101. THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART, 5/3/09

Location: The E.A.R.L., Atlanta
Supporting Act(s): ZAZA, Sea Lions
In the Company of: Thomas S. & Andrew G.

Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are enjoying that initial taste of success. Supporting their first full length, self-titled album (Slumberland Records), these shoegazers have received some critical acclaim. Commercial acclaim may soon follow. With a sound reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine, the Pains supply a wall-of-guitar sound and swift drumming accompanied by buried, sometimes unintelligible lyrics (not quite a “Murmur,” but some songs come close). All this with a sugary-sweet pop sensibility.

Band members Kip Berman (guitar, vocals), Alex Naidus (bass), Kurt Feldman (drums), and Peggy Wang-East (keyboards, vocals) formed TPOBPAH in 2007 with a three-inch, self-titled CD-R (Cloudberry Records) that garnered some positive feedback.

The high-energy songs seemed much appreciated by the crowd and the musicians appeared happy to be in Atlanta for the second show of this tour. One gaffe was forgiven when they claimed to be looking for a place with a mechanical bull. Just a bit of naiveté confusing Georgia with, say, Texas. It’s okay. They’re young.

Among the songs performed were “Young Adult Friction,” “Everything With You,” “A Teenager In Love,” “This Love Is F****** Right!” and “Come Saturday” (“Come Saturday, you’ll come to say / maybe there’s no harm in a wasted summer with no drummer / we’re gonna stay in”). All exceptionally performed with solid musicianship. And my sweet tooth was adequately satisfied.

Fellow Brooklyners ZAZA gave a stirring performance that was also very positively received. Danny and Jenny borrowed TPOBPAH drummer Kurt adding to their beautiful and atmospheric sound. ZAZA released the “Cameo” EP in 2009 to warm reviews and are relative newcomers to the touring scene. They seemed, however, to have it all under control on this night, competing handily with the headliner.

Local Atlanta duo Sea Lion kickstarted the room with a little help from a drum machine. This was a nice dose of exposure for the poppy band.

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