26 May 2009
POPFEST! day three: eux autres, the secret history, pants yell!, and the radio dept.
The Secret History with The Radio Dept., Pants Yell!, and Eux Autres @ The Bell House, New York (May 16, 2009)
I used to keep a blog about live music, but the problem was always that I was months and months late with reviews. That seems to be happening here, too.
But, there also isn’t much to report about the third day of Popfest.
Eux Autres delivered a particularly sad performance, even though I am really fond of their music. Having added Yoshi from The Aislers Set, I was excited to hear some of their new material. The result was their usual brand of frantic jangly Pacific Northwest pop with boy-girl vocals, but there just wasn’t much exciting about the performance. I will give them the benefit of the doubt and attribute it to the fact that The Bell House was just too big of a venue for them. I am still excited to hear their new single, which you can order from their website.
I was a little excited to see The Secret History, if only because Michael Grace, Jr. was so brilliant with My Favorite. But what happens when self-proclaimed indie pop stars get too full of themselves? Only bad things. Grace came off as an aged, pretentious idol, past his prime in more ways than one, but still living in his imagined glory days. (My Favorite wasn’t even all that popular!) Their Myspace even says that to snag their new singer, Lisa Ronson, they published a classified ad looking for “Female Voice/Tragic Cult Figure.” Please. At least their cover of The Smiths' "Reel Around the Fountain" was appropriate.
Pants Yell!, a band who delivered a really excellent debut EP, but whose previous effort, Alison Statton, was just bad, continued such a trend, giving an uninspired, completely bland performance. They come off as kind of whiny indie rock boys, not particularly endearing with pretty mediocre music.
There was no reason to stick around. My apologies to The Radio Dept., who I heard were a little better tonight from Kristine of Very Truly Yours, but there was no way it could have been worth the pain.