Music Spotlight

August 07, 2002
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Sonic Youth, Mary Timony and Erase Errata

If you've been keeping up with edgy post-punk dance music that bands like Le Tigre remind us actually originated some 20 years ago, then you'll know why trendsetters Sonic Youth chose Erase Errata (pictured above) to open some of their current tour dates, including their show at The Ritz this Wednesday, Aug. 7. The 20-something, all-female San Francisco quartet recalls the groups that shone brightly in that vibrant period just after punk moved forward to incorporate dance beats and right before moussed hair bands like Flock of Seagulls draped the new wave '80s landscape in sonic goop. Their very modern modus operandi, which features sharp, economic bursts of needle-sharp guitar, pulsing bass, synthesizer and trumpet, is engagingly off-the-cuff. The group plays freely with short numbers that twist and contort with Sara's buzz guitar work and Jenny's tart storytelling lyrics (they list only their first names, thanks). When they desire the songs to move, things remain propulsive and melodic atop tightly coiled rhythms. When they want to think in abstract terms, Erase Errata can break things down to stark hues, employing high-end dissonant wails and odd time signatures. On their 2001 full-length, Other Animals, the band rifles through all these styles, hitting high points on the funky "Marathon" and giving a nod to '60s innovator Captain Beefheart on "High Society." Does Erase Errata explore some arty ideas? Yes--they make you pay attention, and if you don't, well, the moment is already gone. Do they rock? Hell yeah. Doors are at the early hour of 7 p.m. for this show, so get there by 8 p.m. to catch these fiery young ladies first, prior to Mary Timony and the iconic Sonic Youth. --Chris Toenes

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