we wear our sunglasses at night

On April 17, 2009, Ezra Furman & the Harpoons made their way to the Orpheum Stage Door in Madison, Wisconsin. Here’s a small sampling of their set:

i’ve been hit, i’ve been hit, i’ve been hit

The High Noon Saloon on Madison, Wisconsin’s near east side fashioned itself into an indie-rock haven on August 6th, 2008. Brighton, MA, Oxford Collapse, and We Are Scientists came together for a show that touched on several facets of the near-all-encompassing genre.

Midwest favorites Brighton, MA opened the night with a mix of material from the upcoming release Amateur Lovers and familiar tunes. The new material is impressive and well-crafted, and despite being a departure from earlier efforts it still maintains the band’s lush sound and sophisticated perspective.

Throwing a change-up, the trio known as Oxford Collapse brought oodles of energy and a punk sensibility to the lineup. The band isn’t polished, but that works in favor of their aesthetic. Oxford Collapse’s raucous and unpredictable nature is a refreshing turn. They come across as distinctly live and not a group of people going through a series of rehearsed movements and interactions.

We Are Scientists topped off the night with wit and charm and curiously catchy hits. Their set was nicely paced and balanced with material from old and new releases, and on the whole the songs were more dynamic live than their recorded counterparts. The most impressive thing about the night, though, was how flat-out fantastic We Are Scientists are live. They’ve honed in on the right mix of melody, spunk, showmanship, and relatability to cross over from merely talented to truly worth seeing.

Click here for photos from the show. Click here to see performances of “It’s A Hit” and “Textbook” from the show (though please note the poor quality doesn’t do the band justice).

one more week of being haunted

Owen (aka Mike Kinsella) returned to Madison on May 3, 2008 to play to a cozy crowd at Club 770. Kinsella was in good spirits, happily conversing with the crowd and cracking jokes.

“Sometimes I write a song and it sounds like Sheryl Crow, and I think, ‘This is awful.’ Then I write a song and it sounds like ‘Chocolate Rain’…”

After finishing up a set of his own material, Kinsella decided to throw down a few Fugazi songs, a preview of his upcoming benefit show for CAASE on June 19 at Beat Kitchen in Chicago.

At this show we decided to use the video option on our super-cheap camera and captured Owen performing “The Ghost of What Should Have Been” for your viewing and listening pleasure. Of course, we’re idiots and filmed it portrait style, not realizing we couldn’t rotate it in editing. Oops. Just crane your neck to the left and you won’t even notice.