Report: Real Estate Live in Portland

At the Doug Fir Lounge on
November 6, the New Jersey buzzband scratched indie-rockers’ collective itch.
Opening chores: Big Troubles.

 

By Tim
Hinely

Terrific
double bill on this Sunday night.  I had
missed Slumberland’s recent signings form New Jersey, Big Troubles, a month or
so ago when they came through with Pains of Being Pure at Heart so I was glad
they did the victory lap and they put on a fine, fine set. The two guitarists
switch off singing while the rhythm section was rock solid and their tuneful
noise pop on sophomore effort Romantic
Comedy
has really caught my ear. It must be said, however, that the bassist
did the most between-song noodling I have ever seen (that’s in 30 years of gig
going kids). I was ready to say something but hey, he had me by a few inches
(he could be a small forward for the Blazers). He/they redeemed themselves by
offering up killer versions of tunes like “Misery”, “She Smiles for Pictures”, “Sad
Girls”, “Minor Keys” and plenty more.

 

Also
hailing from my native NJ were headliners Real Estate who I have been wanting
to check out since their terrific s/t debut record hit my pop box in 2009.
Well, they have a new record out, Days,
and it’s even better. 

 

Their
laid-back, jangly pop sound has evidently caught on with some folks as the near
sell-out crowd was cheering in between songs and singing lyrics as well.  Vocalist/guitarist Martin Courtney’s breezy
vocals are hard not to like (same with his guitar playing) while other
guitarist, Matt Mondanile, has a similar style (plus he resembles Lou Barlow,
so that’s cool). Days opener, “Easy”
sounded absolutely gorgeous as did pop nuggets like “Green Aisles”,  “Municipality”, “Wonder Years” and even the
few they played off the debut (“Suburban Dogs”, Atlantic City”, etc.). 

 

For
folks like me who miss those ‘80s years of New Zealand’s Flying Nun label or
bands like Galaxie 500, Real Estate will scratch that itch that hasn’t been
scratched in a long while and scratch it but good.

 

 

 

 

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