The Twilight Sad @ Pianos, NYC 11/11/06

We swung down to Pianos last Sunday to check in with recent Band To Watch The Twilight Sad during night two of their three-week, Stereogum Presents residency. Our curiosity about the band’s live show had been partially sated during CMJ, where we caught ‘em at the Fader house. But that gig was on borrowed equipment (as was their later show at Fontana’s), so if you didn’t know what to listen for, all you heard was a blaring stream of guitars and low-end mush. All that changed at Pianos, though; with a proper rig and a dedicated sound man, the sonic chaos was restrained and refined. It was awesome.

The band’s strong shoegaze tendencies are even more apparent in da club, where guitarist Andy MacFarlane takes it back to the genre’s roots, literally staring at his feet while emitting the sheets of echoed, distorto-strums that save the songs from their acutely accessible melodies. And singer James Graham is what you want in a band that strives for rarified, epic space in its songs: always a center point — whether smashing crash cymbals on bended knee or off in an eyes-closed reverie during the band’s swelling instrumental passages — but never a distraction.

So if you’re free this Sunday, make your way down to Pianos for the last of the shows we’re putting on with the band; it may just be your last chance to catch ‘em until next year, when the wheels will truly be set in motion in support of their debut full-length, mixed by Peter Katis (Mercury Rev, Interpol) and tentatively scheduled for an April release. Just beware of flying drumsticks!

01. “Drift Away”
02. “It’s Alright”
03. “Back From Nothing”
04. “In A Way”
05. “Got To Get”
06. “So Many Days”
07. “Arrested”
08. “Blind Side”