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When they widely distribute it in another month or so, Cold Cave's grimly catchy debut LP Love Comes Close will be the gothest Matador release since at least Interpol's early decade heyday. Live, with ex-Xiu Xiu waif Caralee McElroy in tow, the band might be more neon glow than pitch black, though. Perhaps they'll lean heavier on their ice-crystal guitar freakouts in the context of a very rock-centric bill; or perhaps the BPM will be jacked further to get the scuzzy lo-fi kids moving. One of the more promising young US bands in town this week, in either scenario.
Brooklyn-tethered concert goers are encouraged to sleuth out the easy-to-miss, but increasingly well-booked Cameo Gallery, where shy, mysterious songbird Annie Sachs will be serving up morsels from Hors d'Oeuvres, her latest LP from Animal Collective's Paw Tracks label. Advance word describes the new disc as Sachs clearing a bit of the fog that permeated her self-titled debut. This tiny backroom space should make for a clear and cozy view.
It'd be pretty nice to think that the impending, long-delayed U.S. release of Sissy Wish's charming 2007 record Beauties Never Die would guarantee an expectant group of new fans, but that's probably giving way too much clout to physicality in a digital age. Unlikely to be circled on too many schedules, and stuck at the CMJ Siberia of Spike Hill, the Norweigian pop trio might have to settle for winning the confused hearts of promenading Bedford peacocks. Expect goofy dancing, surprising bouts of guitar slaying, and general crush-worthiness from supremely endearing front-pixie Siri Walberg no matter what.
Fillmore at Irving Plaza
Live, Hercules and Love Affair is a DJ gig with an overdeveloped sense of theatricality. Lead disco architect Andy Butler stays anchored behind his station, summoning decadence from his decks, while a values voter's nightmare of sexual inclusiveness plays out in front of him. In gigs this summer, barely dressed male dancers in studded capes vogued furiously before him, while three powerful live singers, in three shades of subverted gender identity, ably filled the Antony-shaped lead vocals hole. Irving Plaza is sort of a strange place to put a pleasuredome, but badge holders who care more about ass shaking than bar hopping won't have a better chance to get sweaty all weekend.
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
Anchoring Matador's showcase, and adding a certain gravitas that other quadrants of the festival can't match, is punk lifer Ted Leo, and his trusty band of Pharmacists. The venerable New York indie imprint has had an itchy signing finger lately, making Leo a fully formed sore thumb among the intriguing newbies on Friday night's best all-around bill. But, as this year's slate of performers features more haystack than needle, the exultant old pro is a rock-solid pick. Expect this space to be packed all night, and especially for Leo.