FOSTER’S TEASE: Last time we saw them, Foster the People were just another synth-backed rock group—catchy, talented, seemingly destined for radio rock greatness, and ultimately poised to see what the industry handed down to ‘em. Lucky for Foster (and us) then that someone else took notice. Nowadays, the Los Angelenos are riding high with a new three-song EP and sitting pretty atop a brand-new record deal with Columbia (home to Britney Spears, Kings of Leon, and M.J., for starters). They’re also making their return to—and headlining debut at—SOhO (1221 State St.) this Tuesday, March 8.
For those who didn’t catch them last September, the trio is a percussion-happy, slightly throwback-inspired nod to all things danceworthy. (Think Hall & Oates meets MGMT.) For their self-titled EP/album teaser, the guys dish up “Houdini,” an ooh- and aah-filled number whose synth lines sound like they stepped right off the skate rink. “Helena Beat” is a straight-outta-the-’80s mix of programmed beats and high-pitched vocal leaps that’s got no shortage of epic drum pad and keyboard work. And “Pumped Up Kicks,” well, it’s filled with whistles and fast becoming the ubiquitous indie rock anthem of the moment. (See: KROQ’s and KJEE’s current Top 10 Most Played lists.)
In other words, if you’re looking to get your groove on, you best be heading out this Tuesday. I promise it will be worth your mid-week sore feets and tired eyes. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Call 962-7776 or visit clubmercy.com for tickets.
CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: If it’s true that the bands that play together stay together, then Blvd Park and Musical Chairs have got a lengthy career ahead of ‘em. These two outfits, both from Sacramento, one now located in Seattle, have forged the ultimate band/friend bond, and are about to embark on a two-month, cross-country tour, funded by the people, for the people. Dubbed The New American Dream Tour, the outing is set to take place now through May 1, all on board a 34-foot, 1977 Ford school bus. And the traveling cash? It’s being collected online via fans like you through feedthemuse.net—and has already raised the bands more than $550.
If you’re curious to know what you’re forking over your pennies to, I suggest a quick trip over to thenewamericandreamtour.com. There, you can acquaint yourself with both acts, their super-awesome tour bus (aptly named “The Dream”), and their tunes, which are a mix of big three-part harmonies, vaudeville-style performance strategies, and vocals so earnest we can’t help but compare them to those other northwesterners, The Decemberists.
The New American Dream Tour rolls through town and stops by the Mercury Lounge (5871 Hollister Ave.) for a 21+ show this Monday, March 7, at 8 p.m. For tickets, call 967-0907.
FOLK MEETS FUNK: Also this week, S.B. noisemakers Wetlands and Alixandra Macmillan-Fiedel team up with out-of-towners Big Tree for an eclectic night of music making at Muddy Waters (508 E. Haley St.). The Saturday-night lineup boasts a mix of talent so diverse it’s well worth the trip just to see how it unfolds. Big Tree’s got an old timey vibe sprinkled with hints of jazzy swing, post-rock epicness, and hippie-approved ‘round-the-campfire sing-along potential. Wetlands lay claim to the top S.B. dance party rep, blending funk, Afro-beat, and rock with an unabashed and raw energy that can quite literally make a room move. And Alixandra, who’s been slowly unleashing new material on the S.B. music community in recent months, can simply be summed up as one to watch. Sonically, the songs fall among that upper echelon of contemporary female folkies (Jenny Lewis, we’re looking at you), but lyrically Alix’s craft is all her own and as heartfelt and resonating as it gets. The all-ages show takes place this Saturday, March 5, at 7 p.m. For tickets, call 966-9328.