Bishop Allen is happy to play pop for you. - Oh My Rockness

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Bishop Allen is happy to play pop for you.

July 30, 2007
Brooklyn's Bishop Allen are a band that very badly want you to have a good time when you go see them at Bowery Ballroom on Saturday, August 18th. So they barrage you with hand-claps, glockenspiels, tambourines, and infectiously jangly guitars to force the issue. You'll be helpless not to sing along and somewhat smile. This is a retro band, and by retro I mean harkening back to a time when it was actually ok to display happiness at a show (maybe when Papas Fritas was popular?)

At times, Bishop Allen sound like a more put-together Modest Mouse, at other times like The Kinks, sometimes like a less-morose The Velvet Underground and even sometimes like The Violent Femmes. Phew! This is one catchy rock 'n' roll quartet that wants to delight you with their charisma. I guess that's why they named their first album Charm School. And their latest, "The Broken String"just furthers the band's joyful mission of goodwill. Gee whiz, they sure make it hard not to like them.

Maryland's Page France are also playing this show. Talk about likable. This band plays slightly twee (and slightly silly.. ok sorry, I mean "whimsical") pop in the same style as badass bands like Danielson, Anathallo, or Sufjan Stevens.

Their first album for Suicide Squeeze (Pedro the Lion, Chin Up Chin Up), Hello, Dear Wind, appears to be popular with both the critics AND the kids. Chalk it up to the new burgeoning sing-a-long song scene. I guess it was only a matter of time before angst, aggression and rebellion in music turned into peace, love and kindness.

Also on this solid bill is Brooklyn's Mobius Band. These guys rock the electro-pop rock similar to The Postal Service, with a spoonful of that wacky "wall-of-sound" wonderment courtesy of merry old England (circa 1991, to be precise). And while Mobius Band may not be (like Gibbard) stalwarts on the Starbucks play list just quite yet, they certainly have that all-accessible sound that even soccer moms with frosted blonde highlights and drawers full of Christmas tree sweatshirts can enjoy (when they're feeling "frisky" that is).

Mobius Band incorporates driving guitars and particularly strong percussion with well-placed synth and blip strokes. Sure they're poppy, but perhaps not poppy enough to accompany your poppy muffin at a chain cafe.

Go to this show and allow yourself the possibility of having a good time.

Happy Birthday, Claire!

Bishop Allen, Page France and Mobius Band play Bowery Ballroom, on Saturday, August 18th


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