Years from now, when historians look back on the Naughts with abundant curiosity, pondering how, despite numerous advances in technology, the lo-fi aesthetic made such a big comeback, this tour could serve as the main study. It is, after all, an offering up of the sound's two biggest purveyors—even if, at least in the case of the headlining act, the lo-fi sheen is starting to become a thing of the past.
After releasing five albums of gloriously fuzzed-up garage rock, the swaggering four young men who make up Atlanta's Black Lips have taken something of a U-turn on their forthcoming Arabia Mountain release. Produced in large part by British super-producer Mark Ronson (the man responsible for breakthroughs from Amy Winehouse, Adele and Lily Allen), the album doesn't mess with the band's retro-chic formula for success; it just makes it sound crisper. Credit whatever means you want—Ronson's production, the band's expected progression, the inevitable end of the lo-fi resurgence—but the band sounds better than ever. And, after yet another batch of revelry-filled South by Southwest performances (the band is known for, of all things, spitting into each other's mouths mid-song), fans can rest assured that nothing else has changed. Their shows are still quite rowdy.
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Perfectly complemented on this bill by noted alt-celeb "Kickball Katy" Goodman and the rest of Vivian Girls, Brooklyn's more-melodic, all-girl answer to the Lips, expect this to be an irony-filled affair. The irony, of course, being these bands' ever-increasing lack of any as their music gets more and more acceptable in mainstream circles.