City Paper is not for tourists
More than 40 years after its heyday, ’60s baroque poppers The Left Banke have remained lodged in a couple of corners of pop-culture imagination. The Swedish indie-pop singer Jens Lekman sampled The Left Banke’s charming “Something on My Mind” for his even more charming “Black Cab.” Certain 1-percenters will recognize Left Banke bassist Tom Finn as a regular DJ at social events of the New York elite. (“Paris Hilton’s mother loves when I play this,” Finn said of Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls” in a New York Times profile in 2006.) And nearly a half-century after its 1966 release, The Left Banke’s moaning “Walk Away Renee” remains an unimpeachable earworm on oldies and classic-rock stations. That highly effective bummer of a single was The Left Banke’s biggest hit, but remove it from the band’s 1967 debut LP and you’ve got something pretty familiar to modern indie-pop fans: gentle chamber-ensemble arrangements, period-ambiguous folk-revival tropes, forgivably lovelorn awkwardness. In other words, Belle & Sebastian’s Tigermilk—minus the irony.
The Left Banke performs with The Zombies at 8 p.m. at The Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $39.50 in advance, $45 day of. thehowardtheatre.com. (202) 803-2899.