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Silversun Pickups Strip Down for Acoustic Set Pre-All Points West

August 1, 2009 12:47 PM ET

Two days before they take the stage at All Points West, Silversun Pickups played a private show at the PC Richard and Son theater in New York's Tribeca neighborhood, giving 200 online contest winners the chance to catch a stripped down, acoustic set from the fuzzed-out L.A. indie rockers.

The Pickups opened the show with "Growing Old is Getting Old" off latest LP Swoon, sounding amazingly loud for what was meant to be a softer set. Singer-guitarist Brian Auberts shrieked while bassist Nikki Monninger thumped out melodic basslines and drummer Christopher Guanlao simply pounded out each song's backbone on the drums.

As expected, the band brought out a boisterous version of Swoon single "Panic Switch," along with their next single "Substitution." On a cover of Boston band the Movie's "Creation Lake," Monninger delicately took over lead vocals.

The set abruptly closed with the band's most successful track to date, "Lazy Eye" (from 2006's Carnavas), after which Aubert stumbled over his guitar resting on its floor stand, knocking it over. In response, Aubert jokingly grabbed a nearby chair and tossed it, doing his best impression of a raging rock star. He then quickly apologized to the staff for doing so, and sat the chair back upright.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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