The Times, They Are A-Modern

Drawing strongly on Dick Dale and Neutral Milk Hotel and using a skittering drum to offset the glossy guitars, the Oakland folky rockers in Amos Payne also remind us a little bit of Frog Eyes. The band is four white guys from Oberlin, and therefore shouldn't make music quite this interesting, but they've done the homework, obviously, and now they drop tracks that are simultaneously complicated and pretty. Granted, the group has some Mother Hips moments, but what the hell. Most of Amos Payne's songs are lightly distorted as if through a thin, brightly lit fog, and the tightly paralleled vocal harmonies ring Wall of Sound-like. Nice job for four white guys! Joining AP at the Benefit for Modern Times Bookstore is Lily Idalia, whose sweet, androgynous voice sounds like a sleepy Patti Smith gone Woodie Guthrie. Her acoustic, guitar-based songs about wolf howls and other baffling natural phenomena recall more psychedelic times, and include the occasional bongo drum, most welcome among the tambourines. Also appearing are the Po' Poets and Welfare Queens, a troupe of spoken-word artists from among the homeless, the working poor, and others who face serious economic bullshit, and Foibles, a local one-man band.
Sat., Sept. 1, 3 p.m.

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