Friday, June 14
The Constellation Room
After 11 years, Portland trio The Thermals are starting to get some of the attention they deserve. Their latest release and Saddle Creek Records debut Desperate Ground came out in April with a positive reaction from music critics and almost eclipses the strength of their third album The Body, The Blood, The Machine. The band mixes lo-fi elements into extremely catchy punk songs calling themselves a “post-pop-punk band,” but let's just call it what it is–textbook indie rock at its finest. The show should be full of energy and sing-a-long chants as the band plays anthemic tracks like “Now We Can See.”
Brazilian electro-punk band CSS are playing the Observatory on Friday as a kick-off to their full U.S. tour. The tour is in support of their new full-length, Planta, released on SQE earlier this week. The new album features a song co-written by Tim Armstrong of Rancid, highlighting the band's punk roots. However, during the show you are more likely going to be dancing to the beats than dodging fists in a mosh pit. The band may carry a similar sound aesthetic to rave-punks like Crystal Castles, but they don't have the gothy dark edge Alice Glass brings to the table. The floor of the Observatory will be one part Latin-punk show, one part hipster-rave.
Saturday, June 15
They Might Be Giants
House of Blues Anaheim
They Might Be Giants are still at it with an international tour and the release of their 17th studio album,Nanobots, coming out earlier this year. Starting out as a two-piece in the early 80's and expanding into a full band, TMBG has reinvented itself time and a again, even coming out with an Iphone app, proving again that they are one of the most innovative alternative rock bands around. In the 90's the band found success with songs like “Birdhouse in Your Soul.” The band is also known for becoming certified platinum in the realm of children's music with their three albums, Here Comes the 123s, Here Comes the ABCs, and Here Comes Science. And even though their real songs tackle slightly more grown up topics, they often have an heir of silliness that allows you to chuckle and rock out at the same time.
The Front Bottoms
Chances are if you got a copy of The Front Bottoms' self-titled album that came out last year, it's either still on repeat or you threw it out your window before the end of first track. Between the trumpets in the chorus or the out-of-place wording in lyrics like “mad-shady people” followed by “every-other-day basis” it's not a mixture anyone's used to hearing. You'll find just as many cult-like fans at the Constellation Room on Saturday as you can find haters of the band on Tumblr. The New Jersey duo's polarizing sound became solidified when their sophomore album Talon of the Hawk came out last month. The band's graduated from playing basements to real venues, including a stop at the Observatory this weekend, and brought San Diego indie band Weatherbox with them.
Patrick Sweany isn't well known, but he has caught the attention of more famous artists like Roy Book Binder and Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys since his first album came out in 1999. Having worked with Auerbach in the studio and opening for The Black Keys nightly on tour, Sweany flaunts a sound very similar to Akron's favorite sons. But Sweany also offers is a richer, grittier, and more authentic take on southern rock and blues, minus the pop sensibilities or commercial draw of Auerbach's band. Also on the show is another unknown hero in the blues community, Johnny Moezzi, best known for playing guitar with legend Miss Mickey Champion.