June 5, 2015
That Was The Show That Was: Diet Cig and PWR BTTM | Red Room at Cafe 939 | 1st June
For a label based on the West Coast, Father/Daughter Records sure has a firm figurative finger on the pulse of New York's remarkably fertile indie pop scene. To a roster that already included hitmakers of the day Sharpless, Rivergazer, and Pupppy, Father/Daughter has recently added two young guitar-pop duos from the Empire State, Diet Cig and PWR BTTM. These acts approach indie pop differently, but it still makes aesthetic sense that they are presently touring together. And the camaraderie among the groups was noticeably strong when we had the pleasure of seeing them earlier this week at Berklee College of Music's Red Room.
New Paltz's Diet Cig at the start of the year issued a charming and brisk five-song EP entitled Over Easy, which we wrote about right here. As on the EP, Diet Cig in the proverbial flesh plays fast and loose with cadence and tempo. Fronter Alex Luciano enhances the spectacle by presenting the clever lyricism she displayed across Over Easy with a frenetic energy. Despite the cramped, and somewhat sterile surroundings -- the Red Room has the feel of an on-campus lecture hall, rather than a rock club -- Ms. Luciano performed with abandon, darting repeatedly into the crowd, routinely rounding out Diet Cig’s short, snappy numbers with outsized, fuzz solo endings. The pair also tried out a few new, seemingly untitled tracks that comported well with the aesthetic it has established to date. One of these, apparently still in development, found Luciano and drummer Noah Bowman thrillingly improvising at its close, and to our recollection included lyrics memorializing a somewhat illicit romance between Luciano and a boy with the same forename.
PWR BTTM -- which has apparently garnered the sparkly stamp of approval from divisive Boston rock-lebrity Amanda Palmer - opened the evening's short program with tunes that will feature on a forthcoming Father/Daughter and/or Miscreant Records debut LP. Monday evening band members Ben and Liv performed their loud, sludgy guitar rock while wearing dresses and bright, slightly rubbed off facial makeup, which made for a pretty powerful aural and visual performance. The duo recently issued music on a split EP with Clicky Clicky faves Jawbreaker Reunion, which we found to be mighty good and which you can grab here. Over Easy is out now via Father/Daughter on limited edition pink cassette and digital download, either of which you can purchase right here. The Diet Cig / PWR BTTM tour is rocking Philadelphia tonight and heads to Virginia, Maryland and Delaware between now and Tuesday. While you either reflect on your town being rocked or eagerly await the rocking, stream some selections from both Diet Cig and PWR BTTM below. -- Dillon Riley
Diet Cig: Bandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud
PWR BTTM: Bandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud