Hazel's Wart, The Sky Above & Earth Below, Lunch

When: Wed., Jan. 9, 9 p.m. 2013


I'm not generally an indecisive person, but there's one thing I can never quite make up my mind about—whether I prefer lo-fi pop to hi-fi pop. I should be able to appreciate both approaches equally, but I can't help but feel like I'm betraying Robert Pollard whenever I marvel at Rumours or vice versa (I realize this is probably a super-peculiar neurosis). But San Fransisco's Hazel's Wart may have convinced me that all pop begs to be recorded (at least semi-) shoddily. Their endearingly scrappy recordings reinforce that sense of urgency already present in their songs but which sterile, high-quality production would almost definitely diminish. The band's debut EP, aptly entitled A Demonstration, is certainly the more indecipherable of the group's two available releases (it gives Times New Viking a run for their money), but it's the follow-up, Together We Didn't, that straddles that hi/lo-fi line perfectly. Let's hope they don't start sounding "better." MORGAN TROPER

Price: $3-5

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