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November 17th, 2010 MICHAEL MANNHEIMER | Music Stories
 

Primer: Blonde Redhead

     
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Formed: In New York City in 1993.

Sounds like: Two decades of 4AD records soundtracking an arty French film in which a young couple sits at a coffee table dreaming about horses.

For fans of: Early Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, Asobi Seksu.

Latest release: 2010’s electronic-infused lullaby Penny Sparkle.

Why you care: Few bands exude New York City cool like Blonde Redhead. Almost an institution at this point, the trio—singer Kazu Makino and Amedeo and Simone Pace—has been churning out dissonant, sprawling blasts of guitar noise and dreamy pop for almost two decades now. Various producer gods, including Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto and Alan Moulder (NIN, the Smashing Pumpkins), have assisted along the way, and the band’s varied catalog ranges from the messy sonics of albums like 1997’s Fake Can Be Just as Good and 2000’s career highlight Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons. Granted, Blonde Redhead has mellowed out a bit in the past few years, but the band’s new record is kind of a snoozer, all pillowy drum machines and slow tempos that recall Morcheeba more than SST. Still, the early stuff still kills, and Blonde Redhead is one of the most striking—and loud—live acts still around.


SEE IT: Blonde Redhead plays Saturday, Nov. 20, at the Roseland, with Ólöf Arnalds. 9 pm. $22. All ages.
 
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