by Bill Pearis
Alabama's Thomas Function are in town this weekend for a trio of shows as part of trawl down the East Coast. Admission: I think I picked up Thomas Function's debut album, Celebration!, about four times last year thinking it was a LCD Soundsystem record -- singer Joshua Macero, whose mug graces the cover, looks a lot like James Murphy, at least when quickly flipping through CDs. After seeing so many times I finally got around to actually listening to it, and while absolutely nothing like the DFA head (not that I expected it to be), these Alabamians raise quite a ruckus with their spirited, organ-driven garage rock.
There's also come country and bluegrass in there too, as you might expect from a band living that far south but, really, Thomas Function grooves to their own beat. The band have also released a slew of 7" singles, most of which are now out of print or at least hard to find. Maybe they'll have some of them to sell at their shows. They play a free show at Other Music tonight (1/23), Cake Shop on Saturday (1/24) and Mercury Lounge on Sunday (1/25). Full tour dates and video at the bottom of this post.
The most interesting show of the weekend for me is Friday (1/23) at Death By Audio. Headlining are locals Golden Triangle, whose debut EP just came out on Kemado's vinyl-only imprint, Mexican Summer. (You can get it digitally from Emusic, though.) Some songs veer towards Vivian Girls/Fuzzbox/Slits territory, other songs remind me a lot of The Fall, and they cover Redd Kross' "Annette's Got the Hits." That's a one-two-three punch for me. (It's also the second band I've written about here to do a Redd Kross cover, the other being Box Elders.) The six-piece are about to head out on tour with King Khan & the Shrines so the rest of the country will get a chance to check them out too.
Also on the bill: Brazilian band Garotas Suecas, who will be compared to Os Mutantes because it's obvious and easy, but these kids are a little more straight up fun garage rock a la Mando Diao or The Fleshtones. I like what I've heard and it's the only NYC performance they have left (they also played Vassar last night). Plus, the lovely, downcast electric folk of NYC's Tall Firs; and hushed trio Metal Mountains that features Helen Rush, Samara Lubelski and Pat Gubler, all of whom spent time in Tower Recordings. So the night starts quiet and gets progressively louder and crazier.
I'd also like to (also) recommend the Valerie Collective show at Webster Hall tonight (1/23). Collective is a key term here. Many of the groups playing share members and the difference between Anoraak and College (my two favorites of the night), sonically, is minimal (one sings more than the other) but it's such a cool sound. It's big, lush, and retro, unabashedly '80s, and done to perfection. I have no idea if the groups will really translate to the live setting but if you're dancing you probably won't notice if they don't. Steve Moore's Lovelock is also on the bill.
The Week That Was
Lastly, SXSW will be upon us any minute and even if you aren't heading to Austin, New Yorkers are able to experience a little of the excitement as bands from the UK and Europe often make a pitstop here on their way to or from the festival. We already mentioned that Swedish rockers The Soundtrack of Our Lives are playing both Bowery and Music Hall of Williamsburg (tickets are on-sale today, 1/23) which I wholeheartedly recommend you check out, but I'm even more excited to see that The Week That Was are playing Mercury Lounge on March 9.
TWTW are one of the two splinter groups created when Sunderland, UK's Field Music decided to retire that moniker but still basically make music together. David Brewis released a phonetics-obsessed solo project under the name School of Language (which toured here last March). His brother Peter created The Week That Was, a concept album equally obsessed with (lyrically) The Media and (sonically) the Big '80s production style of Kate Bush and Trevor Horn. It's a brilliant album that made my Top Five of 2008. Both David Brewis and Field Music keyboardist Andrew Moore, plus about five others on percussion and strings. I'm not sure how many members strong they'll be at Mercury Lounge, but if they even come close to replicating the album's wall-of-sound, it will be worth attending. Tickets are on-sale today since Noon.
All tour dates, videos and flyers after the jump....
Thomas Function 2009 Tour Dates
Jan 22 Vassar poughkeepsie, New York
Jan 23 Other Music in-store new york, New York
Jan 24 Cake Shop new york, New York
Jan 25 Mercury Lounge new york, New York
Jan 26 the Church boston, Massachusetts
Jan 27 the Khyber philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jan 28 Gooski's pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Jan 29 Grumpy Dave's bowling green, Ohio
Jan 30 Cafe Bourbon St. columbus, Ohio
Jan 31 the Union athens, Ohio
Feb 1 P ilot Light knoxville, Tennessee
Feb 20 Beaux Arts Ball auburn, Alabama
Feb 21 the Spellcaster Maritime Ball new orleans, Louisiana
Feb 26 Bottle Tree w/Black Lips birmingham, Alabama
Mar 26 Gleis 22 munster
Mar 28 Beat Club hamburg
Mar 29 Patronaat haarlem
Apr 1 Elvaerket helsingor
Apr 3 Funhouse oslo
Apr 4 Fritz's Corner stockholm
Apr 5 Utmarken goteborg
Apr 9 59:1 munchen
Apr 15 Mogambo san sebastian
Apr 16 Magazine valencia
Apr 17 La 2 de Nitsa barcelona
Apr 18 Wurlitzer Ballroom madrid
Apr 19 Savoy gijon
Apr 25 Sonic Ballroom koln
Golden Triangle - "Zombie Ritual"
Golden Triangle 2009 Tour Dates
Jan 23 Death by Audio w/ Tall Firs + Garotas Suecos brooklyn, New York
Mar 9 Eckerd College ** St. Petersburg, Florida
Mar 10 Masquerade ** Atlanta, Georgia
Mar 12 Orange Peel ** Asheville, North Carolina
Mar 13 Exit In ** Nashville, Tennessee
Mar 14 Hi-Tone ** Memphis, Tennessee
Mar 15 One-Eyed Jacks ** New Orleans, Louisiana
Mar 16 Palladium Loft ** Dallas, Texas
Mar 17 The Warhol ** San Antonio, Texas
Mar 18 Club 1808 w/DarkMeat,StrangeBoys,Monotonix,ReverseXrays Austin, Texas
Mar 19 Mexican Summer Showcase @ Club 1808 w/Soft Pack, Crystal Stilts, Crystal Antlers, Vivian Girls Austin, Texas
Mar 21 Moose Lodge w/ many bands Austin, Texas
Mar 27 Don Pedros w/ the Weakends (FRANCE) brooklyn, New York
* w/ w/ King Khan and the Shrines
Garotas Suecas - "Corina"
Garotas Suecas - "Não Espere Por Mim"
Tall Firs - Hiro Ballroom January, 2007
The Week That Was - "Learn to Learn"
The Week That Was - "Scratch the Surface"