Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Russian Circles at Altar Bar - Show Preview and Ticket Giveaway - 2.23.14

My two former roommates and I are huge fans of anything post-rock or post-metal. The last concert the three of us went to together was Isis's farewell tour, and we usually email each other whenever a new album comes out by any of the bands that populate this expansive genre: Tool, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Sigur Ros, Pelican, and most recently, Russian Circles. Their newest album, Memorial, triggered this unfortunate exchange:

Me: Either of you listen to new russian circles? Review I read said it was best post-rock album since [Isis's 2004 album] Panopticon.
Roommate #1: i want to listen. i will get on that tomorrow!
Roommate #2: I haven't yet because I didn't realize the album was out, but dear God are they good. I have such a music boner for them. If you have a chance to see them live, do it.

Music boner (n): \myü-zik bō-nər\
It's like an affection erection.
On your heart.
But it's because of the music porn you're listening to.
And it effects your heart and your mind.
(Definition courtesy Urban Dictionary)

Granting leave for use of the term "music boner," it's pretty easy to see why my friend was so excited. They make Explosions in the Sky sound like Pachelbel's Canon. (And I love Explosions in the Sky!) Russian Circles are most often compared to Isis, but I think Mono should be mentioned as well, and not just because they are both instrumental bands. Their music, to use a most overused term in a completely appropriate fashion, is epic. It's hard to imagine just three men creating this much sound.

Memorial earned an 88/100 on Metacritic based on the average score of the reviews.  Listen why:

I had spoken with roommate #2 on the phone a few nights ago and told him that Russian Circles were playing in Pittsburgh. He hadn't realized they were on tour. Last night I got this text from him. Turns out they were in his city: "So good. So much music erection right now. You have to go."

You can't ask for more of an endorsement than that.

If you too would like to become musically affected, enter our giveaway to see Russian Circles. Send an email to pghmusicreport[at], and put "russian circles" in the subject line. Tickets can be purchased for $15 via Ticketweb. This all ages show starts at 8. Inter Arma and KEN mode open.

– B. Conway