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Au Revoir Simone at El Rey Theatre
The Brooklyn trio Au Revoir Simone purvey gentle indie-pop songs with soothing melodies that are delivered by little more than keyboards and a drum machine. On their new CD, Still Night, Still Light (Our Secret Record Company), Erika Forster, Annie Hart and Heather D’Angelo coo soft confessions as they pump out laid-back, slowly swirling reveries. Their diarylike lyrics range from such simple, self help–style observations as “Take Me as I Am” and “Only You Can Make You Happy” to more poetically evocative idylls like “Organized Scenery.” Candy-cane chimes anoint “Trace a Line” with an air of delicate, ethereal beauty, as scraps of romantic lyrics cast a cumulatively engrossing spell: “Trace a line down my arm/You’ll be the end of me ... Getting drunk in taxicabs and writing names on backs of hands and figuring how to get to you ... Be careful now, we’re camping in the corner of the room.” Au Revoir Simone have a gift for conjuring such intimate moments and evoking indescribably subtle feelings from thin air, as they map out the hidden corners of their hearts. (Falling James)
The Church, Adam Franklin at the Roxy
“Big in Australia” isn’t always the best barometer of quality, but few bands in the history of post-punk have remained so steadfastly present on one continent while being completely invisible on another. We’re talking about the Church, a band that arrived during the peak of the echo-laden Paisley Underground movement of the early 1980s with a gorgeous, plaintive pop song called “The Unguarded Moment.” It remains a post-punk classic of the time, with members Marty Willson-Piper, Steve Kilbey and Peter Koppes creating a memorably lackadaisical room that they fill with drenched Rickenbacker guitars and humming bass. The band then vanished in America while continuing to do well in their homeland. In 1988, they landed in Los Angeles to record Starfish, which became an unlikely hit (even though the band reportedly despised L.A.). If you’ve heard a Church song and it’s not “The Unguarded Moment,” it was “Under the Milky Way,” which was featured in the film Donnie Darko. Though they haven’t had much stateside success since then (but they do have an avid fan base), they’ve been incredibly productive in Australia, where they now have at least 29 albums and EPs to their name (!). Holy cow. The new one’s called Untitled #23. (Randall Roberts)
Also playing Thursday:
BALKAN BEAT BOX at the Key Club; MANDY MOORE at the Grammy Museum; PETER MURPHY at the Canyon; HANDSOME FURS, THE CINNAMON BAND, THE MONOLATORS at the Echoplex; MAREN PARUSEL at Genghis Cohen; THE TRAGICALLY HIP at the Troubadour.