Terra Sigillata

Modern Skirts, the musical darlings of the Athens, GA, music scene, will be making their New York City live debut this evening at the legendary Mercury Cafe. They’ll be playing with tremendous Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter, Jennifer O’Connor, and indie stalwarts, Portostatic.

Modern Skirts are an intelligent piano- and guitar-based band with impeccable focus on interesting and intoxicatingly infectious song structures centered around tremendous vocal abilities, most often from the fresh tenor of Jay Gulley, but all of the guys can sing…I mean, really sing! They list as their primary influences: The Beatles, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, Elvis Costello, David Bowie.

Their inclusion on Paste Magazine’s CD sampler back in March had me and PharmPreK’er mesmerized while driving to preschool and I wrote an enthusiastic endorsement of this band back in March at the old site. The little one and I got to see them this summer in NC and they are just as entrancing live as they are on the studio album. Meeting JoJo Glidewell (piano, guitars, vocals) was the highlight of the summer for PharmPreK’er – and he was a very good dude to meet up with a 4-year-old fan, although he seemed a bit bewildered that, “Seventeen Dirty Magazines,” is her favorite song from their debut album.

Their version of R.E.M.’s Perfect Circle at Athens’ famed 40-Watt Club was deemed the highlight of the R.E.M. anniversary CD release party last month. (also view their news page on their website for the 15 Sept entry, “R.E.M. Opens for Modern Skirts”).

Modern Skirts are on a sharp trajectory to stardom and have the intellect, musicianship, and staying power I have not heard from a twenty-something band in about 10 years.

If you cannot catch them live tonight, go to their MySpace site and listen to “NY Song” and “Pasadena” – then go buy their album, ‘Catalogue of Generous Men – how I’d love to watch them play the NY Song in New York City.

The PharmPreK’er and I also caught Jennifer O’Connor down here when she opened for Jeff Tweedy and we look forward to her return to Duke Coffeehouse next week. Jennifer is kind of a Liz Phair-meets-Suzanne Vega, and is backed by an excellent band, including bass player Arabella Kauffmann, who runs a girls rock summer camp in Brooklyn.

Good people, great music – man, oh man, how I wish I was in the city tonight!

Info comes directly from the Skirts mailing list and tour site:

Fri, Oct 13, 2006
w/ Portostatic, Jennifer O’Connor
New York
Mercury Lounge
217 East Houston Street, NYC

This is a 21 & up club
We’re supporting Jennifer O’Connor on Matador and Portostatic on
Merge Records.
Doors open at 8pm and MODERN SKIRTS go on at 9pm sharp
Advance tickets are available online at TicketWeb.com