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Palomar matures beyond 'cute' image


Photo
photo courtesy of TAG TEAM MEDIA
Brooklyn-based indie-pop band Palomar get their asses out of bed to play Plush with IQU and locals the George Squire Orchestra Monday.
By Elizabeth Thompson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, September 16, 2004
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Circa 2000 A.D., it started raining in NYC.

For a couple of years, a torrential downpour of boys with tight pants and growl-voiced girls with Casios and drum machines washed over the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

It turned out that some of these bands really were great and we all freaked out over the Strokes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Then some of the bands that were pouring down stopped being really great and people got mad.

Now the clouds are parting and the sun is starting to reemerge in the yippee-cheerfulness of the mega-pop Brooklyn quartet Palomar, who, having formed in 1998, can be considered disaster survivors.

If you go...

Palomar with IQU

Plush
340340 E. Sixth St.
Monday 21 and over
$5

"There was a definite sound coming out of New York, but we never sounded like it," said lead singer and guitarist Rachel Warren. "It kind of made us feel a little displaced, like an orphan or an adopted child. We feel like we should be from a different city sometimes."

Regardless of the menacing title of their latest album, Palomar III: Revenge of Palomar coaxes you in through dizzying, airy harmonies with guitar and drum lines so crisp and clean you'll be dying to do laundry by the last song.

Warren believes this album is Palomar's most professional and grown-up since their first release in 1999. But critics are still describing their sound in strawberry shortcake vernacular that sends the band along as not only being talented, but super adorable, too.

"We do get annoyed, because it feels like people are kind of dismissive of the music," said Warren of her band's continual cheek-pinching reviews. "But at the same time, you can't really get angry with someone for saying you're cute."

The maturing of Palomar's sound doesn't mean they've abandoned their senses of humor.

III's "Work is a State Function" opens with a beat supplied by the slow, whistling wheeze of a dog's squeaky toy, like a canine lullaby, before exploding into poppy guitar. "You Dance Bad" trashes the horrifying dance moves of an ex-boyfriend, and will make you never ever want to dance in a public place again.

"It's about this guy I dated who used to always get drunk and make me slow dance with him to the Old 97's," said Warren. "Sometimes he would get drunk and make people have dance contests with him in bars. It was awful and really embarrassing."

Warren, who didn't learn how to play guitar until she was out of college, said that it's never too late for girls interested in music to start playing.

"I think a lot of boys are socially awkward in high school so they sit around in their rooms for hours and hours just doodling on their guitars," Warren said. "By the time they get out of high school they're these amazing guitarists because they did that instead of working on their social skills."

Palomar will play with IQU and the George Squier Orchestra at Plush Monday. Tickets are $5 and the show is 21 and over.



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