Music » Critics' Picks

Harlem

8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 8. The Firebird, 2706 Olive Street.

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If the Beach Boys and Nirvana knocked up the Pipettes, the resulting lovechild would be Harlem. Bubblegum-tainted choruses, irreverent charm and a frenetic pace drive its first album for Matador Records, Hippies. (The Austin trio self-released the 2008 EP Free Drugs.) The band has a gritty insouciance and psych leanings that call to mind the Black Lips; in fact, "Gay Human Bones" and "Friendly Ghost" are simple, insanely catchy garage-rock crack. Harlem comes off like it's having too much damn fun to care about impressing you — which sets it apart from the rash of lo-fi, gimmicky bands blowing up the blogosphere as of late. You might love it, you might hate it — but if you're looking for dirty, good fun, Harlem may be your new favorite band.

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