I had to search far and wide for some criticism of Tapes ‘N Tapes, who I saw tonight in Montreal at a strange, former church called the Ukrainian Federation. First let me make clear my biases: I don’t like TnT. I’ve wanted to like them, but it just ain’t happening and it really didn’t happen tonight. I believe Jason and Dave, while not huge fans, are both supporters. I’m sure they can offer a response to my criticism, although I really don’t know where to begin. To be fair, I’m more critical of the response to TnT, then to the band themselves. They might put out an album I like at some point, and I hope they don’t think they’re as good as the reviews say they are. First, let me post some of the criticism I found, from E! Online (Jess should be proud):
Do hipsters even listen to the MP3s they so anxiously post on their blogs for the world to devour? After all, it’s those same bedroom geeks who are largely responsible for the deafening hype surrounding the arrival of this Minneapolis indie rock quartet’s thoroughly underwhelming debut, an album that merely paints within the lines already drawn by Pavement and the Pixies. Listening to tracks like “Insistor” and “In Houston,” you wonder if singer Josh Grier has ever heard anyone else sing besides Steven Malkmus, while the band bashes away in predictably amateurish style. Give away all the free audio clips you want. We say, Clap your hands say no!
I think the review is too kind, because TnT can’t even paint within the Pavement lines. Not fucking close. TnT might just not be my thing, and I accept that. However, the primary comparison repeatedly made by said hipsters are that TnT is the new Pavement. Pavement though wrote memorable songs. I haven’t found any by TnT.
I had decided to leave early since the show was really, frankly, pissing me off when Josh Grier announced they had 3 songs left. It was 25 minutes into the set! Many rightfully booed. I guess album two still has a ways to go. I stayed for one more, but didn’t make it to the encore to hear my so-called, for lack of a better word, “favorite”: “Insistor.”
Maybe I’ve become too pop-oriented as I approach 30. But, the apparent hooks on this album I simply don’t hear. Tonight’s opener far outplayed TnT in my opinion, and I think the crowd’s reaction indicated as much. We also had to hear Josh Grier tell Montreal scenesters they have lots of good bands coming out of Montreal, “if you weren’t aware.” Thanks for the tip, Josh. Maybe I’ll go and check them out at Pop Montreal.
So, the openers were The Lovely Feathers, and while not exactly my thing, they were lovely. Good songs, good stage presence, energy, and unpretentious. All things missing from the TnT performance. Color me confused.
Check ’em out: http://www.thelovelyfeathers.com