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Thursday, November 19, 2009

What To Do? Thursday's Pick: Neon Indian

Posted By on Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 7:57 AM

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Neon Indian @ Rickshaw Stop

Mapping out a universe of spongy synth leads and canned beats, Texas tinkerer Alan Palomo has managed an offbeat triumph in Psychic Chasms, the debut of Neon Indian, his one-man project. The album, which features such casually sung gems as "Terminally Chill" and "Ephemeral Artery," was recently released by the rising Sacramento label Lefse. But beyond the jokey song titles and ticklish retro groove is a mind-altering listen.

Neon Indian captures the heightened reality and inner turmoil of adolescence while also tapping into Ariel Pink and My Bloody Valentine. "Deadbeat Summer" is a yawning slice of the wasting season it explores, whereas "Mind, Drip" crawls to a pulsing glow and "Laughing Gas" reveals Palomo's knack for shimmering dance music. He notes the influence of synth-heavy film scores from the late '70s and early '80s. Indeed, there's something wonderfully kitschy and dated about the sounds he employs, recalling Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" as much as Phil Collins' early solo work.

Neon Indian performs tonight at Rickshaw Stop (8 p.m., $10-$12). Read more about the music here.

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Doug Wallen

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