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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tonight in Music: Maximo Park, Harry and the Potters

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Wed, May 14, 2014 at 12:20 PM

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Like many of their peers, Maximo Park have come a long way from the agitated state in which they entered the world. The razor-wire guitars and hopped-up vocal delivery of frontman Paul Smith have, on Maximo's fifth full-length Too Much Information, given way to a quieter croon and the influence of mirrorball electronics. The shift in sound suits the quintet much more comfortably than it does other likeminded artists, in part due to Smith's absorption of the work of luxurious pop acts like Prefab Sprout and the Blue Nile. Watching Maximo Park strive to reconcile these two sides of their musical personality should make for some mouthwatering tension. ROBERT HAM

(Lola's Room, 1332 W Burnside) The last time I saw Harry and the Potters was in the summer of 2011, on a tour that coincided with the theatrical release of The Deathly Hallows: Part 2. It was a big deal. I skipped an important family event just to go, but it was a generational event I felt I couldn't miss—the Harry Potter books, and eventually the movies, shaped my childhood. And even though Harry and the Potters never broke up (although they haven't released a proper album since 2006's Harry and the Potters and the Power of Love), there was a melancholic air of certitude that this was the last time these songs would be relevant. Turns out we were wrong—wizard rock is one of the Harry Potter Universe's most enduring byproducts. It's superfandom at its purest and most adorable. I haven't reread Deathly Hallows since it was published, but Live at the New York Public Library is one of my favorite party-trick records. Solid pop-songwriting will always be relevant—Harry Potter-centric or not. MORGAN TROPER


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