Pop/Rock

Elevator Action, RenElvis, Ramona Falls, Social Studies

When: Wed., Feb. 13 2013

RAMONA FALLS/SOCIAL STUDIES An intriguing double-header of up-and-coming bands which, one suspects, will either flash brightly across the Internet or toil in hipster purgatory until they can’t afford to play music any more. Brent Knopf quit acclaimed art trio Menomena to head Ramona Falls full time, and while the latter is more orchestral pop-oriented, elements of the former (shifting tempos, up-front percussion, beaucoup keys) wend their way liberally into Knopf’s new outlet. The music’s still plenty arty — e.g., hook-free — but the dynamics are more dramatic, balancing precariously between new wave, pop and prog, kind of like Tears for Fears, OMD and early Genesis exchanging DNA. Part Two of the bill features Social Studies, a San Francisco quintet adding its voices — in this case, led by the dynamic Natalia Rogovin — to that city’s developing status as Brooklyn-of-the-West. Unlike S.F.’s garage-rock community (Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, Sic Alps) and neo-psychedelics (Wooden Shjips, Moon Duo), Social Studies blends ’60s elements (primarily keys) with noir-ish post-punk atmospherics (via the guitar effects) in songs that recall late-era Siouxsie & the Banshees. Their new release, Developer, has a buzz building, so my money’s on them.

John Schacht

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