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Influential New Zealand Rockers the Clean Play Rough Trade NYC

August 20th, 2014

They’re one of the founding fathers of indie rock in New Zealand, and despite being an influential post-punk band worldwide (winning over fans like Stephen Malkmus of Pavement and getting a fair amount of play in the ’80s on American college radio), the Clean—David Kilgour (guitar and vocals), Hamish Kilgour (drums) and Robert Scott (bass)—are still most well known in their native country. They formed in 1978, mashing together punk and psychedelic rock into their own cool, unique sound. And while they’ve spent a fair amount of time apart—Hamish moved to New York City in the ’90s and formed the Mad Scene—essentially coming back together to perform and make new music when it pleases them, the Clean (above, performing “Draw(in)g to a W(h)ole”) have still managed to release five studio albums, five live albums, three compilations, three singles and a pair of EPs. (Pitchfork calls them “the Halley’s Comet of indie rock, appearing after prolonged absences in a flash of brilliance, only to disappear just as quickly.”) Their most recent full-length, Mister Pop (stream it below), “a mixture of wide-eyed pastoral pop and playful experimentation,” came out in 2009. And according to PopMatters, “The Clean are growing older with grace and humor on this humane, smart and unpretentious record.” See them play Rough Trade NYC tomorrow night.