The Pains of Being Pure at Heart rock out at Jackrabbits

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When it comes to The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s live performances, vocalist Kip Berman said  graciously he does not find his band distinguishable. “I don’t think anyone comes to our shows for the guitar solos or anything like that,” he said. The Pains will be performing a mix of soothing, melodic pop songs mixed with edgy, Ramones-inspired punk tunes at Jack Rabbits June 13, alongside Surfer Blood and Hooray for Earth. The Pains, based out of New York City, formed in 2007 from a group of good friends with similar tastes in music. One of their first performances as a band was at a birthday party for the band’s keyboardist, Peggy Wang. “We grew up liking a lot of bands that were never super popular, but we were passionate about,” Berman said. The band consists of Berman on vocals and guitar, Wang on vocals and keyboard, Alex Naidus on bass guitar and Kurt Feldman on drums. Their self-titled debut LP garnered rave reviews from critics, including Rolling Stone. Berman said he does not know much about Jacksonville other than the Jaguars and Jacksonville-based indie band the Black Kids, who The Pains played alongside during the 2007 Athens Popfest. The band is still new to studio recording and finds the process a great learning experience, as the group continues to develop their sound and learn how to work the equipment. “I feel like each time we’ve had a chance to do it, we’ve done a better job of it,” he said. The band recorded their first EP in a basement using a drum machine, since they didn’t have a drummer at the time. The members try not to over think the creative process when forming new mate- rial, in hopes of keeping the songs alive. “It should feel natural … people shouldn’t notice the production or how it [music] was recorded,” Berman said. The Pains address a myriad of topics in their songwriting  — spanning from relationships to public intoxication. The songs provide themes such as regret, indecision, joy and empathy. “We’re kind of an imperfect vessel for those songs,” Berman said. “We hope that our ordinariness does not interfere with things that we believe are more  ordinary.” The Pains retell a steamy and lascivious casual encounter in the library on “Young Adult Friction.” Berman sings, “Between the stacks in the library/ Not anyone stopped to see/ We came they went, our bodies spent/ Among the dust and the microfiche.” For Berman, the best thing about touring is not performing but getting the chance to meet new people who feel deeply connected to their music. The Pains look forward to playing in Florida, since fellow touring band Surfer Blood resides in West Palm Beach. Berman believes in the music his fellow bandmates are playing, as well as the music other bands supporting them on tour produce. “It’s really nice to be able to present an entire evening of music that you believe in for people,” Berman said. The band will continue touring through the end of June and start recording their follow-up album later this summer. Meanwhile, Berman and company released their new single, “Say No to Love,” June 8.