Suzanne Asprea

Of Montreal : Chop Suey, Seattle WA 1/31/2006

The best thing about Of Montreal’s super-charged live act, perhaps, is their playfulness. They don’t take the retro-rock thing too seriously, as so many style-conscious bands do these days. Yes, they were wearing fancy rock-star outfits, striking poses and even began “I Was Never Young” with the intro to “The Final Countdown,” but you still got the feeling that any and all posturing was accompanied by a large wink and a very open invitation to play along.

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Athlete: Tourist

UK pop outfit Athlete has said that they followed such musical guides as the Flaming Lips, Massive Attack and Beck during the making of Tourist, the follow-up to their well-received debut, Vehicles and Animals. Bits of those influences can be found on
Tourist, but really, it would be difficult to pick Athlete

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Fruit Bats: Spelled In Bones

No doubt the Fruit Bats have had to endure endless comparisons to their label and sometime tour mates the Shins. But with their second Sub Pop release, Spelled in Bones, the Fruit Bats challenge listeners to set aside those comparisons and to judge them on their own really, really catchy merits.

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The Books: Lost and Safe

With Lost and Safe, Paul de Jong and Nick Zammuto of The Books turn in another loopy-dreamy collection of melodic narratives made up of snippets of found noises, spoken-word samples and acoustic instrumentation that carries on the

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