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Trials and Era 

by Carey Murphy & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & F & lt;/span & or all of our music-snob tendencies here, we really love bubble-gummy pop songs, the immediately hummable tracks that make the perfect companion for walking downtown; the kind that just play on repeat 10 or 20 times in a row without becoming irritating; the kind that are dispensable only because they are so readily replaced. Right now, we're sold on the Eames Era, Baton Rouge-based indie-rockers. They combine Ashlin Phillips' saccharine-sweet lyrics and voice, a restrained, though competent, rhythm section, and just let the guitars jangle. If you like Dressy Bessy's sweet guitar pop, then the Eames Era is for you. Just try listening to "Year of the Waitress" or "A Scandal in Bohemia" without tapping a toe or bobbing a head -- it's impossible, we tell you. Utterly impossible.

Their moniker is a nod to the past in many ways, but one that isn't too far removed. A reference to the iconic husband-and-wife architecture-and-design team of Charles and Ray Eames, the Eames Era lovingly acknowledges important elements about their past. The architectural element remains a part of the finely crafted songs. Guitarist Ted Joyner attended LSU with aspirations for architecture while Phillips intended the university's School of Music to be her creative outlet. Luckily, fate lent a hand. And soon, the duo -- the primary lyricists for the band -- found their own project to be far more engaging. The loss for architecture and vocal performance is unknowable -- but as long as Joyner and Phillips continue to write catchy little numbers, the future for the indie-pop fans remains pleasantly warm.

Double Dutch, the band's debut album, hit shelves last fall, and the Eames Era has been gaining notice. But an accidental collision with a National Guard truck aborted a tour of the Northeast and Midwest in support of the album's release and left band members shaken -- especially Joyner, who suffered a broken arm.

The current 17-date, April-May tour, however, indicates that everything's back to normal. The few shows these musicians will play prior to arriving in town should be adequate preparation for working out any kinks, and the Eames Era looks to have been granted an extension.

The Eames Era plays the Shop on Monday, April 17, at 7 pm. Tickets: $5. Call 534-1647.
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