A rock band's ability to hold an audience in thrall, to sustain attention and enthusiasm and rapture, can be measured in text messagesthe fewer, the merrier. Skilled performers will induce such unrelenting bouts of waving/ shaking/stomping/whooping/gyrating that patrons have neither the time nor the inclination to meddle with their consumer electronics; conversely, less stimulated crowds, unimpressed by listless theatrics, turgid ballads, meandering jazz odysseys, and languid, ukulele-tuning interludes, will suddenly become absorbed in making late-dinner plans, checking baseball scores (avast, ye hapless Mets), inquiring as to the state of the laundry. The masses now vote with their iPhones: The more of them you see, the more restless the... More >>>
By David Atlas
The Michael Cera of worldly indie-pop gets super-OK.