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SXSW ‘14
  • Interviewer: You had a girl come up to you saying that she was crying during the show. That must have felt great to know someone cares about your music so much!
  • Kip: Maybe it’s because she thought we were so bad that she was crying. I don’t know; it was really sweet. We’re not like a cool-guy band who are so austere and a difficult kind of band, you know. We write pop songs about our feelings, and to see someone really connect with it in that way is really special and a really wonderful moment when you see that the thing you do is actually—at least for one person—it means something to them.
I look up to Tom Petty a lot. He’s kind of my hero. He’s not the most flashy performer. I don’t think he’s anybody’s idea of a sex symbol. He’s not even a virtuoso musician. He was able to play the Super Bowl halftime show because he kept writing good song after good song. That’s not to take away from his musical accomplishments. He’s just sort of an atypical person to be a rock & roll star. It’s incredible, the kind of good music he produced. I know my own background is way different, but I hold on to the idea that songwriting is the most important thing, and I think good songs last a lot longer than cool fads or things that are rooted in other ideas.
Kip Berman 


There’s nothing worse than the band that says, “this is a dark/darker/unrelentingly dark album,” as if reveling in morbidity confers greater artistic worth. Serious people wanting to be taken very seriously? Please no. These songs are just real to my life, and life is varied. People in bands aren’t sadder or happier than other people – and it’s pompous and false to pretend that somehow “artists just feel more.”

stills from Art Smock

Friday treat! Here is a short promo for “Art Smock” that Kip and his friend, Art, made. More news coming soon. 

Summer Mix 2013



I made a summer mix for Myspace

The Wake - Pale Spectre
Minks - Araby
Bad Dream Fancy Dress - Choirboy Gas
Fear of Men - The Green Sea
Veronica Falls - Teenage
Evans the Death - I’m So Unclean
The Pastels - Truck Train Tractor
The Drums - Days
St. Christopher - All Of A Treamble
Margo Guryan - Sunday Morning
Orange Juice - Poor Old Soul Pt. 2
Catwalk - Please Don’t Break Me
A Sunny Day in Glasgow - Drink Drank Drunk
Mr. Wright - Hangover Square

Listen HERE 

KIP: DJ Setlist: South Street Seaport, NY - 6-29-2013


Azure Blue - “Little Confusions”
The Mary Onettes - “Lost”
A Sunny Day in Glasgow - “Drink Drank Drunk”
The Wake - “Pale Spectre”
Violens - “When to Let Go”
Minks - “Funeral Song”
Fear of Men - “Green Sea”
Allo Darlin’ - “Dreaming”
Belle and Sebastian - “Dirty Dream Number Two”
Catwalk -…

THIS IS YOUR LIST NOW #5 with Kip Berman of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart


With THIS IS YOUR LIST NOW, I ask artists to fill out a set of lists about the music in their lives. For the fifth THIS IS YOUR LIST NOW, Kip Berman, frontman of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, was nice enough to complete the lists.


First Album You Ever Bought

It was probably a Weird Al Yankovic record. As I got to be a teenager, I remember buying Papas Fritas’ s/t album and Yo La Tengo’s “Electr-O-Pura” at Repo Records in Bryn Mawr. I listened to both of those a lot, and I’m still pretty convinced that they’re classics.

First Band You Truly Cared About

Plow United - They lived pretty close to where I lived (Philadelphia suburbs - West Chester Rock City!) and played local all ages DIY shows. They seemed like “stars” in a weird way, even though they just played house shows, the YWCA and the Unitarian Church basement. I think they wrote really good songs, and their first two records were a definite soundtrack for me and my friends. I also cared a lot about Weston, because their lyrics seemed like my life, but they lived slightly further away (Allentown, PA) so I didn’t get to see them play as much.

Five Favorite Albums

This list changes all the time.

Margo Guryan - Take a Picture

The Pastels - Sittin’ Pretty

Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes

The Aislers Set - The Last Match

Exploding Hearts - Guitar Romantic

Five Most Underrated/Under-reported Bands

The Prids - I never want to put other bands down to talk about why a band is great, but The Prids were (and still are) so utterly correct. There were a lot of “post punk” sort of bands in the 2000s that tried to do the “sad teenagers for life” thing, but most of them felt so superficial. The Prids are vivid and intense people, and their music channels all those things that makes you remember that music really can be all consuming and MATTER. They live communally, play tons of benefit shows for good causes and make incredible records.

