Nothing's worse than when bands hit the road together solely for convenience--labelmates get strapped together to save the boss man dosh on tour support, or MTV bands adopt buzzy newcomers to edge up their image. But every once in a while a double bill makes immediate, seductive sense, and the pairing of Phosphorescent and Castanets is a case study in tour gestalt. The groups, from Athens, GA and San Diego, respectively, share more in sensibility than they do in instrumentation or influences, but taken together, their performances are the soundtrack of unraveling America. Phosphorescent's recent LP Aw Come Aw Wry is a mash-up of grassroots folk, Elephant 6-ish orchestral flourishes and dissonant instrumental passages. "Joe Tex, These Taming Blues" comes off like a faded memory of AM radio on the back roads, one signal dying as another one bursts unexpectedly to life, vocals getting lost and found in a sea of hiss. Castanets are more straightforwardly elegiac: New LP First Light's Freeze picks up where last year's hushed, acoustic debut Cathedral left off but adds a touch of pop to the melodies and a layer of quiet electronic noise to the mix. Austin's Voxtrot opens, and their Morrissey-loving super-pop will stick out at this concert--luckily, for all of the right reasons.
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