First, a friendly public service announcement: ROCK THE VOTE THIS WEEK, PEOPLE.
Related thought: Music has never been more democratized. Anyone with a laptop and a Myspace page or an iPhone can put his or her art in the public eye and ear. And it’s not a vacuum; people are on the other side, listening and enjoying and trolling. But like any democracy, it only works if you cast your vote. You can do that by a) buying recorded music, or 2) consuming live music.
Get to it.
A ridiculously thoughtful and articulate singer-songwriter, Jens Lekman will tell you a story and make you feel something. Always. There’s a little of Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch in his musical lineage–that impulse to be tragic and witty at once. He’s currently touring in support of his cleverly titled album I Know What Love Isn’t, which, incidentally, is just the kind of turn of phrase you should expect from Mr. Lekman by now.
It’s an uncertain, scary time for Chan Marshall, aka the stage act known as Cat Power. Rumors are swirling that she might have to cancel her European tour — she recently posted on Twitter “I MAY HAVE TO CANCEL MY EUROPEAN TOUR DUE TO BANKRUPTCY & MY HEALTH STRUGGLE WITH ANGIOEDEMA.” Which for anyone who has followed the career of Cat Power is terribly saddening news, as Marshall is one of the most unique visionaries of a generation. But her label has since downplayed the rumors, and the domestic tour is still on. Cat Power must go on.
Long Island’s Twin Sister exist in that vast ocean of up-and-coming indie pop acts worth more than just a glance. Atmosphere is the thing here, abetted by Andrea Estella’s otherworldly whispers. Things generally break off into some psychedelic dream land, and that’s a credit to the band’s unencumbered imagination. Let the haze wash over you. And for the chattery folks in the back at Rickshaw Stop: KEEP IT DOWN, people are trying to hallucinate.
Prefer your punk rock elaborate and proggy? With …AYWKUBTTOTD, your best synapses will be firing while your weaker brain cells plead for merciful head-banging. These guys like to sing about advanced topics such as, ahem, human trafficking in Cambodia and the Syrian Civil War, but the rock still rolls. They’ve been around for freaking ever — eight albums under the Austin-based band’s belt now —but still lurk beneath the surface. Perhaps it’s the subject matter, but that’s fine. Their hooks are better received knowing these guys are our little secret. Tell your friends, or don’t.
Forgive me if I get a little personal here. Saw him at Outside Lands a few years back and waited 45 minutes for Higher Love and …nothing. Same deal for “Valerie.” Which is fine. He did a jazzy set with some new and old friends, and it was still a wonder to see. But I STILL NEED HIGHER LOVE. And good lord, if “Valerie” doesn’t make me want to scroll through facebook looking for Valeries… I need some closure here. Who’s coming with me?