Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
With a new semester comes a new schedule of shows at Swarthmore’s free live music venue, the one and only Olde Club. This semester brings a mixture of old and new, from bands with a decade of experience under their belt to bands that formed just this past year. Stylistically, this semester’s performers are split between strident guitar rock and melodic pop, a combination that should keep things interesting.
The big news is that veteran rockers Les Savy Fav will be headlining the first show, on February 18. Noted for their incendiary live performances, Les Savy Fav epitomize the harder edge of modern indie rock. Feedback-laden guitars ricochet off the shouted vocals of frontman Tim Harrington in a cacophony that still manages to sound extraordinarily tuneful.
Les Savy Fav will be supported by Detachment Kit, who also performed at Olde Club last semester. Jones Nauseef ’06, the organizer of this year’s Olde Club lineup, was highly impressed by their previous show. “They put on the best performance I’ve ever seen at Olde Club, but the crowd had thinned out due to the late hour and the cold. This gives Swarthmore another chance to see something amazing,” he stated.
The second show of the semester occurs on February 24 and will feature Skeletons and the Girl-Faced Boys and Nous Non Plus. Skeletons, an electro-pop outfit known for their experimental use of synths and soul-influenced vocals, were recently called a mixture of Jamiroquai and Arthur Russell by Pitchfork.
Nous Non Plus, formed by ex-Les Sans Culottes members, are a New York-based pop band who sing in French. Each band member has a pseudonym, all of which are based on silly, geeky puns (for example, the singers refer to themselves as “Celine Dijon” and “Jean-Luc Retard”), as well as a fictitious backstory. Their genre-jumping style, combined with their cheeky personas, make for a unique show, particularly in combination with Skeletons and the Girl-Faced Boys.
On March 24, the Joggers will headline, supported by newcomers Georgie James. The Joggers, known for intricate guitar work reminiscent of a dirtier Minus the Bear, were recently lauded by Cokemachineglow.com: “[Their] innovative guitar work, deceptive use of dynamics and the bandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s use of harmonizing separate them from the rather stale pack of hipsters recycling the same five post-punk/new-wave records over and over again.”
Georgie James is a new collaborative project between ex-Q and Not U drummer John Davis and solo artist Laura Burhenn. Unlike the angular post-punk of Q and Not U, Georgie James perform 70s-tinged pop and folk rock, melding classic rock influences into modern indie pop.
The final show of the semester will take place on April 23 and features Islands. Like Nous Non Plus and Georgie James, Islands has a rich indie rock pedigree, consisting of former members of the Unicorns. Like their predecessors, they play lo-fi melodic rock with creative arrangements and unconventional instrumentation. Islands recently toured with Beck, and their debut album, “Return to Sea” is due out in mid-2006.