Pit Er Pat don’t care how many art-rock bands worship at the temple of the guitar. All hail the keyboard, they say–and not some campy synthesizer, but a gorgeous electric piano. On their debut, Emergency (Overcoat), the way their delicately flamboyant flourishes and doodles overlap is just a bit off, and the tunes turn out like a kid’s five-legged drawing of his dog. Singer and pianist Fay Davis-Jeffers has a startling range, throwing histrionic tantrums that could frighten the woman from Blonde Redhead or lilting and sighing like she’s reading a love letter. But as creepy and carnivalesque as these locals are, the Detroit duo Terror at the Opera beat them at their own game. Gretchen Gonzales (from Slumber Party) and Faith Gazic use only gentle psychedelic guitar, sensual accordion, and drum machine to craft their sinister-sweet dirges and serenades. The songs on Snake Bird Blue (No Sides) make me feel like I’m on a tarnished carousel, in an old-world Italian restaurant, or beside a Gypsy campfire. And the lyrics aren’t the typical girly shit, all about relationships: Gonzales and Gazic sing about blue jays, snakes, and cooling lava, and talk about men only in metaphors. (A glass addresses a bottle of wine with the words, “I feel so empty without you / I feel so empty and see-through.”) Onstage their unself-conscious earnestness makes it seem like they’re tucking their tunes into paper boats and letting them float downriver for someone special to find. This is a release party for the 20th issue of Venus magazine; Terror at the Opera opens and DJ Jim Magas headlines. The $8 cover includes a copy of Venus. Friday, June 18, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600 or 800-594-8499.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Virginia North.