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Photos: Rufustival 2009 (2009.06.06)

All photos: Greg Szeto

Baby Aspirin played a standout set on Saturday (which you can hear here thanks to Jeff), impressing me much more than my previous experience with them at the Talking Head).  They recalled the tude and sound of the best and brightest of the riot grrl movement.  At times, they made me really miss Sleater-Kinney, then proceeded to step in and fill that void as fast as it opened.

Ecstatic Sunshine played in yet another iteration.  They really hit a groove after early set meanderings, exploring some interesting, spare and tropical vibes, perfect for the summer and outdoors.  Check out Jeff’s audio here.

Thrushes played a slew of new material (some of which they have been playing live for quite a bit) from their forthcoming sophomore effort, reunited with founding drummer Matt Davis.  They showed real progression and new life, playing more taut and uptempo than ever before, a welcome extension of their crushing mastery of midtempo and dirgelike compositions.

Chairlift ployed their spaced-out pop vision quite well, but I found myself increasingly inattentive in spite of the trio’s great vocals.

Wye Oak struggled through some unfortunate technical delays courtesy of some bad/breaking wiring on Andy’s Nord Electro.  The outdoor setting also sapped some of the affecting energy the duo normally exude in spades.  Not a bad set by any means, but not their best either.

Major kudos and congrats to Sarah for running a phenomenally tight ship for both Rufustival (set times were spot on) and the Metro Gallery as a whole.  Here’s hoping for many more years, and even bigger fests.

Baby Aspirin

Baby Aspirin @ Rufustival 2009
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Review: Chairlift @ Sixth & I Historic Synagogue (2008.12.04)

Chairlift @ Triple Rock in Minneapolis, MN

Chairlift @ Triple Rock in Minneapolis, MN

Photo credit: Heidi Holzem

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MP3: Chairlift – Evident Utensil

I wait outside Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, observing a few peacoat-ed young crowded together in an attempt to light their Camel Filters, trying to distinguish hot breath from cigarette smoke.

I’m usually not that hyped up during the holidays, but DC in the winter is hard to resist—

bare branches woven with lights and red ribbon. There was just this warmth radiating from the historic synagogue that had an intense effect on the performances of the night.

From where I am sitting, I notice a string of translucent Papier-mâché bulbs that hang above the stage, changing from red to blue to yellow and back again, reflecting rainbow beams across an enlarged Star of David: all of it nothing short of an Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

Yeasayer welcomes Chairlift on tour—that new indie-pop band from the Nano-chromatic iPod commercial. Read the rest…