The Royal Pick for October 17, 2014: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. at The Tractor Tavern
I've never been a giant fan of bands who rely on laptops and synths as their musical foundation. Coming of age in a post-Nirvana world, it's been engrained in me to feel a great sense of distrust with any band who may have backing tracks or just a little too much polish. However, put some incredibly tasteful songwriters at the head of the project (who also manage to produce giant, complex sounding songs whose layers compliment rather than compete), that red warning light in the back of my head flips off and it's a lot of fun.
Detroit's Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. happen to be that exact beautiful combination, creating perfect plastic pop with legitimately moving/clever songs hidden beneath the sheen. On record, it's a giant, whirring machine that spits out post-millennial Pet Sounds harmonies atop glitchy loops. In a live setting, the band has an incredible polished live show with flashing "JR JR" lights across the stage and giant synchronized video projections, but they aren't afraid to light the fuse and let their songs blow up into bombastic rock and roll. The world of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. truly is a beautiful dream, melding progressive electronica with indie pop in wonderfully unpredictable, anthemic fashion.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and Miniature Tigers play tonight, October 17, 2014, at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle. Tickets are $16.