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Deer Freely Hunted

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A review of last night’s FREE Deerhunter show.  

 

By Monica the Intern

 

from Deerhunter's myspace page

 

In a sonic wash of pedal pushing magic and light, Deerhunter opened Noise Pop 2009 with a performance at Mezzanine, thus kicking off this year’s festival with an orchestrated bang. Before the opening lazy strums of “Hazel St.,” front-man Bradford Cox was well aware he was smack dab in the middle of the City: “This song is for Harvey Milk – the person, not the band.” Though the clarification was merely part of Cox’s awkward charm, the song soared like a ghost rock demon, doing the slain icon proud.

 

After hellacious lineup changes, Cox’s distracting on-stage antics (he has been known to play in a dress while performing various sexual acts) and the band’s many challenges in its beginnings, many did not know what to expect. Cox, dressed in a non-descript t-shirt and jeans, led his four piece into an hour long set that impressed, energized and intrigued. The band’s lyrics, often ridden by isolation and depression, only feed into the feeling that they produce with their synth wave of sound. On “Never Stops” Cox’s feelings of entrapment and entropy are illustrated bluntly and beautifully: “I had dreams/That frightened me awake/I happened to escape/But my escape/Would never come.” Deerhunter also premiered new material, to which the crowd responded well. One of the most memorable songs, “Famous Last Words” rang with doo-wop bounce that was new but added even more to their lush sound.

 

Throughout the show, Cox refrained from talking in between songs – it seemed that music was the mission operative of their appearance. Toward the end, much of the crowd began to dance wildly to pounding drums and guitar rhythms and Cox followed suit: “I don’t know about you, but there are two things in this world that I care most about: noise and pop.”

 

Local openers Lilofee were energetic, but the younger and middle-aged hipster crowd seemed largely disinterested. Though they have received attention for their stage performances and their anticipated debut album, The Only Years, much of the audience was in search of libations versus front woman Kimi Recor’s sweat liberations. To give her due credit, Recor worked hard for the attention, writhing, screaming, sweating and belting out every industrial power pop song in her. Talking between each song, she tried to reach out to the crowd of hundreds but her dancing rhetoric and protocol did not wow the masses. The band’s hard industrial beats mixed with the appeal of power-pop would have been highly appealing, save for the one-woman tour-de-force that seemed to suck the interest away.

 

Deerhunter has been harboring attention since their release of Cryptograms in 2007. 2008’s Microcastle topped the album lists of last year, as their dreamy, shoegaze experiment began to have more focus and substance, making them indie darlings to a more-than-willing crowd. Though they have played very few shows in the Bay Area, they showed the City’s crowd one thing last night: the band has found a niche and they are here to stay.

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Monica Miller - The Intern

Monica Miller - The Intern

Ms. Miller was born in San Diego, CA to one lesbian mother and one
righteous, cheap father. Currently, she is enrolled at San Francisco
State University for a B.A. in Journalism and the approximate
completion date is around 2015. She has worked for many papers in the
Bay Area, including the Oakland Tribune and the San Mateo Country
Times and is currently the city editor at one of the most
underappreciated publications in SF, the Golden Gate [X]press. Though
she may find bargains aplenty, it only stems from the necessity of
never landing an actual job and working for hacks [like Stuart.] With
intelligence, style, poise, bite, and honesty, she will rip your heart
out; but not before writing some awesome, poignant shit. This year,
she is looking forward to bigger and better things such as: trying to
get paid for a gig, actually finding a date that isn't a loser or
fucking crazy, not calling her parents when hungover and bringing you
the best of the 7x7 everyday of the week. [By the way, I wasn't
kidding about the date thing; if you love food, booze and shoegaze,
get at me.]

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