April 25, 2002

Ed's Underground

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Indie rockers Rainer Maria have been together for five years and three albums, all on the small Polyvinyl imprint, but their melodic guitar lines and innocent harmonies still feel as fresh as ever. Thanks to the Fanclub Collective — a relatively new Cornell student organization dedicated to bringing indie bands to campus — Rainer Maria will be jamming at JAM (on North Campus) this Saturday, April 27.

The band is touring straight off last year’s triumphantly upbeat A Better Version of Me, a strong album of hard-hitting indie-pop with melodies that’ll stick in your head for weeks. Singer Caithlin De Marrais has an insistent voice at times reminiscent of Corin Tucker’s (of Sleater-Kinney) quieter moments.

On A Better Version, guitarist Kyle Fischer lays down complex lines that weave in and out, interacting with De Marrais’ bass and vocals. Drummer William Kuehn is just as proficient behind the drums, rounding out this talented trio.

Highlights from Rainer Maria’s most recent album like the anthemic opener “Artificial Light” and the summery “Thought I Was” are likely to find their way into the band’s set, along with equally great cuts from their first two Polyvinyl releases. While De Marrais sings the majority of Rainer Maria’s songs, Fischer provides backup vocals and duets with his bandmate on cuts like the dynamic “Contents of Lincoln’s Pockets.”

All indie fans should certainly be looking forward to this show, and those who haven’t heard Rainer Maria’s unique pop before should come out anyway — the $5 ticket price is a bargain for music this good. And as if this isn’t enough, the Fanclub Collective has already booked lo-fi experimentalists the Microphones for a Sept. 3 show, and are working on booking underground punk legends Fugazi. So come out Saturday and support some great indie music.

Archived article by Ed Howard