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Last Friday, the Ruby Suns opened for locals Le Loup at the Black Cat. My camera only had enough juice for the Ruby Suns.

I couldn’t believe that the Suns took an opening slot. The New Zealand trio’s new album—Sea Lion—is amazing. I can claim some amount of ownership since I dug their debut a few years back. But this one is a huge leap—ping-ponging between afro-pop references, ’80s dance beats, and zany psych interludes. It’s what Neutral Milk Hotel would sound like now.

The surprise? The place was packed for Le Loup. I can’t say I’ve quite figured out Le Loup. But I did guess correctly that they would sound like Animal Collective. I wondered if that is now a requirement for bands—do they have to sound like blank-meets-Animal Collective?

Anyway maybe someone can explain Le Loup’s popularity to me. In the meantime, here’s some photos of the Ruby Suns (before my camera crapped out):