My Favorite - This band was at the wrong place at the wrong time. They were playing this emphatic, romantic indiepop (with a strong undercurrent of actual punk) a few years before it became “acceptable” to have a keyboard on stage at indie rock shows. I’m not sure if people understand how musically conservative indie rock was in the 90s and early 2000s. It was almost all sweaty dudes with guitars singing about not trying very hard and feeling whatever. There were obvious exceptions like Helium, Sarge, Stereolab and the more gender balanced bands on Kill Rock Stars, K Records, Sarah and tons of smaller labels. But for the most part, My Favorite were completely at odds with the indie scene of their era and never really caught on as more than a cult thing.  All but one member have formed a new band in a similar vein called The Secret History that are also very good.

Evans the Death - They’re fantastic. I don’t know why they’re not famous. The world sucks sometimes.

Fear of Men - We got to play some shows with Fear of Men in France, and I really fell in love with their music. They’re the sort of band that takes a while to appreciate. Their songs are well-written, but subtle. They have a collection of early singles on Kanine Records called “Early Fragments” well worth listening to.

Felt - Their claim to fame is that they made ten immensely great records and are almost as immensely unknown. So maybe if everyone loved Felt as much as I did, they’d just vanish. Still, I wish Cherry Red would at least re-issue their albums. I played one of their records for my mom, and she really liked it, which is how I determine if music is timeless or just a fad.

Five Current Artists Worth Listening To

Wild Nothing - Jack Tatum’s songwriting feels really unforced. Some bands sound like they’re always “going for it,” but Wild Nothing knows where it is they want to be and will arrive at it in their own time. It’s hard to explain, but his songs sound confident in themselves without ever seeming boastful.

The Ice Choir - Kurt [Feldman]’s definitely the best musician in Pains. His new project, The Ice Choir is really remarkable and sincere. Afar is a beautiful record.

Veronica Falls - I think they’re the best indiepop band around right now. The drummer is from Scotland, and like a lot of Scottish bands (Teenage Fanclub, The Pastels, Vaselines, Orange Juice, etc.) they have that perfect balance between sweet and dirty. Maybe the other members are from England and are really offended if I say the band sounds Scottish, but I only mean it as a complement. “Teenage,” the first single from their new record, is probably my favorite song of 2013.

Weekend - They are dark. So dark. Their new record comes out this summer and from what I hear it’s very good.

Flowers - They have a 7” on Cloudberry Records and one on Odd Box Records. They are pretty special, and I think some of their best songs have yet to be released, so keep an eye out for them.

Favorite Show You Have Ever Attended

Belle and Sebastian on September 11, 2001 in Portland, OR. I just wanted the world not to end, and seeing one of my favorite bands just go on stage and play the songs I loved really meant a lot to me.

Favorite Show You Have Ever Played

Chorlton Irish Center in Manchester - This venue was just an old workingman’s hall. It smelled nasty, it was hot and sweaty. I don’t mean to romanticize those things, but the show was just perfect in a way that’s nearly impossible to replicate.

Five Artists You Would Love to Work With

I just don’t really think this way. I like making our records the way we make them. Whoever happens to be in Pains is who I want to make records with.

Five Bands that Deserve a Resurgence in Popularity

Close Lobsters

Manhattan Love Suicides

The House of Love

Margo Guryan


Thanks Kip! Check out the Pains music at:

Stay tuned for more entries to come! - Alex Cunningham


Tickets available now
Jowe Head(UK, ex-Swell Maps, Television Personalities)
Sea Lions (Oxnard, California)
Golden Grrrls (Glasgow, UK)Kip (New York, New York)Wildhoney (Baltimore, Maryland)What Next? (New York, New York)Pet Milk (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)Crimson Wave (Baltimore, Maryland)Foul Swoops (Arlington, Virginia)

Kip is playing (as Kip) at Baltimore Popfest this year!


Tickets available now

Jowe Head(UK, ex-Swell Maps, Television Personalities)

Sea Lions (Oxnard, California)

Golden Grrrls (Glasgow, UK)

Kip (New York, New York)

Wildhoney (Baltimore, Maryland)

What Next? (New York, New York)

Pet Milk (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Crimson Wave (Baltimore, Maryland)

Foul Swoops (Arlington, Virginia)

Kip is playing (as Kip) at Baltimore Popfest this year!