Siren Sings Again

While 1990s stalwarts such as Pavement have had big comebacks this year, quirky Dutch alt-rock band Bettie Serveert has had a quiet revival. The band (whose name translates to "Bettie serves," after Dutch tennis player Betty Stöve,) formed in 1986, broke up after one show, re-formed four years later, and released a critically acclaimed album in 1992. Palomine, a moody, guitar heavy showcase for Carol van Dyk's sweet, husky vocals, launched the foursome into alt-rock cult fandom. Over the next two decades, Bettie Serveert released albums with a rotating cast of members, hoping to capture the magic of its first, including a live collection of Velvet Underground covers, Bettie Serveert Plays "Venus in Furs" and Other Velvet Underground Songs (1998). Eight albums (and one more breakup) later, an incarnation of the original band returned in early 2010 with Pharmacy of Love. These tracks are more raw and rock-heavy. Van Dyk, a Debbie Harry near-soundalike, reads more mature, but her voice is still an energetic siren that cuts right through the guitars. It's a more modern, danceable interpretation of the band's signature sounds and the members' former selves — taking influences from current musicians such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The opening act is Foxtail Somersault, a San Francisco indie band heavily influenced by first-generation shoegazers such as the Jesus and Mary Chain and the Cocteau Twins.
Tue., Oct. 12, 9:30 p.m., 2010

 
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