Danica Li

Late of the Pier

Catchy, weird, and jumping askew at Popscene
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PREVIEW Late of the Pier is catchy while still retaining an essential core of flighty, fidgety weirdness. With its askew harmonics, squelchy synths, and wildly off-key vocals, Fantasy Black Channel (Parlophone, 2008) marks the big label debut of a band bent on peddling an oddball sound to the masses, to say nothing of a kitschy aesthetic. The album's cover presents a haphazard assortment of drums, kits, cords, and keyboards scattered atop outcroppings of granite — an apt visual for the band's chaotic approach. Read more »

Cut Copy

They're here to dance, they're damn happy about it, and they want you to know it
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PREVIEW Cut Copy can't help being so likable. They're here to dance, they're damn happy about it, and they want you to know it — and jump in. The happy-go-lucky aesthetic worked: last year's In Ghost Colours (Modular Interscope) debuted at the top of the Australian charts and topped scads of year-end best-of lists. Read more »

Valentine's Day Music

Without drippy musings on the perfume of roses and a huddle of cooing lovebirds
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PREVIEW There couldn't be a more disaster-prone pairing than Friday the 13th and Valentine's Day, but if the Black Valentine's Masquerade on Feb. 13 at Mighty has anything to do with it, everything's going to go horribly, horribly right. UK electro weirdo James Lavelle of UNKLE and DJ duo Evil 9 are slated to kick off a party that includes shambling zombies, friendly demonic folk, blasts of electro-metal, and horror-movie synths. Read more »

"The Bird and the Bee"

You can't say the kids lack style
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PREVIEW For a band that has leased tracks to Grey's Anatomy, Sex and the City: the Movie (2008), and Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), the Bird and the Bee curiously still bear the burden of being just one buzz band among the ravenous, clamoring multitudes. Nonetheless, the duo's brand of frothy pop has gained traction among various species of photosphere hipsters.

According to their nonchalant MySpace bio, Inara George and Greg Kurstin met, hit it off over jazz standards, played a few, and then never looked back. Read more »