Tuesday 22 Jul

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?

Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Three Michigan rockers keep...

Three Michigan rockers keep things simple, make strong case Cheap Girls make great dates

Chris Parker November 5th, 2009

Hope springs eternal, and, for similar reasons, there will always be new bands. Most acts obey the standard distribution curve, meaning they're less than inspired, or worse. This is to the a...

Hope springs eternal, and, for similar reasons, there will always be new bands.

Most acts obey the standard distribution curve, meaning they're less than inspired, or worse. This is to the advantage of bands like Michigan's Cheap Girls, who, despite a relatively fresh minting, are well-worth watching. The Girls' second disc, last month's "My Roaring 20's," is as fine a slab of music as you're likely to find from a band you've haven't heard or read about on Pitchfork.

The group's second release, the 10-track album shakes with raging distortion and tuneful playing steeped in melancholy discontent like it were forged two decades ago. The trio's chunky, hummable blasts recall pre-grunge, alt-rock acts such as Buffalo Tom and Superchunk.

Singer/bassist Ian Graham and his brother Ben have been playing in bands together for years, ever since receiving a guitar and drums (respectively) as children. Ian and guitarist Adam Aymor decided to start a band together and brought Ben along, and the rest is history.

"It's very simple," Ian Graham said. "I wish I had a better answer."

Simple is guiding idea behind the music. They just want to rock.

"From the start, it's always been that we write simple songs on acoustic guitar," Graham said. "We wanted to be loud and we wanted to be a simple rock band."

The straightforward sound is buoyed by a thick curtain of distortion and a bed of razor-wire hooks. None of the new songs clock beyond three minutes, and the entire album's finished in under a half hour, although it reverberates a lot longer.

At the center is Graham's befuddled ache, which is more existential crisis than heartbroken longing. It's the kind of heartfelt, vaguely pissed, beneath-the-wounded-veneer kind of music that the '80s and early-'90s underground excelled at, until Kurt Cobain took it mainstream.

"My Roaring 20's" is highlighted by a pair of terrific tracks, "Ft. Lauderdale" and "My Clean Friends"  " the latter an infectiously scored paean to making it through.

"Ft. Lauderdale" is just as powerful. It rides a rocking, chiming guitar roar, sketching a waitress in the titular town who fashions herself an artist amid worries that her dreams dwarf her talent, and a similarly minded valet who longs to act. It's a poignant ode to how our desires can make us feel inadequate and fill us with doubt.

Graham playfully chafed at the suggestion his talent may trail his dreams, but quickly confessed to his battles with doubt.

"I sort of catch myself doing that too much. There's definitely some of that for sure," he said with a laugh. "I wrote a shit-ton of songs, so I feel a lot of them must be terrible."

Cheap Girls with Failures' Union perform at 10 p.m. Tuesday at Hi-Lo Club, 1221 N.W. 50th. "Chris Parker

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