A few notes on English band Fuck Buttons (great music, lousy name), who played at Grinnell College the other night. It was my first time seeing a show there. The venue is like the basement of this dorm, and college kids-- smart, independent-minded ones-- are around being college kids. Pretty energetic vibe, pretty intimate. And get this: Show started on time! So I missed opening Brooklyn drone-rockers Growing, which, ugh, sorry. Fuck Buttons duo Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power stand across a table full of electronic equipment from each other, like they're playing air hockey. Their sound, especially on new album Tarot Sport, if you'll let me be overly reductive here, is all at once noisy, pretty, and has thundering dance beats. Vocals are distorted beyond comprehension through kids' toy microphones. They brushed off a couple of equipment malfunctions, humbly keeping their cool, and I think everybody went most nuts for 2008 debut album Street Horrsing's "Sweet Love for Planet Earth", though I might be remembering wrong-- they were going nuts a lot, at least in the middle where I was. I did overhear great chatter, just typical stuff about classes and relationship problems. I'm told the crowd was wilder for Liars, but I'll definitely be back to find out how other shows compare.
Tuesday night I saw the Athens, Ga., band Modern Skirts, who'd previously been at the 80/35 Festival here this summer. I didn't take notes as much-- "Can't tell you more than you already know," I remember him singing-- but yeah, they put on a good show (obviously, I decided to see them a second time!). More of a tense, rhythmic style of indie rock, kept reminding me of Spoon or White Rabbits. I remember at one point the singer saying he didn't expect anyone to be there, so it was cool that a decent audience came to the show. "Please, I'm beggin ya please." Went to Fong's Pizza afterward.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS: One of my favorite new-ish bands, Philly's A Sunny Day in Glasgow, will be playing at Vaudeville Mews on March 4. Any readers happen to catch them in Iowa City over the weekend?
Sorry to Young Republic, who I'd e-mailed with but couldn't get out to see Wednesday night. How was it?