Review: Parquet Courts wind and tangle at The Summit

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Five quick thoughts on Monday's Parquet Courts concert (which was moved from Cafe Bourbon Street to the more spacious The Summit nextdoor):

(1) Not every Parquet Courts song is a home run, but the ones that kill just absolutely murder. Thus, although Monday's show did not live up to my hopes as an early concert of the year contender, its best moments (the tangled and Wire-y speed party "Borrowed Time" and the motorik Television midnight cruiser "Stoned and Starving") were stupendous.

(2) Speaking of Wire, I hadn't realized just how heavily their Pink Flag-era spindly post-punk rager DNA was embedded in Parquet Courts until I saw them herking and jerking in person. Considering Columbus powerhouse Nervosas (two of whom were in the house last night) draw from the same influence, maybe that seminal post-punk is coming back into vogue again among the art-damaged punks. Parquet Courts also reminded me deeply of our city's own garage punk freak flag flyersGuinea Worms, who played the Bobo/Summit complexa couple nights before. Which means if you're the sort who hangs out at The Summit frequently and you missed this show, you messed up.

(3) This isn't just a band for record fiends and barflies, though. Parquet Courts' pop intangibles are what sets apart last year's Light Up GoldLP (soon to be reissued on What's Your Rupture?, the label that put out those awesome Love Is All records plus Iceage, F---ed Up, Tyvek and more). It's easy to imagine these guys playing bars this size for the rest of their band's duration, like lots of the other melody-slinging garage greats. But I like to think their ceiling is a little higher than The Summit's.

(4) To Parquet Courts' credit, they didn't let a sudden P.A. system malfunction stop them from barreling through their three-part vocals. Not that I could exactly hear the vocals all night anyhow. The Summit's sound system is perfectly geared toward this sort of racket, but they could stand to turn up the vocals sometimes.

(5) Or maybe turning up the vocals isn't necessary, and singers just need to belt it out like Kevin Elliott. Of the three solid Columbus bands on Monday's bill, Connections is the only one I caught, but they absolutely stole the show. Elliott was practically doing the running man he was so energetic, and the band's basement pop clatter was locked in. Can't wait to hear that second LP they say is coming down the pike.