, it’s not difficult to criticize the self-titled debut from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. It’s true that the New York quartet are unabashed about wearing their influences – all things C86 and Sarah are obviously held in high regard – and in that sense, bring little new to the table. But rather than try to refute these arguments in any debate, I encourage those who’d want to defend the band to pose the following question to any detractors: Why do you hate fun?

Because more than anything, more than the layers of fuzz guitar that envelop the songs like cardigans, more than the sugary boy-girl harmonies, more than the undistilled pop wonder of the songs, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart are fun. Whimsical, heartfelt, unadulterated fun. This, of course, assumes that you have a warm place in your heart for all things twee and that the idea of The Field Mice borrowing The Jesus & Mary Chain’s gear sounds like your idea of heaven. Other common name-drops include Velocity Girl, My Bloody Valentine, Teenage Fanclub… the list could go on and on, and the thing is – these comparisons are being made by those who hold these acts in the highest regard, and are really the highest form of compliment.

Though I was alive for it, I didn’t live through the original wave of jangle-and-feedback indiepop that arose on both sides of the Atlantic in the late ’80s and early ’90s. I came to it somewhat later, but The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart gives me a sense of how fresh and exciting it must have been at the time. How can you be nostalgic for something you never actually experienced? I don’t know, but I kind of like the feeling. And I love this record.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart are playing Lee’s Palace next Thursday, February 12, with The Depreciation Guild, who were praised earlier this week. To say I’m excited about this show is just a smidge of an understatement. Tickets are $10 in advance, and considering the show is now at a venue about 150% larger than its original home at Neutral, there’s plenty to be had. Do yourself a favour and get one.

There’s features on the band at Exclaim, The Village Voice and New York Press.

MP3: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Everything With You”
MP3: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Come Saturday”
Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Everything With You”
MySpace: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

The Skinny talks to Benjamin Curtis of School Of Seven Bells

Though he just paid us a visit in November, Neil Halstead is coming back to the Drake Hotel on March 21 as part of a North American tour. CBC Radio 3 points out that the show is part of the Drake Hotel’s month-long fifth anniversary celebrations, at least some of which are invite-only. I myself will still be at SxSW when this show goes down but any information or conditions about it that come to light beforehand, I will dutifully inform you all of.

Blurt has an in-depth conversation with M Ward, who releases his new album Hold Time on February 17.

Pitchfork reports that Okkervil River will release “Pop Lie” as a single from The Stand-Ins come April 21.

The Asheville Citizen-Times Q&A’s Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers.

The Hold Steady have a new release in the form of a live album/documentary DVD coming April 7. It’s called A Positive Rage and full details are to be had over at Paste.

Bob Mould discusses his forthcoming album The Life & Times, due April 7, with Spinner.

Metromix talks to Beirut’s Zach Condon. They release their new double EP March Of The Zapotec/Holland and having heard it, I understand why the latter half is presented under the “Realpeople” name… it’s out February 17.

John Vanderslice will release his new album Romanian Names on May 19.

Director Wes Anderson reminisces about making his first film, Bottle Rocket, with Filter.

By : Frank Yang at 8:13 am
Category: General

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  1. Stu says:

    kinda unrelated but… The Bruce Peninsula gig in Hamilton tonight was F#*king amazing. I’ve seen them a couple times before, but they always seem to get a little more intense with each show. I swear/hope in two years time, i’ll be saying “i paid $6 to see them play a 100 person capacity room”. These guys/gals have found something really unique, and if that chain gang meets tortoise meets spiritualized sound can’t take these folks to the forefront of the Canadian scene, well…. That ain’t right. Once this band gets it’s hands on a steady sound guy, and an international label, watch out…

  2. Jewell Perez says:

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