PISSED JEANS with LULLABYE ARKESTRA and more at the Pike Room

TUESDAY APRIL 13, 2010
doors at 8PM
tickets: $8 (buy tickets)

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The Straight World is a shallow, boring, soul-sucking vortex. This is where most folks spend their quiet, desperate lives. Working to consume, consuming to achieve status. Distractions like celebrity watching and religion are supposed to provide entertainment and meaning. Here, life on the edge means driving a Ford. It’s nearly impossible for those of us who despise the Straight World to avoid it. Many of us spend 8 hours a day there just to survive. The Straight World doesn’t take kindly to aberrance. That’s why some of us would rather not reveal ourselves. We move like shadows through the Straight World, keeping our secrets. We don’t need smoke to make ourselves disappear.

Matt Korvette has a secret. He’s a mild-mannered claims adjuster by day, up to his white collar in the Straight World. But as soon as he clocks out, he rips off his shirt revealing the sweaty, loose-limbed punk fronting the PISSED JEANS. No one at the insurance company has a clue. At 25 he’s been playing in bands for over half his life, mostly with guitarist Bradley Fry. Bradley’s got a secret too. The folks in Account Management have no idea that he’s the solid-statesman of Pissed Jeans renown, the one behind those brutal, beautiful feedback-drenched riffs. Matt and Brad grew up with bassist Dave Rosenstraus in the all-ages scene which coalesced around the Allentown, PA free-for-all fun-space, Jeff the Pigeon (RIP). Before recording their first single for Sub Pop, the stunning “Don’t Need Smoke to Make Myself Disappear” (which sold through two pressings!) the trio hooked up with ex-Navies drummer Sean McGuinness who relocated to PA from DC.

Pissed Jeans offer Hope for Men, their new album on Sub Pop. It kicks off with “People Person,” a frenetic, pounding rhythm over which Brad spews reverb and feedback like an aural Pollock while Matt mocks a shallow, handsome, glad-handing co-worker. It’s one of two fast songs on the record. In the other, “I’m Turning Now,” Dead Joe gets tubed before abruptly cutting back and morphing into Sabbath playing “Miserlou” just as the song’s protagonist, one of the Straight World’s “good people” gets fed-up with life’s many little indignities and runs a long red light to make a well-deserved left turn.

Pissed Jeans take several turns on Hope for Men, weaving brutality, humor and pathos throughout. There’s the heavy swing of “A Bad Wind” and “Fantasy World,” the vintage Lubricated Goat-like rhythm of “Caught Licking Leather,” and the riff-less excursion of “The Jogger.” “Scrapbooking” provides the “We Will Fall” moment of the record. A sparse four note descending bass line anchors this atmospheric exposé of the dark underbelly of the world of crafts while Matt rolls around under the piano, alternately channeling Alan Vega and Sylvester the Cat. “I’ve Still Got You (Ice Cream)” and “Secret Admirer” would be hits if we could cast off the crushing yoke of the Straight World, a shallow place where lightweight, semi-clever, indie pop is considered cutting edge. Fuck that. Hope for Men closes with “My Bed,” an honest-to-God punk rock epic. Clocking in at 8 minutes, the first half wouldn’t sound out of place on side 2 of My War; the second half sounds like a rolling, no-holds-barred battle royal. By the time the last squall of feedback dies away, it’s clear that the last band standing in this bout is Pissed Jeans.

With LULLABYE ARKESTRA: Lullabye Arkestra is Kat Taylor-Small and Justin Small (of Do Make Say Think). Brought together by love, they are bound by and to the music. It’s music by lovers, for fighters. When Kat picks up her bass and Justin gets behind the drums, the result is dirty, swaggering rock ‘n’ roll.

 

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