Love is All + Real Estate + Right on Dynamite | Music Hall of Williamsburg | 6.05.2009
"We'd like to bring out a friend of ours, Hamish from the Clean.We loved them so much we stole one of their songs!" That was more or less Love is All singer Josaphine's introduction to Hamish Kilgour, who joined that band for their song "Wishing Well," which does indeed bear some — ok, a lot — resemblence to The Clean's classic single, "Tally Ho." However many people in the crowd at Music Hall of Williamsburg knew Kilgour's classic New Zealand indie rock band, it was a nice, surprising moment for a band that I've somehow seen four times in the last year. Surprising in that they're from Sweden. Love is All clearly like America, and New York in particular, and have decided to spend as much time here as in Europe (or at least it seems that way). Even when all those shows have been for the same album (the fun A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night), the band are so full of pep they won't let you get bored.
SETLIST: Early | Give It Back | Aging Had Never Been His Friend | Talk Talk Talk Talk | Last Choice | Sea Sick | Jessica | King | Wishing Well | Busy Doing Nothing | Dust | Make Out Fall Out Make Up | ENCORE: New Beginnings | Spinning and Scratching | | Used Goods
MP3: Love is All – Wishing Well (buy it from What's Your Rupture or Emusic)
MP3: The Clean – Tally Ho (buy it from Merge)
New Jersey's Real Estate don't so much force you to have fun so much as they invite you into their pad to hang out for as long as you want. One wonders what Kilgour thought of them, who, knowingly or not, owe a lot to the dreamier side of New Zealand pop, be it old schoolers like the Jean Paul Sartre Experience or current faves Surf City. You want a chez lounge to lean back in when you listen to these guys, whose set was nearly derailed by a broken string during the first song. (Seriously, bands: come with two guitars ready when you play somewhere like MHoW. Just in case. Also… stage banter would help smooth things over.) But with a new instrument in hand, Real Estate spun out interweaving guitar lines and dreamy melodies which sounded great with MHoW's superb PA.
MP3: Real Estate – Fake Blues (buy the 7" from Woodsist)
I think openers Right on Dynamite's name gives a bit of the wrong impression. You expect something taught and explosive. (Or funky.) What you actually get is a new spin on early '90s indie rock a la Dinosaur Jr. or Buffalo Tom. I guess Echo & the Bunnymen didn't really work as a name either at first. You grow into it. And when the songs are good, the guitars have that sound — part ringing, part distorted — and the choruses are just anthemic enough, names don't matter all that much anyway.
MP3: Right on Dynamite – Hard to Show (buy it from Emusic)