The Plain White T's

The Plain White T's may be the most polite band in pop-punk. The Tom Higgenson-led combo — which joins Social Distortion, Blue October, I Hate Kate, Jack's Mannequin, Motion City Soundtrack and Single File as part of KTCL's Big Gig — is best-known for "Hey There Delilah," a moony bit of acoustic wimpery whose smash success guarantees that it will define the group for many fans. That's a mixed blessing: Imagine if the first Green Day song that sprang to most people's minds was "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)." Then again, the rest of PWT's material isn't characterized by teeth-baring aggression, either. Note that the catchiest song on their 2006 disc Every Second Counts hangs on the less-than-terrifying couplet "Hate is a strong word/But I really, really, really don't like you." If the outfit's preference for accessibility over substance is bad for credibility, though, it's good for business. Although fancy dress shirts win plaudits from the fashion press, they don't sell nearly as well as Plain White T's.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts