Music » Critics' Picks

Oppenheimer/They Might Be Giants

8 p.m. Saturday, September 15. Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard.


The title of songsmith Nick Lowe's 1978 U.S. solo debut — Pure Pop for Now People — is the ideal phrase to describe the graceful synthpop crafted by Rocky O'Reilly and Shaun Robinson of Oppenheimer. The Irish duo's burbles and bloops are martini-bar minimalist, but lack the aloof coldness that description implies — mostly because of their hushed, warmly processed vocals, which glow like lazy fireflies. Other obvious influences on Oppenheimer's self-titled debut include Stereolab's loopy keyboards (especially on "This Is Not a Test"), the Moog-laden exuberance of the Rentals and the Magnetic Fields — if Stephin Merritt traded droll observations for wide-eyed optimism. Although the band played with the bossa-nova-inspired Mosquitos last year at Lucas School House, a coveted opening slot for They Might Be Giants should help it earn a larger audience.