ChairmanMeow

It was a long time coming. After hearing Tapes ‘n Tapes for the first time on WOXY radio about 5-6 months ago, all I’ve wanted to do is curl up and nestle into their collective laps. The quartet from Minnesota produces the freshest indie rock I’ve heard in a long time. You want gimmicks? Listen elsewhere. I may upset a lot of people when I say this, but fuck it… this is the Web baby! Try and find me if you can! 

Here goes: The band’s full-length debut, The Loon, is the best debut since Pavement’s Slanted and Enchanted. There I said it. If I stepped in someone else’s litterbox with that comment, excuse me while I piss all over your newspapers.

Tapes
Tapes ‘n Tapes – THE BAND!

It’s apt that they challenge the throne of Steve Malkmus’ troupe (I call him Steve, because, you know, like, we’re pals), because watching them live gives indie-rockers of the mid 90s reason to believe again–THEY ARE PAVEMENT REBORN! Well not really. But watching them evokes the gorgeous insanity that was Steve, the Bobs, Spiral Stairs, and that other guy… Mark I think his name was.

In addition to Pavement, seeing the Tapes live brings back memories of some other superb influences, The Pixies and Talking Heads (come to think about it, it seems like everyone reminds me of Talking Heads nowadays).

Enough about those old fogeys. Though Tapes sounds like some other stuff, they manage to have a sound all their own. I know that sounds like canned PR shill, but fuck you. I’m serious. They make the type of music that you listen to, then shit just starts rippin’, and you’re all like “Dammmmn! That was the same song? Where the fudge did that come from?” Pardon my juvenile playground speak, but the Tapes get me all kitten-like excited.

Holy crap! I just took a peek at their myspace page while listening to “Just Drums” on my iPawd and “Just Drums” began playing on the myspace page almost a perfect beat away from what I was listening to so it ended up being this crazy spontaneous myspace remix. You had to be there. Why weren’t you there? Why!?!?

I was fortunate to land an exclusive interview and get the origin of the band’s name thanks to Mr. Tapes, the bass player. He’s got red hair. You know what that means. (If you know what that means, please let me know by leaving a comment) Anywho, apparently the bored lads played a game where they would write parts of songs in two minutes or less, record it, and generally just waste their days dreaming that one day they would be rock stars and tour the country playing shows and blow up SXSW and get mentioned by the New York Times. I got news for you guys, welcome to reality!

Point is, they looked at a box full of their recorded quickies and said aloud, “Jesus, we have tapes and tapes of this shit.” (It’s unclear whether all of them said that at the same time, or whether it was muttered by only one Tape, but it was said.) Thus the name was born, though they shortened it considerably by dropping the baggage that was the ‘a’ and ‘d’ of ‘and’ and instead used the ultra-hip and underused ”’ before the ‘n’.

Back to the present day less than a week ago (wrap that around your mind!), the Tapes rolled into Cafe Du Nord (quickly becoming my favorite venue to see bands) to a packed house. Tapes ‘n Tapes? Packed house? Weren’t these guys playing Ale Houses in Minnesota a few months ago? Goes to show what playing 8 shows in 4 days at the biggest indie festival can do for a band, particularly in a city like San Francisco.

The live standouts were obviously “Insistor” (Susie Vomit’s favorite), “Beachgirls,” and “Icedbergs.” However, “Just Drums” and “Jakov’s Suite” were simply sublime. Sometimes it takes a band to play a song at a million decibels right in front of your whiskers to make you realize that you are witnessing a true display of creative Evolutionism. I think that last sentence makes sense, but I’m not totally sure. The point is their strength is their material, which is a must to uncork a fucking rocker.

My only gripe? They didn’t play 50s Parking. Which is probably for the best, because if they did, I probably would have humped their legs. And as a cat saying that, it means a lot.

Sorry there are no pictures… I got about half a block from my house, and realized I forgot my camera. I was painfully sober and couldn’t waste any more time without sweet, sweet nectar. Just look at the picture above and imagine them rocking, k?

Buy their album from their Web site, and pick up an “I hate tapes” button while you’re at it.

Insistor – Tapes ‘n Tapes
50s Parking – Tapes ‘n Tapes

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