WEDS | THE SPEED OF SOUND IN SEAWATER at SEVENTH CIRCLE | 1/14/14 Elk Grove, California's the Speed of Sound in Seawater formed in 2009. The outfit's delicate, math-rock sensibilities are reminiscent of early Deathcab For Cutie, except that the sonic details seem even more finely textured and playing even more precise. But the vibe, the sense of melancholic reflection and the sheltering of tender emotions from the depredations of vulgarians, has a sound like snowbound winter mornings spend in isolation, shearing away all the inessential pieces of song to create pristine compositions, while maintaining an honest clarity of emotion. Although clearly the product of musical ability, this band's songs convey a compelling simplicity.
FRI | SYPHILIS SAUNA at DEER PILE | 1/17/14 Patrick Urn spends a good deal of his day providing sound to various corporate functions and other professional environments. But his passion is experimental electronic music, and as a member of industrial band In Ether, he helped to create imaginative, dark soundscapes. Since the dissolution of that band, Urn hasn't stopped making music. Herpes Hideaway is his ambient project, and Syphilis Sauna is where Urn sculpts massive breakcore compositions that provide a distinct outlet for any angst he may accumulate in his other line of work. Urn recently released the latest Syphilis Sauna tape, a reminder that even the veterans of the underground experimental scene can surprise us by challenging themselves.