Pretty Girls Make Graves – Live at Ace’s Basement – Greensboro, North Carolina – March 25, 2004 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
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Pretty Girls Makes Graves in concert from Greensboro, North Carolina tonight. Recorded on March 25, 2004. One of those bands with lots of promise, a building fan-base, good reviews, airplay and good word-of-mouth. Coming from Seattle, there was no doubt a goodly amount of pressure to follow in the footsteps of other Northwest bands, blazing trails across the U.S. and into the homes and airwaves of eager listeners. But sometimes that isn’t enough.
Lisa LeeKing of AllMusic sums it up rather well:
Named for either the Smiths song or a line from Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums, Seattle, WA’s Pretty Girls Make Graves began touring the country only months after the Murder City Devils, which Derek Fudesco also played bass in, called it quits. During the summer of 2001, Fudesco started writing songs with friends Andrea Zollo (whom he played with in Death Wish Kids), ex-Bee Hive Vaults members Nathen Johnson and Nick DeWitt, plus Kill Sadie’s Jason Clark. Their first release, a self-titled, four-song EP full of bursts of energy and emotion released on Dim Mak, created enough interest to land them a spot in the AP’s “100 Bands You Need to Know in ’02.” In April 2002, Good Health came out on Lookout! Records. Miming the same energies as the EP, but in nine songs and 27 minutes, the full-length combined early Fugazi and a bit of Rocket from the Crypt, but made new. Add X-Ray Spex and Avengers influences coupled by backup vocals and a hard-hitting rhythm section, and it’s easy to understand where they’re coming from. Zollo resists critics’ comparisons to Sleater-Kinney or Bikini Kill, because in fact, Pretty Girls Make Graves sounds nothing like either group. Following the release of Good Health, the band jumped to Matador, releasing the This Is Our Emergency single in late 2003 and the full-length New Romance soon after. The band set off on tours with the likes of Death Cab for Cutie, Bloc Party, and Franz Ferdinand, and after adding keyboardist Leona Marrs to the lineup, released Élan Vital in early 2006. A year later — and after a final round of spring touring — Pretty Girls Make Graves dissolved, as drummer DeWitt departed and the band did not want to continue on without him.
So in case you missed them the first time around, or were looking for a reminder, here’s a gig they did at Ace’s Basement in Greensboro North Carolina on March 25, 2004. The mix is a bit iffy for the first song or two, but it straightens out eventually and is a nice record of a band with much going for it.