Finding Fiction at Vinos.

The Lafayette-based jangle-pop outfit Brass Bed, true to their genre, have a command of bouncy major-chord melodies that sound like they’ve been dreamed up by a bizarro ’90s-teen version of Brian Wilson. Masters of their pop-perfect instrumentation, everything sounds spot-on—from the twinkling complement of the bright, fuzzy keyboard fills to the moments the bass player sat down at a distorted pedal steel—each solo was sharp enough to carry its own song.


I spoke with their dry-witted keyboardist, Andrew Toups, who wandered around the venue with his spray of curly hair, a thrift-store tie replete with tie clip, toting a glass of red wine and generally seeming like a cocktail-lounge philosopher—they’re some affable dudes whose 2010 release on Park the Van Records is certainly worth seeking to satisfy your indy-pop inclinations.

Brooklyn’s Finding Fiction continued the awkward-pop trend of the evening, but with more teenage-sounding, plaintive vocals and an obvious attempt to channel the Weezer of a time long since past. They were most musically interesting during their slow jams and breakdowns, which seemed like micro-experiments in the arhythmic, atonal blasts of a post-punk three piece, but usually teetering on the edge of completely falling apart.


The synth dabbled too much in shrill car-alarm sounds, and when it was employed properly, was barely audible, which makes one wonder whether or not it should even be a part of the lineup. The band itself appeared trapped in the amber of a computer-geek adolescence, with their flat stage banter and fumbling presence. A friend commented that their set would have made a perfect soundtrack to an episode of Degrassi, and it was true — in fact, the whole back room at Vino’s, with the snarky indy pop, the sparse crowd, and long cafeteria-style tables gave the feeling of hanging out at an alt-prom that even the losers forgot to attend.