Live Review: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ Black Cat, September 30, 2009

Little-known fact about me: I love perfect pop songs. Perhaps it's a little-known fact because there are so few perfect pop songs in this world, and the bands that can craft such poppy perfection are few and far between. But one of the best, and perhaps even THE best at churning out piles of such concoctions, in my humble opinion, is the bunch of young NYC scamps known as The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. And finally, finally, finally, I managed to see this delightful band live, at DC's venerable Black Cat. It was nigh on magnificent.

After ambling onstage, singer/guitarist/nice guy Kip opens with the greeting "Hey, what's up, we gonna fall in love tonight?" before launching into "This Love is Fucking Right!" The song set the tone for the evening, pulsating powerpop with less of an emphasis on fuzz and feedback than you'll hear on POBPAH records. In my notes I wrote "so so cute this band is," and it's just so true. They're so, dare I say, pure. They seem to just emit kittens and hearts and flowers wherever they go. "It's great to be back in DC," they opine, and DC seems to agree with this sentiment. Everyone is either bobbing their head, tapping their leg, or just flat out making out with their neighbor.

Songs that I already loved, like "The Tenure Itch" and "Stay Alive," sound crisp and clear, minus the fuzz the utter poppiness really shines through. Sweetly feisty, the band powers through song after song, like the jingle jangle of "Teenager in Love." Quite simply, and pardon me if I've said this before, but it's music to pinch cheeks to. And I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. This band is a ray of sunshine, that's for damn sure. Happily, the encore includes "Gentle Sons," quite possibly my favorite of all POBPAH songs. Sweet, sweet heaven do I love this song. When it's all said and done, I feel quite confident being able to state as fact that The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are a sensational live band, and that you should absolutely, definitely, positively go and see them live whenever possible.

mp3: Gentle Sons (Buy: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart)


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