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Show Preview: Alex G, LVL UP, & Brandon Can't Dance at the Frequency

  • Post Author
    by Web manager
  • Post Date
    Thu Nov 10 2016

“Here, you should play some tunes.” Oh man, this is a heavy moment. You're hanging out with a group of friends, and you've just been passed the aux-chord baton. The sacred responsibility of choosing the music has just been pushed on you, and you instantly feel the room's vast weight on your shoulders. For the past 2 years, Alex G has been my savior in these types of situations. I can't tell you how many times I've put on the album Trick and heard “hey this sounds rad, who's this?” If you're weird in the same way I am, these are the small affirmative moments that you live for. Alex Giannascoli is one of the most tireless and consistent songwriters in the game, racking up over a dozen releases on his Bandcamp page over the past 3 years. His warped lo-fi indie sound is infectious and intriguing, and the lyrical content hangs somewhere on the fringes between ambiguous and dark and weird. But more than anything else, the thing that defines Alex G is his otherworldly knack for writing melodies that bury themselves deep within your brain and haunt you for days on end.  All of this productivity and all of this talent has garnered Alex G a cult following, and this college radio DJ is a card bearing member.

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Ever since the release of 2014's Hoodwink'd, I've had Brooklyn-based LVL UP on heavy rotation. The album is brimming of refreshingly forthright tracks about experiential love, loss, and camaraderie dished out in a fuzzy-but-focused vein of slacker rock. You could max out a hard drive with bands that sound kind of like Pavement, but the idiosyncratic songwriting trio of Dave Benton, Mike Caridi, and Nick Corbo had some sort of special sauce that kept me coming back. The undeniable success of this record pushed LVL UP into the national gaze and lead to them penning a deal with indie giant Sub Pop records for their recent release Return to Love. This album is on my very, very short list for personal favorite album of the year.  It'd probably be top 3 or 4 if I was the kind of person who felt the need to create some sort of definitive ranking of subjective art. The compositions on this record are far more musically interesting and the thematic elements are better articulated than any of their previous work. It is LVL UP's first time touring on this incredibly ambitious record, and I'm sitting here grinning like an idiot just thinking about seeing it live.

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Both of these bands, as well as Philadelphia's crooked/riffy/loopy Brandon Can't Dance are playing this Thursday, November 10 at the Frequency. I'm going to be frank and tell you that I haven't been more excited for a show in Madison all year. Doors are at 7 and the show starts at 8.

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