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This Little Underground

Our live music columnist checks out Gasoline Heart and Torche

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But of this week's shows, perhaps the most immersive was a super-intimate engagement organized by Pauses frontwoman Tierney Tough at newly unveiled Will's Pub sister spot, Lil Indies (Dec. 8). While not typically intended for shows, it does occasionally host small, stripped performances. And that's what this was, only with a pretty big name: Matt Pond.

The national news on Pond is that he has freshly dropped the long-outdated geographical signifier "PA" from his nom de plume. But the big regional deal is that dude's currently a Floridian (!!!) and that he's assembled a mostly Orlando crew for his upcoming tour band (including the aforementioned Tough, Saskatchewan's Ranson Vorpahl and ex-Great Deceiver Tre Hester). They'll be touring with the somewhat insufferable Jukebox the Ghost, but whatever – a high-quality national artist backed by locals will get some deserved exposure. You can peep this lineup Feb. 20 at the Social.

Although straightforward, Pond's tunefully tasteful indie rock is done exceptionally well. A true pop craftsman, his way with melody is a thing of splendor. That's why, even acoustic, he's able to coax all the tender essence that makes his songs so affecting. With controlled capacity and unmatched proximity, this is the sort of event tailor-made for true fans and listeners. And for those who had their shit together enough to get advance tickets, it was a pretty special experience.

2012 Undies

All right, ready the smelling salts, Sally. As you read this, I'm uploading the piles of scene notes I gathered over the past year into the TLU mainframe. By next week, it'll synthesize these volumes into the 2012 annual Undie Awards.

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