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Pin(back) In Black

176It meant enduring Times Square's dreaded Nokia Theatre, but J.I. trudged up to rainy midtown last night (Oct. 9) to take in a performance from beloved indie rockers Pinback.

Rob Crow, Zach Smith and their touring band (great addition: former No Knife member Chris Prescott on drums) are quite a different animal on stage than Crow and Smith are on record. Namely, most of the songs are played at double or triple the speed live, and not all of them benefit from it.

"Fortress," their pseudo hit thanks to its appearance on "The O.C.," was raced through like the guys couldn't wait to get it over with, and "Good To Sea," from the new album "Autumn of the Seraphs," was similarly rushed. This isn't to say Pinback wasn't tight, because they were. It's just that the subtlety of their recorded material was missed in the aforementioned instances.

There were quite a few highlights though, particularly the oldies "Tripoli" and "Microtonic Wave" and the searing "AFK," from 2004's superb "Summer in Abaddon." And from the "here's something you don't expect from a rock star" file, Crow had to twice admonish the audience to stop smoking pot because the fumes were blowing directly into his face.

He also teased the crowd amid shouts for "Penelope" by telling them, "We're not playing 'Penelope' on this tour. Nobody wants to hear that sh*t." But then they played "Penelope," and all was fair in love and crowd banter.

Backstage after the show, J.I. helped Pinback and friends polish off the beer cooler while Crow's nearly two-year-old son pranced around well past his bedtime. Daddy Crow (in a "Gigli" hat) clued us in on the laundry list of projects he has about to come out. They include two Goblin Cock albums, an Alpha Male 7-inch, a record from Optigonally Yours and a Thingy album, which met an unfortunate fate.

"That was 98% done, but then the hard drive crashed. The songs are amongst the best I've ever written," he said, adding, "That was the last time I wrote complicated music." Then he told us, "I never want to see the other singer (Elea Tenuta) again," and we weren't sure whether he was kidding.

Here is Pinback's set list:

"Devil You Know"
"Non-Photo Blue"
"Microtonic Wave"
"Good To Sea"
"How We Breathe"
"From Nothing to Nowhere"
"Off by 50"

"This Train"

October 10, 2007 in In Concert, Pinback | Permalink


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