September 29th, 2010 | by MICHAEL MANNHEIMER Music | Posted In: Columns

Primer: The Clean

     
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IMAGE: Tim Soter

Formed: In Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1978.

Members: Hamish Kilgour, David Kilgour, and Robert Scott.

Latest release: 2009 comeback album Mister Pop.

Sounds like: Wide-eyed, rambling, youthful embraces of love and lust set to jangly guitars, propulsive rhythms and, in “Tally Ho,” one of the most famous organ lines in garage-rock history.

For fans of: Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Guided By Voices, Times New Viking, Jay Reatard, Eat Skull and basically every American indie-rock band of the past 20 years worth a damn.

Why you care: Do you remember that Onion spoof from 2002 with the headline “37 Record-Store Clerks Feared Dead in Yo La Tengo Concert Disaster”? If Holocene collapses, you could say goodbye to every indie-store owner, music critic and band member in Portland. The Clean is basically the ultimate record-collector band, a clear reference in connecting the dots from the Velvet Underground to Guided By Voices. The band virtually created what is now known as the Kiwi pop sound—a mix of choppy post-punk rhythms and British psych rock—laying the groundwork for Flying Nun Records and other notable Kiwi acts like Tall Dwarfs, the Chills, and the Bats. 2002’s two-disc compilation Anthology, released on Merge Records, captures most of the band’s best work, including seminal singles like “Tally Ho” and “Anything Could Happen,” which has been covered by both Pavement and, sadly, MGMT. The Clean’s most recent effort, Mister Pop, continues right where it left off, featuring weird bossa-nova instrumentals (“Simple Fix”) and epic anthems like “In the Dreamlife You Need a Rubber Soul” that only add to the band’s legacy.

SEE IT: The Clean plays Tuesday, Oct. 5, at Holocene. $13 advance, $15 day of show. 8:30 pm. 21+.

 
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