New Zealand sits on the far side of the Pacific Ocean, an island with North America to its east and Africa to its west. Auckland's The Ruby Suns, duo Ryan McPhun and Amee Robinson, have used this geography to their advantage, sampling some of the best pop styles from either side of the island: the band's latest album, Sea Lion, sits squarely between Western and African pop, incorporating off beat rhythms, lyrics in Masai, fuzzed out keyboard effects, and hand claps. The group invites comparisons to Os Mutantes, Of Montreal and Brian Wilson, fun bands who all share a common dance pop denominator. And in spite of some serious setbacks- a few years ago, en route to Seattle, The Ruby Suns' tour van burned to the ground along with the band's equipment and possessions- they've miraculously recovered and will be playing Seattle before heading to New York's CMJ Music Marathon and then Europe. Also on the bill is Karl Blau, king of the lo-fi Anacortes sound, and the Final Spins, a promising new project from members of Throw Me the Statue, The Blessed Light, Siberian, and the Pica Beats.
Wed., Sept. 24, 9 p.m., 2008