Parenthetical Girls, This is Head and Norwegian Arms played Glasslands (pics)
photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis
While Parenthetical Girls make some good records -- like this year's Privilege -- it almost seems incidental to the live show where main Girl Zac Pennington holds court in fine, foppish form. Glasslands on Monday (3/25) was the first of two NYC shows for the Portland art rockers, part of their tour that included a stay in Austin for SXSW (including one of our day parties).
Pennington comes from the Morrissey/Jarvis school of frontman-ery, but with a tendency to spend half the time on stage and half in the crowd. By the third song, he'd jumped down to the floor and was singing from all over Glasslands, to the point I wondered how the mic cable didn't get tangled on anything. Later he climbed onto one of the speaker stacks, one hand on the adjacent balcony and the other on Glassland's signature cloud backdrop, shaking out dust and confetti from shows past. The rest of the band, luckily, are ace (really good drummer) and never loses a beat between the high drama and, in last night's case, altitude.
The night opened with a set from Sweden's This Is Head who make epic-y rock, with more of an emphasis on guitars live than on their recordings. There's a '80s vibe to it -- a little Chameleons, a little Sound, maybe a little Ultravox -- and they sounded great, though they are not the most magnetic performers. NYC has three more chances to see This Is Head: tonight (3/27) at Fontana's with fellow Scandinavians Sandra Kolstad and Karin Strom; Thursday (3/28) at Pianos; and Friday (3/29) at Rockwood Music Hall.
In between This Is Head and Parenthetical Girls were trio Norwegian Arms who are not from Norway but Philadelphia who made pleasant folk pop.
More pics from Glasslands are below.
This is Head