Sleigh Bells at Pitchfork Sleigh Bells have a reputation for playing a vacuous, overblown hybrid of hardcore and party-pop that's more glitter than grit, but their Pitchfork set confirmed what blockbuster movie studios have known all along—big flash and big fun sell. Front woman Alexis Krauss was totally geared—riling a crowd swimming through 95-degree heat with her bounce-dancing and crowd surfing—and guitarists Derek Miller and Jason Boyer relived their years in Poison the Well by making tough faces and whipping their guitars in time to the electronic double-bass beats. A total blast.
Captain Beyond, "Sufficiently Breathless" The title track from this psych-leaning classic-rock band's 1973 sophomore album, "Sufficiently Breathless" is a haunting and often gentle acoustic yarn, made perfect by Rod Evans's casually swaggering vocals and the late Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt's fuzzed-out guitar solos trying to touch the stars. Though Captain Beyond's self-titled debut is their best work—it's rawer and heavier on the riffs, with great black-light ambience—this breezy track is still one of my favorites, with a radiant outro that's not nearly as bleak as its lyrics suggest.
The Psychic Paramount's fog machine I probably huffed more fog at the Psychic Paramount's Cobrafest show two weekends back than I have carcinogens in the ten-plus years I've been smoking cigs. No? Either way, the thunderously grotty instrumental trio pumps fog into small clubs until each member resembles nothing more than a floating apparition holding a blurred mass that's either a guitar or a medieval battle-ax of some kind. It's simultaneously ominous and discombobulating—but that's probably the idea.