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Week in Rock: Rites Of Spring Edition

Atoms For Peace Blow-Up RoselandThe headline isn't quite as hyperbolic as it might seem: Atoms For Peace's second sold-out show at Roseland really started with a bang, with several manhole explosions on W 52nd st. causing huge chaos in the area, sending some Yorke-superfans (who had been on-line for hours) into a worried frenzy. Thankfully, the band did go on once the room was packed in, and played a full-bodied, percussion-heavy set to the utter delight of everyone with ears.Thom Yorke's supergroup, which includes blue-haired elastic-bassist Flea, engineer/producer Nigel Godrich, sometime-Beck drummer Joey Waronker and percussionist Mauro Refosco, performed Yorke's 2006 solo record The Eraser in full, letting the twitchy, electronic songs breathe, extending them toward dancier horizons. Interestingly, the less poppy songs translated the best; "Harrowdown Hill" was menacing and had an incredible coda, "Skip Divided" was slinky and erotic, and "The Clock" sounded like it was always meant to be played with a rock band. Opening song "The Eraser" had the best cameo of the night, an eviscerating solo from jazz trumpeter Christian Scott (you can see a video of it below).The album came to life during the performance, and the crowd seemed completely swayed by the side-project. Best of all, everyone onstage was having a visibly great time: Godrich got to leave the keyboards and skronk on guitar for awhile, Flea threw himself around the stage rhythmically, filled with boundless manic energy, and Yorke was all smiles and gangly dances (like trying to make a seizure look sexy, in the best possible way), his voice as effortlessly strong and charismatic as ever.After The Eraser, Yorke played a three song solo set, highlighted by a rare piano performance of Radiohead b-side "Fog" ("baby alligators in the sewers/grow up fast") and "Everything In It's Right Place." The band concluded with four songs, less hooky and more dance-oriented, including stellar new tune "Judge, Jury and Executioner," and a downright Portisheady-version of another Radiohead b-side, "Paperbag Writer." It was a deeply satisfying show, although it would be nice if some fans remembered they REALLY don't sound anything like Yorke, and should REALLY not try to match him.


<strong>Girls Headline Webster Hall</strong><p>The difficultly-named San Francisco-band <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girls_(band)">Girls</a> have been blowing up over the past year, followed around by a killer origin story (being raised in/escaping from the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children_of_God_(New_Religious_Movement)">Children of God</a> cult) and rave reviews for their Elvis Costello-by-way-of-Jay Reatard sound. Their near-capacity show <a href="http://poptartssucktoasted.com/?p=834">last Saturday night</a> at Webster Hall was one of the biggest venues they've played yet, and it showed in a slightly tempered sound that didn't quite fit the hall. Some of their more immediate songs, such as "Lust For Life," didn't translate as tremendously as one would hope, while a slew of new mid-tempo songs mid-set almost lost the audience entirely.</p><p>But Girls also write some really good songs: set-openers "Ghost Mouth" and "Laura" were infectious, "Big Bad Mean Motherfucker" fit its scuzzy beach vibe, and "Hellhole Ratrace" remains their biggest and best tune, and provided some much needed distortion to proceedings. The night ended with flowers strewn across the stage, and Girls just a bit bigger; hopefully their sound will grow as loud as they are becoming.</p>


<strong>Rites of Spring: A Benefit for Haiti</strong><p>The good folks over at <a href="http://stereogum.com/">Stereogum</a> have organized a <a href="http://stereogum.com/332262/rites-of-spring-a-benefit-for-haiti/news/">special benefit show</a> for Haiti in early May, and if it's anything like their <a href="http://gothamist.com/2009/05/11/bjork_and_dirty_projectors_housing.php">last big event</a>, you'll want to be there.</p> <p>The benefit is taking place at 8PM on Sunday, May 2nd and will include DJ sets, overlaps, and "mass ADD-input" by Brandon from SG, music critic Alex Ross, Björk, and Dirty Projector David Longstreth, among others. Tickets go on sale this Tuesday (4/13) at 5PM at Record Grouch/Old Made Vintage (and there will be no online sales, so you have to go in person!). All proceeds go to Partners In Health’s Stand With Haiti Fund. According to <a href="http://www.therestisnoise.com/2010/04/spring-revel.html">Alex Ross</a>, “don’t be surprised if you hear some combination of Thai soul, doom metal, Justin Bieber, and, of course, nude Stravinsky.”</p>



<strong>Columbia University Announces Its Spring Concert</strong><p></p><p>Columbia University <a href="http://bwog.net/2010/04/05/breaking-your-chewbacchanal-lineup-is-ghostface-killah-of-montreal-and-wiz-khalifa">announced</a> its annual spring concert this week, and its a really great lineup this year: outback-steakhouse lovers Of Montreal, Wu Tang maestro Ghostface Killah, and Pittsburgh remixer/rapper Wiz Khalifa.</p><p>The theme for this year is "Chewbacchanal," which promises many sightings of "real-life Chewie" around the campus leading up to the show. The show is scheduled for Saturday April 24, starting at 6pm. The event is free for people with Columbia University ID cards (CUID)...but that doesn't mean you can't get in if you really wanted to.</p>