During the 1990’s, Eric’s Trip and the rest of the Sappy Records roster put Moncton on the worldwide musical map. The emotional and psychological fragility of the band was always out in the open and in fact fueled much of their often sad and difficult music, which projected a sense of dark struggle with itself. Still, they were surprisingly productive in their heyday and were unaccountably huge in Japan, and so their 1996 breakup was widely mourned. Their unexpected 2006 reunion – for Sappy’s anniversary party among friends and family in the New Brunswick town of Sackville – saw them older and wiser but entirely undimmed.
Also on the bill: Vicious/Delicious [MYSPACE] play relaxed, sexy garage rock with trebly guitars and organ. Their sound hasn’t been much updated or taken beyond their reverb-heavy mid-1960’s predecessors, but innovation isn’t the point of the form so much as successfully projecting an attitude with its simple components. By that standard, Vicious/Delicious succeed marvelously. The Jealous Girlfriends [MYSPACE] [BAND SITE] are attracting a considerable amount of buzz in Brooklyn, but don’t let that dissuade you. You’ll have to fight your way into the venue early anyway, and Jealous Girlfriends will have the chance to make an impression on people jealously guarding their seats.
Bring: Your acidhead friend from high school who you talked out of suicide a half-dozen times and still hasn’t cut his hair.
Alden Penner has been hard at work creating things outside the scope of Pitchfork’s jaded swoon. He has worked for local youth-health advocates Head and Hands, and recently contributed a brilliant score to clever dumpster-diving documentary musical Surfing the Waste. Clues is his new collaboration with members of remarkable Chinese-cabaret throwbacks Shanghai Triad and video/musical group Les Angles Morts. This collision of sensibilities promises brightly-written pop music expressed with less-than-typical instrumentation and sonorities.
Also on the bill: Elfin Saddle [MYSPACE] are Victoria transplants who are growing comfortable in Montreal. Equipped with balloons and extension cords, they put on an impromptu nighttime show on a patch of grass next to the train tracks this summer; expect a similar sense of cheerful whimsy from them in performance. Casey Dienel [MYSPACE] [BAND SITE] most often performs ukulele-based folk music, but her excursions with a band display her melodies to greater effect.
Bring: Vegetarians who scoff at mere recycling and have fashioned an entire bedroom set out of soy milk cartons.
Also of note: People for Audio [BAND SITE] [MYSPACE] keep the listener guessing not just song to song, but from section to section of their long and frequently instrumental numbers. These are compositions that have as much to do with jazz and with minimalist music as they do rock and roll. The National [BAND SITE] [MYSPACE] are already your favorite hipster’s favorite band, and their audiences are often too focused on their own rapturous transport to figure out what’s going on. There is some serious songwriting ability here, though, and the Théâtre National will be an idea venue in which to enjoy it. Kill the Lights [BAND SITE] [MYSPACE] are very much of the moment, in that they leaven conventions from early-1980’s UK pop with conventions from late-1980’s UK pop. Their arpeggiated guitar burble and call-and-response male/female vocals are very much their own, however, and a sound that sounds overproduced on recordings has a much sharper bite live.