Elf Power + Dawn Landes + House & Parish
Wed Apr 2 2008
Photograph: Kristen Bach
Mercury Lounge; Apr 7, 2008
Here’s a sweet triple bill whose acts share little beyond a dedication to quality tunes and indie ideals. Elf Power, from Athens, Georgia, was part of the Elephant 6 psych-pop posse that briefly ruled college radio back in the late ’90s, and though its buzz has abated since then, the group’s knack for fuzzy guitar jams has not. On Elf Power’s new one, In a Cave, frontman Andrew Rieger and his bandmates rock as hard as they ever have without sacrificing the wispy melodic sense endemic to their old ’60s-throwback cohorts in Elephant 6. (Elf Power also plays Union Hall Tue 8, with Great Lakes.)
You might’ve seen Dawn Landes performing with Hem lately—she sings backup vocals and plays glockenspiel for the countrypolitan outfit onstage. But Landes is also a singer-songwriter in her own right, one who deserves a share of the spotlight; her recent Fireproof is a pretty roots-music disc that doesn’t feel paralyzed by tradition. Make sure to request her cute bluegrass version of Peter Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks.”
Brooklyn’s House & Parish was formed by Jason Gnewikow, whom second-wave emo fans might remember from his days in the Promise Ring. An emo supergroup of sorts, H&P also features ex-members of Texas Is the Reason and the Gloria Record. The band’s strummy, folk-poppy One, One-Thousand EP gets right what the Promise Ring got wrong on its final album.