IF YOU GO
Who: Titus Andronicus with Lost Boy
When: 9 p.m. Friday
Where: Sweatshop Gallery, 2727 N. 62nd St.
Tickets: $10 at brownpapertickets.com
Information: Facebook.com/eyeballpromo or 402-707-3724
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Punk rock band Titus Andronicus may be hanging out on XL Recordings, the label of famous artists Vampire Weekend and Adele, and playing occasional fancy venues, but they're punks till the end — even if it means playing art galleries, dingy basements or other nontraditional venues.
“We do enjoy the fact that (a nice venue) has a nice PA system or a nice fancy couch in some isolated room where we can hang out, but none of that stuff comes without a price,” band leader Patrick Stickles told The World-Herald while the group was on the road in California. “Places like that have a lot more stupid rules. Any place that we go, I seek out the gnarliest, most mistreated and neglected space and I make that my home. Amongst the waste and the filth, no one's going to take what I've got.”
That attitude permeates the band's performance aesthetic, a co-op Brooklyn venue called Shea Stadium that the band runs, and its latest, careening album.
“Local Business,” released last year, drops the overwrought narration, strings and songs about naval battles from the band's Civil War-inspired album “The Monitor” in favor of guitar-and-piano rock songs bouncing off the walls with messages of local scenes.
When making the record, Stickles included his existential thoughts (“Everything is inherently worthless” on “Ecce Homo”), opened up about his personal struggles (the song “My Eating Disorder”) and wrote songs with punk rock minimalism in mind (one song has only the lyrics “I'm going insane” repeated over the course of two minutes).
“I wanted to make a record you're supposed to take it home and have a private moment with it,” he said. “You're supposed to have this secret understanding. Listening to it is supposed to be like readying your own (expletive) diary.”