Best shows to see: Courtney Barnett, Together Pangea



Courtney Barnett
  • Courtney Barnett
It's Presidents Day, which means some of you get to kick back and take the day off. Even if you don't have the day off, there's plenty of ways to celebrate—specifically, plenty of great concerts, such as Justin Timberlake at the United Center and Ultra Bide at LiveWire Lounge.

If you can't make it to a gig this evening, tomorrow night you can check out Flat Five at Hideout or Sister Crystals at Schubas. Then on Wednesday there's Guillermo Gregorio at Beat Kitchen, Band of Horses at the Vic, and Twin Peaks, Joey Purp, and Lemons at Schubas.

Those aren't the only shows worth catching in the next few days—head to Soundboard for even more concert listings and read on for a couple picks from Reader critics.

Tue 2/18: Courtney Barnett at Empty Bottle

"Twenty-five-year-old Melbourne singer Courtney Barnett unfurls the lines to her wordy songs with an apathy that belies their sharpness," writes Peter Margasak. "She propels last year's impressive The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas (Marathon Artists) with her scrappy, post-Velvet Underground guitar, which alternates between rudimentary rock 'n' roll riffs (such as the Chicago blues lick in 'David') and hypnotic swirling ('Porcelain'). In a thickly accented voice, Barnett reveals private details of her life like she's reading a recipe aloud, but her monotone delivery doesn't take the bite out of her lyrics."

Wed 2/19: Together Pangea at Empty Bottle

"Formerly known as Pangea, William Keegan's Los Angeles garage-trash band added the 'Together' once they got a nine-to-five job with major label Harvest Records," writes Kevin Warwick. "The brand-spankin' Badillac is decidedly more refined than their previous output, with less of the endearing reckless abandon that often got them compared to the Black Lips in ruff-and-tumble fun mode—they now occasionally redirect that energy into songs full of heartache and acoustic guitar (and that aren't titled 'Too Drunk to Cum'). The album's best tracks are the ones that retain the youthful, noisy garage-rock bravado ('Alive,' 'Depress'), but Together Pangea is more like Deer Tick these days—not that there's anything wrong with that."

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