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Army Navy, Ringo Deathstarr, Liam Finn & The Veils. ………………….. it’s This Week in Indie

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Army Navy – Saints (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Army Navy – My Thin Sides (MP3)

Army Navy
Army Navy

Not the most action-packed week of shows, at least as far as I’m concerned, but there’s always a few worthwhile things to check out. In town this week are LA-via-Seattle band Army Navy, playing shows tonight (9/2) at Mercury Lounge and Thursday (9/4) at Union Pool. These guys mostly mine various eras of Scottish jangle, from the brittle, manic sounds of early-80s Postcard Records (Orange Juice, Joseph K) to the harmony-laden sounds of Teenage Fanclub and Cosmic Rough Riders. This is super-catchy stuff — their self titled debut (due Oct 14) has spent a lot of time on my stereo this past week. You can download two tunes from the album at the top of this post — they’re both really good.

It was only after listening to — and liking — the album did I find out some interesting factoids about the band: Frontman Justin Kennedy spent his Seattle youth in Pinwheel, the “shitty punk band” that also featured Ben Gibbard; When their drummer left to pursue a screenwriting career (he’s penning the Peter Berg-directed Dune redux, due in 2010), Attractions drummer Pete Thomas filled in on the stool for the album’s recording sessions; and they’re featured on the soundtrack to the music-obsessed comedy Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist which you might’ve seen a thousand commercials for already. And they’re playing this week.

Ringo Deathstarr
Ringo Death Star

In competition with Army Navy on Thursday are Austinites Ringo Deathstarr (not to be confused with Atlanta’s Gringo Starr), and also draw influence from Scottish indie rock. But in this case it’s The Jesus and Mary Chain (circa “Sidewalking”) and My Bloody Valentine. We’re talking striped-tees-and-sunglasses shoegaze. Are they doing something new? Maybe not. But do they do it well? Definitely. Their show at Cake Shop is their only NYC show so if you’re a dreampop fan, this might be a good holdover till MBV for real.

Liam Finn
Liam Finn

I’m not sure there’s a whole lot else going on this week that hasn’t already been mentioned multiple times. Liam Finn plays Bowery on Thursday and if you’ve never seen him before I can’t recommend it much higher. He’s certainly not the only performer to do the loop pedal one-man-band thing, but few do it as well or with better songs. Just wait till he gets on the drums. His album from last year, I’ll Be Lightning, is fantastic. Also playing that show (and the rest of of Finn’s US 2008 dates) are The Veils whose first record I liked a lot more than their most recent one but frontman Finn Andrews (who, like Liam Finn, has a notable dad, XTC/Shreikback’s Barry Andrews) is also an engaging live performer.

And then there’s the three free music festivals on Saturday, though it’s really hard to compete with the East Village Radio Festival’s killer line-up but that’s just me.

All tour dates below…

Army Navy 2008 shows
Sep 2 Mercury Lounge — Manhattan New York, New York
Sep 4 Union Pool — Brooklyn Brooklyn, New York
Sep 16 Indie 103 + SPIN presents FREE ALL AGES at key club West Hollywood, California

Ringo Deathstarr 2008 Tour Dates
Sep 4 cake shop w/ spindrift New York, New York
Sep 5 Comet Ping Pong Washington DC, Washington DC
Sep 6 WMUC @ University of Maryland w/ The Flying Eyes Baltimore, Maryland
Sep 17 101x Homegrown Live @ Club DeVille w/ Toko Ri Get High & Cry Blood Apache Austin, Texas
Oct 14 Emos w/ A Place to Bury Strangers & Sian Alice Group Austin, Texas
Oct 15 Walter’s W/ A Place To Bury Strangers & Sian Alice Group Houston, Texas

Liam Finn 2008 Tour Dates
Sep 4 Bowery Ballroom 18+ New York, New York
Sep 5 World Cafe Live ALL AGES Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sep 6 Rock and Roll Hotel ALL AGES Washington, Washington DC
Sep 7 Local 506 18+ Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Sep 9 Mercy Lounge 18+ Nashville, Tennessee
Sep 10 Hi Tone 18+ Memphis, Tennessee
Sep 11 Billiken Club, St Louis UNI ALL AGES St Louis, Missouri
Sep 13 Monolith Festival Morrison, Colorado
Sep 16 Santa Fe Brewing Co. ALL AGES Santa Fe, New Mexico
Sep 18 Plush 21+ Tuscon, Arizona
Sep 19 Casbah 21+ San Diego, California
Sep 20 Echoplex 18+ Los Angeles, California
Sep 21 The Beauty Bar 21+ Las Vegas, Nevada
Sep 23 Bottom Of The Hill 21+ San Francisco, California
Sep 24 Doug Fir Lounge 21+ Portland, Oregon
Sep 26 Hi Dive 21+ Seattle, Washington
Sep 27 The Biltmore Cabaret 19+ Vancouver, British Columbia
Oct 1 7th St Entry 18+ Minneapolis, Minnesota
Oct 2 Lakeshore Theater ALL AGES Chicago, Illinois
Oct 3 Grog Shop ALL AGES Cleveland, Ohio
Oct 4 El Mocambo 19+ Toronto, Ontario
Oct 5 La Sala Rossa ALL AGES (pop montreal) Montreal, Quebec
Oct 7 Paradise 16+ Boston, Massachusetts
Oct 8 Space 18+ Portland, Maine
Oct 9 Iron Horse Music Hall ALL AGES Northampton, Maine
Oct 10 Club Hell ALL AGES Providence, Rhode Island

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