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Over the weekend: The Don'ts & Be Carefuls, Pep*Squad, Josephine and the Mousepeople at the Meadowlark

Over the weekend: The Don'ts & Be Carefuls, Pep*Squad, Josephine and the Mousepeople at the Meadowlark
Coleen Whitfield

The Don'ts & Be Carefuls, Pep*Squad, Josephine and the Mousepeople, Lungs They Burn, I Sank Molly Brown
Friday, December 4, 2009
The Meadowlark
Better Than:
Butt Shakin'

So it was mostly a big dance party at the Meadowlark, the sort of night where you show your approval with abandon and sweat. That starts with the last band, The Don'ts & Be Carefuls, who were releasing their EP and attracting the most followers. Their musical mission statement might well read: Don't Think Do Shots Dance. And so it went.

The Don'ts and Be Carefuls
The Don'ts and Be Carefuls
Coleen Whitfield

The Don'ts and Be Carefuls won't escape the dance pop label, but if it isn't unfair, it's at least misleading. They don't so much seem to have ripped the formula of the synth-drunk '80s scene. They seem to have listened to pop and ska and punk and indie, and when they started playing music, they somehow arrived at a sound that enough resembles Hot Hot Heat in a New Order costume, for us writerly types to slap on that label and move on. But there's more here -- listen to "You've Been Warned," a really good song no matter who you are, and in the breaks, at the beginning and on the bridge, you can hear a sort of seriousness and clarity that makes it impossible to dismiss these guys as just another anything. The EP will run you $5, and you'll get your money's worth with "You've Been Warned" and "Insomnia" alone, and "Simple Miracles" will spend some time stuck in your head.

CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK
Personal Bias: Going in I was neutral on everyone but Josephine and the Mousepeople, who, as you may have gathered, I am a fan of.
Random Detail: There is a mannequin head on a speaker against the ceiling to the right of the stage and it is horrifying.
By The Way: This was Don'ts & Be Careful's keyboardist Tom's final show. They're looking for a replacement. Hit them on their MySpace if you're him or her.


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