Deerhunter rocks the swirling psych jams. - Oh My Rockness

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Deerhunter rocks the swirling psych jams.

April 04, 2007
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They were the talk of SXSW 2007. See what all the fuss is about when Deerhunter plays Empty Bottle, circa Wednesday. Their live show has been known to blow minds, either out of audience awe or just plain crowd confusion. Whatever they do, they certainly inspire a strong gut reaction from the people they play for. And that's pretty punk.

Atlanta's suddenly hyped Deerhunter (est. 2001, but only now getting wide-spread love due to their acclaimed 2007 album, "Cryptograms") play sprawling psych-garage-rock with an eccentric experimental twist. In other words, they sort of sound like what the Liars have been doing crossed with the retro weirdness of Grizzly Bear. Some claim that Deerhunter play faux-art rock that doesn't rock and are just plain pretentious in their dramatic stage antics. I don't really see that. I just think they're funny.

This is epic instrumentation that swirls, drones and glides towards eclectic enlightenment. It's hazy and hypnotic, it's spacey and heavy, and it's impossible to listen to Deerhunter while sober. Ok, not impossible. But pharmaceuticals and aromatic orange candles will definitely add to the overall sonic experience.

If you like your listening tastes challenged, Deerhunter is the band for you. And if you love depressing 70's movies, there is none better (in my humble opinion) than 1978's The Deer Hunter. You get not one, not two, but three tour de force acting performances courtesy of Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep and Christopher Walken. "Mao! Mao! Mao!"

Also playing this bill is bigger-by-the-day Ponys. This band has been punking it up for a few years now. Their just released album (like yesterday), "Turn the Lights Out," is their debut for Matador Records. And if Matador loves a band, that means the whole world will soon love that band. Ponys are a band that lay it all on the line on stage. They riff, they yelp, they rock out. It's dirty. It's tough. It's Richard Hell.

Deerhunter and the Ponys play The Echo, on Saturday, April 14th.

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