Acts To See This Week: Palm and Pantha Du Prince

A soundtrack for an Alpine hike this Saturday at The Midway, and experimental rock Tuesday at Rickshaw Stop.

Experimental Rock


8 p.m., Tuesday, March 6, at Rickshaw Stop. $15;

Playful, poppy math-rock sounds like an oxymoron, but that’s only one of the ways to describe Palm’s music faithfully. The Philadelphia art rockers claim to “play music backwards,” which explains the chaotic, disjointed nature of their sound, but the same could be said for almost math-rock band. However, that label is inaccurate, due to the group’s one-of-a-kind ability to craft off-kilter songs that are vibrant and, at times, catchy. Palm’s recently released album Rock Island nearly perfects this ethos, showcasing the group’s ability to deconstruct songs and rebuild them seemingly on the spot. Sharp, jangly guitars respond to each other in a conversation-like manner among unusual drum patterns, with breaks of summery indie pop. Standout track “Composite” is structured around some machine gun-like drumming with aggressive yet careful guitar arrangements, but it’s Kasra Kurt’s bright vocals that shine throughout. Kurt sounds similar to Beach Boys frontman Brian Wilson, but the messy yet calculated approach the group takes to songwriting evokes comparisons to Centipede Hz-era Animal Collective. One can logically expect a band to falter creatively over time, but Palm may be the rare type of group that only gains creative energy as its career progresses.


Pantha Du Prince

9 p.m., Saturday, March 3, at the Midway. $35;

Imagine the perfect soundtrack for hiking through the Alps, taking in serene views of the of the massifs during a majestic sunset. House and techno would not typically be the ideal background for such a rugged excursion, but Pantha Du Prince’s organic-sounding and emotionally dynamic twist on those genres is just as perfect for nature as it is for the dance floor. Pantha Du Prince, born Hendrik Weber, is a product of the dark, heart-pounding techno we have come to expect from German producers. But what sets Weber apart from others in his field is the diverse and experimental material found throughout Pantha Du Prince’s discography, which can be be attributed to the wide array of musical influences Weber wears on his sleeve — particularly ’90s shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine or Slowdive. Black Noise, Pantha Du Prince’s acclaimed 2010 album, is the best example of how Weber uses dreamy, distorted layers of ambience among throbbing tech-house beats to create melancholic yet spirited tracks that evoke images of serene natural beauty (not unlike the album’s cover, which depicts a painting of a lonely Alpine lake house). Although a hike to the Matterhorn may be out of the question, Pantha Du Prince’s live show is sure to be a journey of its own.

View Comments