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Our music columnist dives into the symphonic underground with the Anamorphic Orchestra

This Little Underground

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Fellow Colorado boy Mikey Thunder spun a hyped, fat-dropping DJ set, which is always a little awkward when a club’s as quiet as it was during his early opening set. But total credit for his fuck-it party attitude, because this dude soldiered on with spirit and actually bought a round of tequila shots from the stage mid-set for anyone who raised their hand.

The most noteworthy opener, and my main reason for showing, was Seattle’s Odesza, who were on their first-ever East Coast swing. Though their stage show was less dazzling than Menert’s exhibition, their music’s something special. With Purity Ring’s towering synths and hip-hop’s sampling aesthetic, they inhabit the same dream-psych electronic wonderland as the pacesetting Relief in Abstract crew. It’s a forward-looking vision of liquid, tuneful elegance. And despite their cloud-lifted drift, there’s laser-guided pop aptitude with often stunning melodic perfection in what they do.

Another standout opener impressed me at the City and Colour concert (Oct. 5, House of Blues). With a lovely, just-released debut LP (States), Australian band the Paper Kites play a lush, pristine brand of contemporary folk-pop. But unlike the current tide of young folk-poppers, they’re uninterested in being cute. In fact, on the surface, there appears little in their mellow, unassuming, zero-flash music that might hook your basic pop audience. But here’s the thing: It comes in gentle but deceptively large waves. And it may steal over slowly and quietly, but it ultimately winds up around you in total envelopment and embrace. By the time you realize it, you’re already swimming in its richly crafted beauty.

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