The Greater Midwest, Tiger House, The Hague

When: Fri., Feb. 15, 8 p.m. 2013


The most captivating thing about Consumer Confidence, the debut album from the Greater Midwest, is how elegant the Portland band makes their fucked-up, ragged sentiments sound. Tracks like "I Do a Great Impersonation of Myself" and "Clean Sheets Are Important" sound almost stately in their poise and grace—but these are songs about refusing to grow up, about getting wasted and playing rock 'n' roll, about working that shitty job because every other option seems even shittier, about cutting and running when a relationship starts getting too real. The quartet finds a spacious and inviting sound that's perhaps halfway between the National and the Cure, and singer Shawn Pike sounds like he can't decide if he's about to break down or freeze up completely. Consumer Confidence isn't always a comfortable listen, but it's a deep and rewarding one, and the Greater Midwest celebrates its release with an all-ages show tonight. Make no mistake, though; this is the furthest thing from a kids' album. NED LANNAMANN

Price: $8

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