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Battles at the Satellite Ballroom

Over the years I've often found that the only way I can fully embrace a new style of music is to hear it live, and last night Battles proved that notion again - this time, with math rock and all things avant-garde.
By the time Battles began to set up (they arrived late and had to do their sound check after the opening band, Ostinato, who deserves a post of their own), the room was entirely packed with a group that did a far better job screaming "hipster" appearance-wise than any other audience I'd previously been in at the Ballroom.
I honestly can't remember the last time I enjoyed seeing a primarily instrumental rock band live as much as I did yesterday. Initially, I assumed John Stanier's drums and Dave Konopka's bass parts would provide a solid sense of rhythm while Tyondai Braxton and Ian Williams played their somewhat eccentrically dainty melodies on their guitars and keyboards and Braxton contributed vocals; instead, these roles were interchangeable, making the music far more dynamic and interesting to watch live. The resulting sound was both quirky almost to the point of being cute as well as deeply vigorous.

Charlottesville was only the first stop on their U.S. tour - they'll be playing in a whole bunch of southern states in the next week or two (5 dates in Florida, 3 in Texas), then the West Coast, Midwest, and Northeast. You can find the dates at their myspace.
Battles - Atlas
Battles - Rainbow
See the music video for "Atlas" on YouTube

Buy Mirrored from (released May 22)
Buy EP C from eMusic

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