photos by Tim Griffin

The Soft Pack

Plenty of bands opt for unprintable names -- last year was a great one for **** Buttons, ****** Jeans and ****** ** -- but what about an untenable one? Really, how far could a group calling itself the Muslims get in this day and age?

"It's just a band name," the guitarist Matty McLoughlin told an interviewer early last year. "It isn't meant to describe us or associate us with anything." But by the end of the year, the band had switched to the Soft Pack. "We were sick of it," he later said. "Sick of questions, jihad comments, basically everything about it. It became a total nuisance."

It did its job, though, helping this Los Angeles-via-San Diego mope-punk outfit break through to wider attention last year. At the Mercury Lounge on Friday night, some fans still shouted "Muslims!" as the band took the stage. And the band wasn't above teasing a bit, twiddling through a few bars of "Lawyers, Guns and Money," by Warren Zevon, who passed away in 2003, before the singer Matt Lamkin deadpanned, "We were better before we died." [NY Times]

For The Soft Pack, Saturday night (1/17) at Union Pool was their 2nd NYC show in a row. For Those Darlins, it was the third. Pictures and setlists from both sets below...

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

Those Darlins...

Those Darlins

Those Darlins

Those Darlins

Those Darlins

Those Darlins

Those Darlins

Those Darlins

Those Darlins

Those Darlins

Those Darlins

Those Darlins

Those Darlins

Those Darlins

Those Darlins

The Soft Pack...

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack

Soft Pack tour dates HERE.
Those Darlins tour dates HERE.