OK GO and the Essex

If you've chosen this weekend as the one to abandon all goodhearted indie revivalism--and, if so, let me be the first to congratulate you for quite an accomplishment--be sure to steer clear of Gypsy Tea Room on Saturday night: Brainy arena-rock dorks OK Go and flowery '60s-pop naïfs the Essex Green are setting up shop, and likely won't leave the stage till everyone present uncovers some golden memory of a musical moment gone by. With OK Go it'll probably be that time you walked in on Mom and Dad rolling on the couch with your Billy Squier records out; the Chicago band's ice-cream headache of a self-titled debut, out since last fall but still picking up all kinds of MTV-promo steam, features enough fist-pumping guitar riffery and jackhammer drumming to set back the advancement of musical nuance at least a decade. Maybe three. No such temerity on the Green party's new The Long Goodbye, their second disc of Zombies/Kinks/Association-aspiring loveliness--possible recollections include gently rolling down verdant, sloping hills; sipping ice cream sodas through bendy straws; and handcrafting eiderdown pillows at Grandma's place. I'm seriously wondering if these Brooklyn-based babies have riffled through a newspaper anytime in the past decade (maybe three), but suspend your distrust of retro long enough and they'll show you speckles of beauty you might have missed the first time around.
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Mikael Wood

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