Band of Horses, Talkdemonic, Squirrel Nut Zippers -- ASD's Live Music Picks, July 5

Band of Horses, 8 at Great American Music Hall. $20.
“A lot of bands have, over time, released excellent debut albums, and they are most often praised for their technical ability or their songwriting. Band of Horses possesses both of these in spades, but what makes them truly exceptional is their gift for realizing a fully-fledged affect – in other words, a feel to their music that distinguishes it from that of any other band. Band of Horses is ethereal, otherworldly, and completely inimitable, and listening to Everything All the Time is, in the truest sense of the word, an experience.” --Delusions of Adequacy

Talkdemonic, 9 at Café Du Nord. $8.
“The same can be said of Talkdemonic's instrumental post-rock, which lays a bevy of acoustic elements over a foundation of pulsing programmed beats and modulating, soft-focus synthesizers. The duo acquiesces to this tension, cheekily dubbing their music "folktronic hop," a hybrid genre that seems to have its roots in records like Bjork's Homogenic. But, without a doubt, it's the players, not the preset laptop tracks, who lend Talkdemonic's music its emotional heft. Kevin O'Connor plays banjo, guitar, piano, and Wurlitzer on the recording, but it's his highly expressive drumming that is most memorable. When the punctuated rhythm of programmed percussion gives way to cascading cymbal crashes and spacious break beats, it's nothing short of cathartic. And viola-player Lisa Molinaro's performances ooze with feeling, as beautiful swells of strings render the need for vocals understandably dispensable.” --Pitchfork

Squirrel Nut Zippers, 8 at the Independent. $15.
“The Zippers' leaders, singers Jim Mathus and Katharine Whalen, are meticulous about their sound -- on "Ghost of Stephen Foster," you can hear Andrew Bird draw his bow across his fiddle. On retro amusements like "Suits Are Picking Up the Bill" and ballads of Billie Holiday sadness like "Low Down Man," the band and producer Mike Napolitano ensure that all instruments are allowed to live, breathe and make themselves felt in the mix. They understand that swing is like a well-prepared stew in which you taste all ingredients; they see it as a musical-sonic exploration instead of as this year's lambada. Squirrel Nut Zippers know one thing for sure: It don't mean a thing if it ain't got . . well, more than zoot suits and stogies.” --Rolling Stone

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