I Am the World Trade Center, VHS or Beta

June 20

Surprisingly, the Brooklyn duo I Am the World Trade Center isn't the only outfit in the indie-rock underground where the boyfriend plays dinky synth-pop on a computer and the girlfriend sings anodyne melodies in a voice that's supposed to humanize machine music. The California band Her Space Holiday functions in the same way, but IATWTC has gotten a lot more attention lately for profoundly obvious reasons. (HSH did just take part in R.E.M.'s new downloadable remix project, though, so there might just be a double date floating around somewhere in these kids' Palm Pilots.) The Tight Connection, IATWTC's forthcoming second album, doesn't really justify that attention: It's too dependent on the sounds boyfriend Dan Geller cooks up and not interested enough in what girlfriend Amy Dykes does with them, and in its clearly reverential tone and handsomely retro art design, it's one of those records in which irony is wound as tightly as a marriage license--we know that they know that we know that doing Blondie's "Call Me" on a laptop is kinda cute, even if cute really means cloying. But we don't need no education; we just wanna world filled with silly love songs.

That's why Louisville, Kentucky's VHS or Beta is opening this show: The group's new Le Funk is the stupidest record you'll hear this month, a breathtakingly inessential live-disco workout that asks absolutely no questions of itself even as it vaporizes entire semesters' worth of American-studies classes in seconds flat. Everything IATWTC isn't (and nothing really great music is), these block-rocking blockheads fake it so real they're beyond fake. Be there and be square.

 
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