Did any of you see the Hot Hot Heat show at the Nouveau Casino Friday? Nom d'une pipe was that ever a pogopalooza!
If you missed it, don't err a second time (like Athens against philosophy!). The tough guys out there are going to wince and say they're too syrupy. But tough! These guys rock, or jump. OMD-Elvis Costello meets The STrokes, man (and that's a compliment). Mark my words. Songs like Goodnight Goodnight are delicieuse. They make you want to hop. Their lyrics are clever, and for the fatally hip, they're even a Trojan horse. Listen closely. Steve Bay: wow what hair. This dynamic lead singer has a great range, as if Freddy Mercury were New Wave and with Weird Al's hair. (okay, sorry STeve, it's cooler than Weird Al's, if that's possible) Damn was that a catchy set. I can't get that bombpop-of-a-song out of my head: good night!
Coming up in the next two weeks, here are some of my picks:
Caribou: Wednesday Nov. 28, Fleche D'or. Canadian Dan Snaith (Manitoba) is a darling of the critics for his musical novelties. "Challenging" is one of the key words often appearing in the laudatory reviews of his creations. Of his latest album Andorra even the mainstream Entertainment Weekly purred, "The only problem with this symphonic daydream is that at just nine songs and 43 minutes, it's over far too soon." Fleche d'or is actually charging for this one. That should tell you something.
Dec. 4, La Maroquinerie, 17,70 euros
This part Finnish, part French duo remind me of Smog, but with Cat Power Chan Marshall's vocals if they were higher pitched and directed into poppier ditties. Contagious. Check it out.
The show at La Maroquinerie is complet/sold out. But there are almost always people selling tickets there before the show. Another resource for finding tickets is the forum section of "infoconcert.com."
Dean and Britta
Monday, 3 Dec., La Fleche d'Or (http://www.myspace.com/deanandbritta) (NY, NY/Zoë Records) (Folk/Rock), Free
Former Luna members Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips form this easy-going folk/rock duo. Mellow and airy, you can hear the influence of classic 60s idols like in Dean's spoken-sung lyrics, softly strummed guitar, and Britta's soft harmonies. --Hilary Camblos
Herman Dune: Wednesday Dec. 5. Point Ephemere. As that sweatshopper Nike would say, "Just Do It!"
Dec. 7, Le Trabendo. These Icylanders will be peddling their latest bundle of sweet gurgles, blurps, and disco loops, Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy (2007). While they keep shedding members, including my dream girl Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir, Mum has also moved beyond the comfortable, sweet warble pop that defined them two albums ago during the Valtysdottir period. Very post-rock, and if you like that sort of thing it don't get much better than this.
Simone elle est bonne
Friday, 7 Dec., La Fleche d'Or (http://www.myspace.com/simonebikini) ( ) (Electric/Punk/Pop), Free
You can't help but love self-empowered girls giving it to the man. A fast-paced electric sound and girlish voice recalling Vive la Fête or Au Revoir Simone delivering unabashedly in your face lyrics in the spirit of or Metric, Simon elle est bonne claims to come from the future to save French music. --Hilary Camblos
I Am Kloot: Dec. 10, Le Nouveau Casino. Great Manchester pop, known for its brand of wordplay and changes of pace.
Thurston Moore : Tues. Dec. 11 Le Trabendo. Thurston Moore of legendary NY art-punk band Sonic Youth will turn 50 next year. But oh, how young his work continues to be. In 2007 Moore released his second song-based album, Trees Outside of the Academy, featuring cameos by Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis, Samara Lubelski, and Moore's fellow Sonic Youth member Steve Shelley. Meditative and textured, Trees is an album paradoxically at once youthful and mature. This could be one of the best show's of 2007.
Keren Ann: Wed. Dec. 12 and Thur Dec. 13, Cafe de la Danse. Nice indie folk.
Stuck in the Sound
12, 13, and 14 Dec., La Fleche d'Or (http://www.stuckinthesound.com/) ( ) (Indie/Rock), Free
Their driving rhythms, garage guitars and Cure-like vocals would make you double check for British passports. But chalk it up to the Chunnel Effect, folks: SITS are French as escargot. Part of It's Festival!, with The Dodoz, Selfish Cunt, Burning Heads, Hopper, Eldia, etc.--Hilary Camblos
Of Montreal: Friday Dec. 14 La Maroquinerie. Indie quirksters from the Elephant 6 consortium. Critics have called "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer" the best album yet by this fantastic songwriter.
Scout Niblett: Monday Dec. 17, Nouveau Casino. She calls herself "Scout Niblett." What more do you want? (Oh, you're deep, are you?). She's from Portland, Oregon. She's cute. Oh, still not sold? For fans of Cat Power? Oh, okay. Soft folk and Bjorkish vocals metamorphoses violently into static guitar and hard rock crashing drums canvasing PJ Harvey-like yawps.
The Young Knives
20 Dec., La Maroquinerie (http://www.theyoungknives.com) (UK/Transgressive) (Indie, Pop punk, classic rock), 17 euros
These tweed-donning, Buddy-Holly look-a-like lads from the middle of England let loose some serious post-punk rock. Shortlisted for the 2007 Nationwide Mercury Prize for Voices of Animals and Men, their latest album, Terra Firma, has met mixed reviews, but their sound is solid. O Come All Ye Faithful.--Hilary Camblos
Cancellations: Super Furry Animals Dec. 3 at La Maroquinerie; Besnard Lakes Dec. 6 La Maroquinerie.