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Titus Andronicus Mighty On Stage

The key question for New Jersey's Titus Andronicus' appearance at Belly Up Tavern June 24th is whether the small stage can contain the energy of singer Patrick Stickles.

Their two albums, "The Airing of Grievances" and "The Monitor" are sprawling, intense affairs that leave you wondering if they'll survive to make another.

Their music invokes everyone from Bruce Springsteen (including a direct quote from "The Promised Land"), to Bright Eyes, to The Replacements, to Neutral Milk Hotel.

"The Monitor" is (very) loosely based on the Civil War battle of ironclads: the Monitor and the Merrimack (they don't teach such things in school anymore). Although I don't think Union soldiers taunted The Rebels with the cry "You will always be a loser" that Stickles chants at one point. The albums also feature quotes from Shakespeare, Albert Camus, Civil War generals as well as other literary references.

Both discs go comfortably beyond the standard two guitar attack prevalent in most Indie rock, bringing in keyboards, harmonica and a full horn section at times.

Okkervil River will headline if they don't get blown offstage.

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