BY JENNA SWIREN
The Boston/Cambridge indie music fan has lucked out this semester. Before you start thinking the Smiths or Arcade Fire are about to show up and perform on campus, realize I am talking from the standpoint of realistic expectations.
From this point on, a host of different indie bands will be appearing at a wide selection of venues in the Boston area. The most immediate is a husband-and-wife song-writing duo that last performed in Cambridge in December. Tennis gained fame this summer around the buzz of their three-song EP, “Baltimore.” The band’s debut album, “Cape Dory,” was released Jan. 11, 2011, and includes the three songs off the EP and seven new songs for approximately 30 minutes of nostalgia and fun. The three older songs were cleaned up a bit and sounded like they had enjoyed a little more studio time.
The band’s background story is as cute as its music. And yes, I mean cute. The entire album reminds you of high school crushes, idle summer days, and ice cream. According to the pitchfork.com record review, Tennis decided to buy a boat and sail the Eastern seaboard post graduation. The duo is from land-locked Colorado, which only makes the story more interesting. In a time of instant gratification and speed, they wanted the journey rather than the destination. From that idyllic trip together, they created memories and moments that morphed into songs.
If you listen to a few of their songs (or the whole album since it only takes 30 minutes) and like their old-school, nautical vibe, you will love them in concert. I was lucky enough to score tickets to their show in December at Middle East in Central Square. The small upstairs concert hall was packed with teens and 20-something hipsters, as well as all the band members hanging out before and after the show. Once on stage, Patrick (husband) kept relatively silent, while Alaina (wife) entertained the crowd with stories and comments in between their relatively short set. The entire performance probably lasted 45 minutes. Alaina’s demeanor was effervescent, cute, and friendly.
Although the vocals on the album are cleaner, and almost too saccharine sweet, the performance live is a little more mature. The music flows and you find yourself swaying (practically to an imaginary ocean breeze). Afterwards, you can traipse over to the merchandise table, where you can engage Patrick in light conversation and purchase a vinyl record or tank top (or like me, both).
Who: Tennis, Holiday Shores, Porcelain Raft
When: Monday, February 28, 2011.
Where: Great Scott, Allston.
Songs to YouTube before going: “Marathon,” “Take Me Somewhere,” “Waterbirds,” and “Seafarer.”