My arrival timing for events is usually pretty hit-or-miss, but this last Saturday I lucked out at PS14. I had headed over to check out Notorious Nastie's/Astari Nite's occasional Static Interference event, which was supposed to start at 10 p.m. I arrived just after 11, and nothing had started -- which was just fine, because I was happily surprised by the very first band, the Microdots.
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A minimalist-looking foursome, first of all, they have a great name: no weird spellings, short, easy to remember, and kind of nostalgically funny -- whither actual microdots in 2008? Also, though this is likely unintentional, it also reminds me of the Eighties English/Dutch act the Legendary Pink Dots. Not a bad thing, considering both acts hold in common a dark, wistful, slightly psychedelic sound and mood.
The Microdots have obviously chewed and digested a whole lot of Echo and the Bunnymen and company. In fact, they displayed their musical pedigree pretty bluntly with their closing number, a cover of The Church's "Under the Milky Way" (recognize that, Donnie Darko fans?). But what impressed most was the band's extreme live polish, with a jangly, spacey sound that perfectly captured that trebly, reverb-heavy guitar quality of the best post-punk. In any event, it was refreshing to hear someone around town take up post-punk with a less dance-y, chant-y (okay, Interpol-y) tack, and sound really, really surprisingly good while doing it.