Brendza’s Beat: American Football, ESP, thanks and more

brendza'sbeatBy: Zach Brendza | Features Editor

It’s closing time for me and this column. It’s all over but the crying.

American Football
The news of ‘90s indie rock band American Football reuniting startled me. It startled me so much that I had to pull my car over to comprehend what had happened.

The band released one EP and one LP and played a few shows before disbanding 15 years ago. On Monday, American Football announced two reunion dates that will sell out faster than you can say “emo.”

The trio will play The Pygmalion Festival Sept. 28 in their hometown of Champaign-Urbana, Ill. and at Webster Hall in Ny. Oct. 11.Tickets to both shows go on sale at 12 p.m. Friday, but will almost definitely sell out within minutes.

Seeing a band like American Football, who inspired so many others in the “emo revival,” reunite for any amount of shows is great to see. They became infamously popular after disbanding and these reunion shows should quiet down the constant cries from fans for them to get back together.

For the time being, it looks like two reunion shows is all they will play. If that’s the case, they will be very special to those that can get tickets. But a few more reunion shows would appease a hungry emo audience.

Endangered Song Project
Spoiler alert: Tuesday was Earth Day. While some may have been more conscious about throwing away a plastic bottle or thought of planting a tree, Portugal. The Man took a different route.

The band partnered with the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute to create the Endangered Song Project, which brings awareness to the critically endangered Sumatran tiger, the smallest surviving tiger subspecies with just 400 left in the wild. Records were produced of an unreleased, or “endangered” song by Portugal. The Man as part of the project.

The vinyl, limited to 400 copies, (the same number of remaining Sumatran tigers), are made of polycarbonate and degrade after being played. Listeners are asked to digitally upload the song online to “preserve” it, while tagging their post with #EndangeredSong to bring awareness to the campaign and possible extinction facing Sumatran tigers.

The Endangered Song Project is a really cool way to make Portugal. The Man fans and music fans in general aware of the issues the tiger breed is facing, as well as other potential extinctions. The fact that the records themselves degrade is a concrete example of extinction. It beautifully connects the idea that this song will be no more unless some action is taken, just like the situation with these tigers.

Maybe you won’t do any physical action to help Sumatran tigers, but a hash tag might inspire someone else to. In some cases, wildlife is only around as long as we care for it.

Thank you
Going into this last column, I wanted to do one thing: thank you, the reader.

If for some outlandish reason you followed this column in any capacity, if you merely glanced at it to make fun of my head shot, or for whatever reason you may have read Arts & Entertainment on weeks that it ran, I thank you. I don’t know how to put my relationship with The Duke into words, other than it is everything. It has been a home, a hell and a haven. But much like an aging WWE superstar that had his undefeated WrestleMania streak end this year, (I still can’t believe that), it is time for me to step out of the limelight of this column and my position at The Duke and let younger, more talented staff take the reigns.

As every Wednesday night at The Duke ends with the music of Semisonic (a tradition started many moons ago), I will leave you with their words, as cliché as they might be. “Closing time / Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings ends.”

I know who I want to take me home.

What’s Out This Week
Asher Roth – RetroHash
Augustana – Life Imitating Life
Kelis – Food
Sleepmakeswaves – in today already walks tomorrow
The Menzingers – Rented World

On The Horizon
4/28 M.I.A. w/ A$AP Ferg @ Stage AE
5/1 Band of Skulls w/ SACCO @ Mr. Small’s
5/2 Wye Oak w/ Braids @ Mr. Small’s
5/2 Miss May I w/ For The Fallen Dreams, New Vegas and more @ Smiling Moose
5/2 letlve. / Architects w/ Glass Cloud and I The Mighty @ Altar Bar
5/5 The Both (Aimee Man & Ted Leo) w/ Nick Diamonds of Islands @ Mr. Smalls
5/7 Dance Gavin Dance w/ Capture The Crown, Palisades and more @ Mr. Small’s
5/8 Alabama Shakes w/ The Deslondes @ Stage AE

Just Announced
5/22 Animals As Leaders w/ Conquering Dystopia and CHON @ The Rex Theater
6/14 Pity Sex w/ Radiator Hospital, Somos and more @ The Smiling Moose
7/13 Caspian @ The Smiling Moose