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Monday, June 20, 2011

Tonight in Music: ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead and John Maus

Posted by Arian Jalali on Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 2:04 PM


...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD, RINGO DEATHSTARR, FOLLOW THAT BIRD
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead are hardly the "10.0" band that Source Tags & Codes (AKA the one Trail of Dead album you own) made them out to be. Yet while the instrument-smashing gimmicks might be what defined the band, the Austin quartet has a natural gift for creating bombastic rock-and-roll songs that rival anything else the genre has to offer these days. Support act Ringo Deathstarr are more than a pop culture-mined moniker; instead the co-ed Texas trio will blow out your eardrums with a gleefully deafening shoegaze/pop concoction. Their Colour Trip debut album toggles between bouncy bubblegum pop and enough tinnitus-inducing feedback to send you straight to the otolaryngologist. EZRA ACE CARAEFF


JOHN MAUS, PURO INSTINCT, GENEVA JACUZZI
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) John Maus' music will likely remind you of his former collaborator Ariel Pink, with its casual, hazily pretty melodies and quasi-tongue-in-cheek, melodramatic tone. His third album—We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves—sounds as if it's coated in slick gauze. Maus seems to be wearing his heart on his sleeve, waxing romantic in a deep croon, but, as a former philosophy professor, he may be putting us all on with a simulacrum of a throwback heartthrob, retooled for our current hypnagogic-pop moment ("Pussy is not a matter of fact," he sings, poker-facedly). He creates the illusion that he's singing in a mausoleum, with slicked-back hair, using a chintzy drum machine, third-hand synths, and a four-track. But Maus' tunes quickly insinuate themselves into your memory, even as you wonder if dude's taking the piss. Panda Bear, Aziz Ansari, and Lil B are fans, if that sways you. DAVE SEGAL

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