The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Brooklyn should be renamed the Hipster Laboratory for Retro Research. Pick any underground music trend of the last 30 years, and the New York borough has produced a smattering of near-perfect clones. We all know about no wave and post-punk, so lets a look at twee: In addition to the Vivian Girls, there's Crystal Stilts, Cause Co-Motion! and the excellently named Pains of Being Pure at Heart. As with those other bands, the Pains reproduce the fuzzy, lo-fi pop of the Pastels, the Vaselines and Black Tambourine with startling precision. It all started in 2007 when the band came together specifically for the purpose of playing their friend Peggy Wang-East's birthday bash (who just so happened to be the group's super-cute keyboardist). Not long after, they released their debut EP, which boasts one of the best song titles ever: "This Love Is F*ck*ng Right!" This was followed by an acclaimed full-length in 2009, and a second album in 2011. The Pains might come off all innocent, cuddly and, uh, pure, but don't let them fool you. They are razor-sharp stylists.