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West End Boys 

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In March, the Pet Shop Boys released Yes, the British duo's 10th full-length studio album (not including soundtracks, live shows, and compilations). The cover sports a check mark assembled from 11 enlarged, brightly hued pixels, one for each track on the album, against a white background. It's in this same contrast of minimalism and bold coloration that the Pet Shop Boys' aesthetic fiercely resides. Since banding together in 1981, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have played expertly with synth-pop's post-disco campiness. They toy with the contrast of sardonic and sincere observations, coolly balanced atop primary chords and melodic orchestration. Live, the Pet Shop Boys are much more overtly flamboyant -- head to the Warfield on Tuesday, Sept. 22, or Wednesday, Sept. 23, if you have a thing for cheeky pop and LED-bathed affectations. -- Tony Ware
Tue., Sept. 22, 9 p.m., 2009

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