The New Year and Silkworm

Remember indie rock? Every once in a while, in a momentary clearing of the perpetual cloud cover provided by Ashanti and the White Stripes and Cannibal Ox and Kid Rock featuring Sheryl Crow, I realize that bands like Silkworm and the New Year, both of whom will hit Gypsy Tea Room on Sunday night, still exist, still make handsomely disheveled records, still tour around and play nightclub engagements for handsomely disheveled fans whose lives need the occasional infusion of scruffy guitar jangle. At a tiny show space last year in Prague I inadvertently ended up catching a set by brainy Chicago post-rockers Dianogah (whose Jay Ryan, as it happens, created the lovely moon-and-Earth posters you might have seen announcing this gig), and was amazed by how ably the group transcended what I was sure was going to be yet another instance of boring scenester insularity--those Czechs were into some knotty bass riffs, and who doesn't wake up now and then with a strong desire to call in sick to work? I'm not totally sure how those two mind-sets intertwine--the room of one's own vs. the universality of, say, disappointment, or self-sustenance (which might be the same thing). But hearing this kind of stuff on the right afternoon gives me a warm rush of possibility that's not entirely fueled by nostalgia.
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Mikael Wood