Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sound Advice: Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Surfer Blood at the Hi-Tone Café

Posted By on Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 10:05 AM

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
  • The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
There's an extremely promising indie-rock bill on tap at the Hi-Tone Café tonight, featuring New York's Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Florida's Surfer Blood.

On their eponymous 2009 debut, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart spin more daring variations on collegiate sex than Vampire Weekend — doing it between the library stacks, making time with a prof, etc. — and would have fit right in as the house band on Gilmore Girls. In other words, they're smarter, sweeter, and dorkier than your average blog-rock hype-of-the-moment. They also rough up their twee with shoegazer noise and "Be My Baby" beats. I caught them at SXSW shortly after the album came out and the band's chiming, hooky pop translated better than I expected onstage.

Lead by songwriter/guitarist John Paul Pitts, Surfer Blood display a spikier sound on their 2010 debut album Astro Coast, reminiscent at times of Pavement and Weezer (big difference there, I know), but with elements of the implied surf-rock sound (both Dick Dale and Beach Boys varieties). But it's when the band gets polyrhythmic on a purloined Eagles title that I really fall for them.

Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Surfer Blood play the Hi-Tone tonight. Doors open at 9 p.m. Showtime is 10 p.m. Admission is $14. New York's Hooray for Earth start things off.

Here's a Super 8 video for the Pains of Being Pure at Hearts' "Young Adult Friction":

And here's a live-in-studio clip of Surfer Blood performing my fave song from Astro Coast, "Take It Easy":



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