by John Tarpley
“Actor-Caster,” the handsome sophomore album from these NOLA poppers, has been one of my most-spun CDs for weeks now. Well, the active word there is “spun.” I’ve spent hours gorging on the opening track, “Ten-Twenty Ten,” with its Francophilic bop and that borrowed “Radar Love” guitar shuffle and John Hughes “aw shucks” vibe. Track two and everything after? Unblemished by lasers until today’s morning commute. The verdict: sure, the album’s a bit top-heavy, leading off with one of the best singles of 2011 and all, but if you’re looking to fine-tune your Molly Ringwald skank, call it a 35-minute drill. It’s sweet but never smug, clever without being complicated and, more than anything, super-duper catchy. On first brush, Phoenix springs to mind. Or maybe a state school Vampire Weekend. But the band lines up just as much with everything from Prefab Sprout and Talking Heads to The Easy Beats and that Ramones/Phil Spector fiasco. Also, ’00s indie-pop aficionados will want to know that this group is a spin-off of late, design-loving saccharine-rockers The Eames Era.
Barely legal Oxford, Miss., trio Young Buffalo opens the night with epic jangle rock covered by a thin shell of white-boy Afrobeat.