All right, kittens, I'd encourage you to queue up (no, there along the wall, th-there, to the right) for your complimentary helping of Next Big Thing. You heard me.
Thanks to the beauty of the shuffle function in iTunes, I was recently introduced to the song stylings of Dolour, via their SXSW-approved MP3, "Cheer Up, Baby." On the strength of that single, which I've been listening to fairly relentlessly for the past two weeks or so, Giddy and I made the effort to catch their first-ever Chicago gig at the Abbey last night. (That's right, a Monday night rock show. I'd encourage you all to experience this phenomenon at your earliest convenience: ample parking, cheap drinks, enough room to stand on the main floor without an obstructed view, band members thankful to you for turning out at all.) Based on the combination of their strong, energetic set, ridiculously cute front man (songwriter and general Dolour mastermind Shane Tutmarc, all pointy Jimmy Fallon nose, bright white teeth, and complexion like a limpid pond tucked away in the Alps somewhere), hook-tastic songs, and go-get-'em rock 'n' roll attitude, I think they have the potential to be huge. Huge. I'm happy to be discovering them on their way up. (As touring bassist Robin Pecknold happily told us as we were chatting around the merch table at the end of the night, Giddy and I were the only two people there that they didn't already know. Points for us.) The new album is New Old Friends. You know you want it.
Openers (and Dolour friends) The Catch worked their self-awareness of being a chick band to the hilt, in the best possible way. Look for good things from them, too. (And, yes, before you cry sacrilege, lead singer Carly Nicklaus does earn her comparisons to a young Björk.)