No Age + Triggers + The Lopez / U. Pitt Union / 03.12.2012 / Doors 7:00 / $8-$10
Words by Brendan
It’s been a year and a half since No Age released the solidly rockin’ Everything In Between, and a year longer since the last time they stopped by Pittsburgh (which was way back at Mr. Small’s for the No Deachunter conglomerate tour). They’ve been mighty busy, though, touring extensively, playing ATP, scoring a short film on fashion for MOCA, and live (?!) scoring an art film. Just last week, even, they released a soundtrack LP for readings from a Collage Culture: Examining the 21st Century’s Identity Crisis. So yeah, these dudes have been busy and seem to have an artsy agenda. In all that time, though, they haven’t abandoned their punk rock roots, and their mix of heavy rock and ambient drone continues to stand out in the indie soundscape. Lucky for us, WPTS is bringing them back to town to play in a couple weeks and we have TWO FREE TICKETS for that show! Do you want them? You know you do …
Dean Spunt and Randy Randall played together in hardcore band Wives, and when that fell through, they forged on as a duo. They played show after show in LA, quite often at the now-famous (in part, due to them) DIY venue The Smell, whose unassuming front door graces the cover of their first proper LP, Weirdo Rippers. That LP is literally a collection of five vinyl singles, whose contents the band released on one day in 2007 on five different labels. With their unique take on punk music—delving into ambient soundscapes and instrumental drone at times—and interesting persona—that five labels thing, their commitment to small-scale venues, their veganism, perhaps—the duo landed a record deal with indie stalwart Sub Pop and released the standout Nouns in 2008.
That record is outstanding, I have to say, and a big part of the appeal is the variability of sound. You’ve got the stomping, hooky, punk numbers—the simple but catchy riff and singalong chorus of “Teen Creeps”, the insisten percussion of “Cappo”—but also the slower, wash-over-you tracks—I have a friend who would listen to “Keechie” on loop while falling asleep. How many punk albums have that ability? No Age continued to tour hard and explore various side art projects (film, music videos, lit zines, etc.) until the release of Everything in Between in 2010, after a teaser EP entitled Losing Feeling. I distinctly remember not paying attention and playing that EP at 33 instead of 45 RPM and not even noticing until after the first song. That says a lot about my distracted mind for those 5 minutes, but it also says a little bit about this band’s versatility and ability to innovate within their genre. For that, I admire them. Everything In Between and that EP have really grown on me, earning fervent spins once in a while after some initial disappointment. The straightforward rock of “Fever Dreaming” is a particuar favorite of mine, but then there are the forays into acoustic punk (“Common Heat”) droning but curtailed post-rock (“Skinned” –> “Katerpillar”), and there are two distinct singing voices on several tracks (e.g. “Chem Trails”) which I don’t recall noticing on earlier albums. All in all, No Age is endlessly listenable, and I should point out that their live energy is INTENSE. Lots of noise for just two dudes, and they love doin’ what they do. You don’t wanna miss this.
No Age / “Fever Dreaming” / Everything In Between [Sub Pop, 2010] / dir. Patrick Daughters
Also playing are two sweet Pittsburgh bands. Triggers are masters of the indie power pop genre, and their latest offering, Forcing A Smile, earned a glowing review from guest writer Raymond Morin. The Lopez might be more like No Age, though, a noisy duo with lots of live punky energy. So here are the details:
Leave a note on our Facebook wall (like us first or it won’t count!), @ us on Twitter (with the hashtag #NoAgePgh, and follow us first!), or send me an email to enter the contest! Just say “Hope I don’t see no Teen Creeps at this show!” or “I love Randy and Dean and everything in between!” or the like. It really doesn’t matter. Get your entries in by Friday night because we’ll pick a winner (at random) on Saturday and then let you know who the lucky guy/gal is! Best of luck and see yinz there!