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Grass Widow has collected some accolades since releasing Internal Logic this spring, but the writeup that my music-geek circle’s talking about isn’t a rave. “Man, imagine being a lady,” goes the nonreview by Thomas Morton in the May issue of hipster-bro bible VICE. “Imagine having a sweet, high-pitched lady-voice and getting together with a couple of other women and some guitars and making your slightly different voices all sync up as tautly as your periods, then snuggling all up together in a big gorilla’s nest of blankets and pillows while something noninformative is playing on the TV. What a life.” What a douche. But even critics who aren’t into misogyny for irony’s sake seem incapable of comparing this San Francisco lady band to anything but other lady bands, one of music criticism’s more grating tics. Does Grass Widow sound like The Shangri-Las? Well, they harmonize. The Raincoats? Fine, they opened for them last year. I admit, I hear bands like Miaow (that warbling!) and Young Marble Giants in Grass Widow; I also hear Josef K and Wire (evidence A: “Outdoor Miner”). More to the point: Grass Widow’s songs are smart, spiky, pretty, and propulsive. Indie pop’s scrappy early era hasn’t had an update this gratifying in years, by anyone.
Grass Widow performs with Priests and Mary Christ at 9 p.m. at Comet Ping Pong, 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. $10. cometpingpong.com. (202) 364-0404.