show recap: pains of being pure at heart/depreciation guild
  • WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2009

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Photography by Liz Colville. Check out more photos from this show and others HERE.

Marking the beginning of a characteristically busy month in New York City, there were a lot of musical happenings on the third -- Micachu and the Shapes, to name one act, were a few blocks -- but the city's own Pains of Being Pure at Heart, with a shiny and sullen pop sound filled with live energy, were just happy to be back home after a summer of touring and festival appearances. A young band crowned with praise for their debut self-titled album, including a Best New Music nod from Pitchfork, their gratefulness bubbles to the surface: they smile at each other, thank their openers, relay tour anecdotes, gaze up at Webster Hall's VIP section, dotted with their friends.

But The Depreciation Guild, who followed the intricate, promising Cymbals Eat Guitars, nearly stole the night from the Pains with a light show transmitted from nine TV screens, which flashed jittery patterns of bright pastel colors, artfully coordinated with bold, bright lights. Often music lighting is whimsical, and even sloppy, more high school disco than crowded night of rock, but the Guild, a three-piece band, were bathed in a candy-like scheme that held a large crowd's attention for a plus-30-minute set.

There was a full audience for the opening two acts, but a distinctly Saturday night infiltration of glossy, curious people packed in around Webster Hall's back bar as the six-piece band shuffled on stage and doused us in a heavy wave of soothing guitars. Peggy Wang-East, drawing photographers' attention with refreshing, seemingly French fashion choices and a mane of black hair and bangs, plays a bright red Nord and harmonizes on vocals with lead singer Kip Berman. This night, she swished her hair in front of her face, threw her head back, and pretty much smiled the entire time, with a subtle but completely necessary role in the band as a kind of sugar coating on top of the moody, heavy layers of guitar, guitar two, bass and drums.

This is a joyful, peppy band, but their music is more ornate and emotive than their stage presence suggests. It was a far cry from the thunderous sounds of The Depreciation Guild, which belie the band's size and leaves each member doused in sweat. But the night's trio of bands made complete sense together, all sharing a penchant for an expressive guitar just as comfortable screaming out a labyrinthine melody on its own as blending in with a wall of fuzzy sound. -liz colville
















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Pictures:: Depreciation Guild At Webster Hall
Pictures:: POBPAH At Webster Hall
The Depreciation Guild on Myspace
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart on Myspace

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