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HEAR HERE: The Naked and Famous, tonight at Paradise Rock Club

Posted by Michael Brodeur  October 25, 2011 10:18 AM

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New Zealand's The Naked and Famous play the Paradise tonight.

“It’s pretty peculiar to be seen as a popular band in New Zealand,” says Thom Powers of Auckland’s The Naked and Famous. “We don’t really have celebrity culture like you guys do here in the States.”

Of course, that success is only peculiar if you’re in a band full of New Zealanders. As the first native band to top that nation’s charts in three whole years, Powers doesn’t take their success lightly.

“We’d never even thought it was possible to leave the country and play around the world and we still made the album we made,” he says.

Led by Powers and vocalist Alisa Xayalith, the Naked and Famous specialize in fast paced, synth-heavy power ballads that mix dream pop, 80s teen angst, and the head-bouncing appeal of bands like MGMT or Passion Pit. Its debut album, “Passive Me, Aggressive You” -- produced by Powers with bandmate Aaron Short --- garnered them six nominations at the 2011 New Zealand Music Awards, thanks, in large part, to songs like their hit, “Young Blood”

Tonight, the band plays the Paradise with Denver psych-punks The Chain Gang of 1974 and promising L.A. electro-pop group White Arrows.

And as the band's momentum gains, Powers is only letting some of it go to his head: “It’s nice to make enough money to go see the dentist once in a while.”

Paradise Rock Club, tonight. Tickets: $20. 18+ 617-562-8800, www.thedise.com

Maria Oliver can be reached at mariatoliver@gmail.com.

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Sarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.

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