My latest obsession is Seattle band The Pica Beats. Their album Beating Back the Claws of the Cold (Hardly Art) is so lovingly lo-fi with subtle frailty, "hyper-literate storytelling" and full of songs in the running for my year end best of compilation ("Poor Old Ra" and "Shrinking Violets" to name a couple really great tracks with my current fav being "Cognac and Rum"). Think The Shins with John Darnielle's (Mountain Goats) library stash and a homespun basement recording aesthetic (with horns!).
The best part is that they aren't being elusive and hiding themselves away (like a lot of my favorite bands do – I'm looking at you Nana Grizol!). The P-Beats are getting out and making friends. Recently they stopped by Sonic Boom Ballard for an awesome in-store (see Heather's photos for a pictorial recap) as well as a captivating in-studio performance at KEXP (KEXP hasn't added it to the live performances page yet, but you can go listen to the streaming archive here and then go to the 9/29/08 noon marker).
So, it's no secret I can't recommend heading their cd release show next Thursday, Oct 9th high enough. They will be headlining at Chop Suey with Cock and Swan and Curious Mystery opening the night.
Can someone YouTube the performance? There are currently no videos of them circulating on the interweb (the horror!) and I wont be in town that night (a double triple horror that also prevents me from seeing the Reverb Fest or the Liz Phair show).
If you want to sample some of the Pica Beats goodness, go to their MySpace page.
(above photo by Joseph P. Traina)