May 14, 2008

Pete & the Pirates / Little Death

Name: Pete & the Pirates

Title: Little Death

Hometown: Reading: UK

Label: Stolen Recordings

Street Date: Now

RILY: The Shins, Franz, The Futureheads, cuddle-core with strong beat and hand claps, short songs, a less ivy league version of Vampire Weekend

The Hits: Pretty much the whole kit and kaboodle

Richter Magnitude Scale: Strong

I am always a little suspicious when I meet someone approaching their middle age who is heavily aware of pop culture like the name of Paris Hilton's dogs or how the dance to the newest Lil' Wayne video goes. A part of me thinks there has to be 1000 better things to invest your time and brain power in by this point in your life but the other part of me is filled with all sorts of guilty pleasures and appreciates the urge to keep up with the mundane for the lighthearted distractions these things can offer an adult. I hold myself to these same standards and feel equal parts pleasure and guilt when I buy Star magazine or purchase hoop hearings from a store I am pretty certain is geared towards the Tweeners stuck somewhere between the world of Barbie and Britney.

Aging gracefully is so abstract to me that I can't be sure how to do it no less well. Is it avoiding crows feet for another year? Is it choosing Shakespeare in the Park over R. Kelly at the Coliseum? Perhaps it is deciding that with maturity comes a taste for the finer things but then what exactly defines the finer things? Am I supposed to be sipping a $100.00 bottle of wine while preparing Coquille St. Jacques and listening to Edith Piaf? That doesn't reflect the grown up I have become and I am happy to sit upon my thrift store chair in an apartment I rent rather than own, drinking soda pop and listening to Pete & the Pirates...a group I imagine would be loved by a 16 year old before a woman of, well lets just say over 30.

The songs found on Little Death are contagious bursts of melody that could duel any song on Chutes Too Narrow by The Shins or Franz Ferdinand's debut release. On Little Death the verses compete against the choruses as one hook battles another. Confectionery sing alongs nestle against one another like Oreos still in their package. Mmmmm...genius pop songs without the calories of a bag of cookies.

The title of the album Little Death cleverly takes their youthful pop anthems to a very adult place. La petite mort translates into the small death which refers to the fainting spells some lovers have after they have climaxed. In short (pun intended) "Little Death" is a post orgasm unconsciousness and Pete & the Pirates offers the listener 36 minutes of refined pleasure that probably won't cause you to black out but it will at least leave you feeling incredibly satisfied.

Pete & the Pirates- mature but young at heart. I think I have found myself a record to age gracefully to (whatever the hell that actually means). Eye patch not included.

See them play (behind) Closed Doors:

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