You know who's really good? North Carolinian Stuart McLamb and his band, The Love Language. Their first two records are really good, last month's Ruby Red is really good, and their live show is consistently really good. They'll play tonight at The Stone Fox with fellow Cream faves Evan P. Donohue and Kin Ship, and I did the Critic's Pick thing. Here, check it out:
Fans of Merge Records signee Stuart McLamb know that the principal Love Language member isn’t really capable of writing songs devoid of splendid pop melodies and pleasant arrangements. But on the Language’s first two LPs — The Love Language and Libraries — North Carolinian McLamb’s songs were presented in lo-fi, psych-pop packages. With last month’s Ruby Red, McLamb & Co. take another step away from the lo-fi/garage aesthetic, stacking wall after wall of instrumentation to construct epic pop songs. Yes, McLamb & Co. still build many a song around classic pop and soul progressions and string arrangements (“Hi Life” and “Pilot Light,” for instance), but Ruby Red also brims with upbeat, arena-ready post-punk verve (“Calm Down”), touches of dreamy New Wave grandeur (“Golden Age”), sing-along heartland rock (“Faithbreaker”) and even a little bit of driving, angular, alt-rock attitude (“First Shot”). And at its core, Ruby Red still features what has become McLamb’s forte: exceptionally catchy melodies. Local rock ’n’ rollers Kin Ship and Evan P. Donohue will open tonight’s show. —D. PATRICK RODGERS
Starts at 9 p.m., costs $8. Unless you count last night's Diamond Rugs set at The Basement, it's the rock 'n' roll show of the week, by God.
That's a cameo from Superchunk's Laura Ballance in the video up there, by the way.