Rolling Stone: 15 Best Things We Saw at Merge 25

316px-Rolling_Stone_logo.svgImperial Teen’s Pleasant N0t-Quite Surprise
It comes as no shock to anyone in the Imperial Teen fan diaspora that the inimitable indie-pop band – which attained a slight brush with alt-fame in the mid-late 1990s – regularly laps the rest of the field, in terms of sheer joyful cool, no matter which bill they grace. But still, there was that moment at the Cat’s Cradle on Friday when the crowd’s reaction intensified as if they were gradually realizing how lucky they were to be in the room, and then the band intensified in response. With witty, intimate, wry, acerbic, self-aware, ferocious songs like “Yoo Hoo,” “You’re One,” “Million Dollar Man,” “Don’t Know How You Do It,” Imperial Teen could’ve been the leaders of a new movement, “Power Twee,” if there hadn’t been so many silly Nineties subgenres already. Regardless, there was a lot of Imperial love in the room, as guitarist/keyboardist Roddy Bottum cracked, “We’re Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice!” And drummer/bassist Lynn Perko mused, “It’s quiet … you’re, what’s the word? Mesmerized.” Exactly.

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