All apologies 

Sorry About the Flowers from Venice is Sinking

On Sorry About the Flowers, the debut album from Athens quintet Venice Is Sinking, Daniel Lawson and Karolyn Troupe sing of loss and heartbreak in tandem, like a couple in agreement. Troupe's viola arrangements raise the music to blurry tragedy. "Decided to be undecided/At least you're being open-minded/I never would have guessed/That we could make this mess/Any worse than it had already gotten/Is this what I really wanted/With nothing left to lose/I lost my only excuse/It was you," sing the two on the beautifully sad "Undecided."

But during an April 8 showcase alongside other Athens acts such as Geoff Reacher, the Ginger Envelope, the Summer Hymns and Engineering, Venice Is Sinking sounded nothing like that recording. Rocking out with a jumpy energy, the band introduced upbeat new songs like "What Makes You Think You're the One." "There's not a lot of bands from Athens that have a trumpeter," boasted Lawson of pianist Alex Thibadeaux, who busted out a trumpet during one number.

The five appeared to enjoy themselves during the seven-song set, joking their way through a cover of the Ramones' "Pet Cemetery." Oddly, though, they also apologized to the audience. "Thank you for seeing our half-ass show," Troupe said at the end. "We'll improve."

What was the problem? "You kind of caught us on a weird night. [Troupe] didn't have [her] viola," Lawson said a few days after the show. Then he added, "But even if [she] did have her viola, we're definitely a different animal live than we are in the studio.

"I've always liked bands that are like that. I listened to Sebadoh a lot in high school, and whenever I would see them live, they'd take these two-minute long, pretty, acoustic little songs, and just add distortion. It was a totally different experience. I think it's semi-conscious on our part" to do something new with the Sorry About the Flowers songs, he said. "Besides, it'd be pretty difficult to have 10 people on stage, [which we'd need] in order to re-create the record."

Venice Is Sinking plays with Homeroom at 10 High on Fri., April 28.

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