THE PANDA BAND with PALE YOUNG GENTLEMEN!
Hideout Chicago - 1354 W. Wabansia Chicago, IL
Doors at 9:00 PM * 21 & Over * Tickets Only $7
Official Website: http://myspace.com/rfcbandwidth
Added by a thousand ears on October 15, 2007
Every year there is at least one label-less indie rock band that busts out. Like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Tapes n' Tapes, Pale Young Gentlemen are an indie band with a home-spun sound that could take them places. And, I'll say it right out, they're better than either of those two bands. Their self-titled, self-released album is a half hour of cabaret-inspired, piano-driven rock that brings to mind Clap Your Hands at their least grating, Andrew Bird's genre-blending instrumentation, and the danceable weirdness of White Rabbits. Listening to this album brings to mind If you're looking for something a little different and truly fun, you'll do yourself a favor to check out this great little debut.
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FLAVORPILL FEATURE for this event:
It's difficult to find a mention of the Panda Band that doesn't invoke Sgt. Pepper's-era Beatles — and, to be sure, it's an appropriate touchstone for this Perth, Australia-based fivesome's quirky, '60s-tinged psychedelic pop. But its dramatic synth arrangements, clever sampling, and occasionally folky touches are an eclectic, wholly contemporary jumble. It's a good match for the theatrical genre-hopping of Madison, Wisconsin's Pale Young Gentlemen, whose melodramatic, cello-and-piano-spiced melodies boast influences from classical to folk to classic pop.
– Audrey Mast
GAPER'S BLOCK: TRANSMISSION FEATURE:
It seems that every passing year of indie rock brings with it at least one completely out-of-left-field self-release success story. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah cooled off 2005, Tapes ‘n Tapes rocked 2006, and 2007 now belongs to Pale Young Gentlemen (sorry, Radiohead, does not actually count).
Hailing from Madison, Wisconsin, Pale Young Gentlemen play the kind of classically-inspired pop rock that is becoming almost commonplace in today’s musical landscape. Orchestral arrangements abound in many an indie rock outfit so the kind of music they’re playing—pop melodies mixed with swirling strings and bouncy, cabaret-inspired piano—isn’t exactly new, but there’s something fresh about the whole affair. First, the obligatory cellist (Liz Weamer) is actually an integral part of the music, not shoved into the background like in most pop bands; her work is a focal point of the melodies, rather than relegated to a fill-in-the-holes kind of status. Additionally, the focus is on the arrangements, with songs as compositions, complete movements and carefully constructed choruses, more overtly classical than their contemporaries.
But what really sets the Pale Young Gentlemen apart is their flair for the dramatic. I imagine at some point these cats probably took a few theatre classes, as their presentational style would make Kurt Weill, Jacques Brel and the Tom Waits of Black Rider proud. “Saturday Night” swings with a bawdy melody, while “Clap Your Hands” shakes and shimmies just enough to make any young man or woman do an awkward, half-drunken turn around the barroom. “Fraulein” dances a rock’n’roll waltz about unrequited love that avoids lapsing into over-the-top quirkiness. The tracks are carefully measured but still remain loose and while lead singer Michael Reisenauer occasionally approaches Chris Martin territory that misstep can certainly be forgiven, because there’s something really exciting about these new musical voices. The drool that critics have laid at the doorstep of Pale Young Gentlemen’s eponymous debut is justly deserved and it’ll be exciting to witness how they handle their newfound success, both personally and artistically.
For now, you can catch the Pale Young Gentlemen as they step away from their humble home to the north for a show this Monday, at the Hideout, opening for the Panda Band.
a thousand ears
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