The Blue Note hosts Girls

The Smith Westerns will be one opening act Monday.

By Tom Carbone | Feb. 5, 2010

Tags: Band interviews Concerts Music


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After getting caught in a horrendous snowstorm in New Mexico, Girls, one of 2009's most blogged-about bands, barreled down the highway in its tour bus with hopes of making it to Austin, Texas, by nightfall. They were supposed to play a show that night, one of the first stops on their tour.

Getting caught overnight in unknown places is never fun, especially if you have a commitment in another state the very next day. The band was able to pull it off and played the show that night in Austin.

"It feels like it's been longer than three shows, with the storm and everything," said JR White, speaking from the back of his bus just hours before arriving in Austin to play for an enthusiastic crowd.

Nights like these won't stop Girls from embarking on a nationwide tour that includes a stop in Columbia on Feb. 8 at The Blue Note. Magic Kids and The Smith Westerns will be supporting Girls on this tour. Both bands are perfect openers to entertain listeners.

"We became friends with Magic Kids last year at SXSW and they started sending me all these cool tracks," White said. "We liked them. We're meeting up with them in Austin and they will come on tour with us."

The Smith Westerns are a lofi-pop/rock group out of Chicago comprised of underage teens. Don't let this sway your opinion of them; they've also received plenty of praise in the blogosphere. Similar to Girls' 2009 Album, The Smith Westerns debut LP gained a lot of positive feedback from sites such as Pitchfork, which is relatively unheard of for bands their age.

"I somehow stumbled across a video of theirs and got really into that one thing," White said. "They sounded dirty. And they had this great sound. We eventually became friends and will be recording some of their newer material this year."

Two weeks before the band departed on tour, The Smith Westerns moved into White's apartment in San Francisco to try out with their new drummer and even ended up recording a few tracks with White.

"They are just looking for a (record) deal at this point," White said. "After recording a few demos, I don't think we'll have a problem finding one."

Just one year ago, Girls was relatively unknown outside San Francisco. After recording a debut album, the release later in 2009 was met with immediate approval from critics and fans alike. Pitchfork gave it a 9.1, and The New York Times compared them to Buddy Holly and Elvis Costello. It's been a joyride ever since.

"We were recording this album without any intention of releasing it on a label or anything, you know?" White said. "It's been really cool."

What can you expect from a Girls live show? For starters, they won't talk the audience to death like some bands are known to do.

"It's just us on stage, playing our instruments," White said. "We don't talk much. For this tour we're playing a lot of the songs off of the old album plus a few newer tracks."

If you know anything about Girls, you can expect a very energetic performance out of them Monday at The Blue Note. Although it's interesting to see a band right as they are becoming well-respected in the music scene, White doesn't seem to realize the full extent of their popularity yet.

"We're still in the process of realizing it," he said. "It's all pretty new."

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