Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Music Musings

Hey there, Nicole here again. As I haven't posted much lately, I thought I'd offer some recent music-related ramblings.

Arcade Fire Tours w/ LCD Soundsystem
I admit I'm intrigued by the coupling. The Arcade Fire seems far more capable of following up an LCD dance-fest than say, some other bands I've seen paired with dancier acts. I'm still unsure how I feel about the Tortoise/Hot Chip matchup, and though I was sadly turned away at the Granada door, I've heard the 2003 Rapture/Shins tour was a bit of a letdown. (I'm still itching to write a column about the shows that got away...) Word has it that the LCD/Arcade tour will kick off sometime in September and conclude in mid-October. That means, even if they were to visit the piddling Midwest, they will likely arrive on Sept. 12 or 13, no doubt adding to that whole Flaming Lips/Blonde Redhead/Devendra Banhart debacle.

About That Hot Chip Show...
Admittedly I missed much of Tortoise, as I was then experiencing the beginnings of an illness the likes I haven't seen since last year's bad shroom trip. Thankfully I was able to pull myself together for Hot Chip. I'm fairly new to the world of electro-pop, dance, techno, and so on (I have the Rapture to thank for my initiation, as I'm sure many a indie fan can concur). What I can say is that if you come to a dance band show -- and you dance -- you are going to have a good time.

On a side note: Alexis Taylor, the owner of that sexy, soulful voice, looked like one of my grade school classmates with his shorn hair, oversized glasses, and wife beater (you know, one of those kids) -- I admit I was elated to see him compel so many people to dance like sex-crazed maniacs, myself included. As a one-time hard-core-dork (I too had the oversized glasses), this scene warmed my heart. On a final side note: Succumbing to food poisoning in a public bathroom with a line of drunk bitches behind you is NOT an ideal situation.

(This picture is more dorky-cool, but you can imagine.)

What's the 'Deeler'?
More than a few friends have said of the band Memomena, "I didn't want to like them..." And yet, they do. They really, really do. At first listen, the band may seem like conventional fare, with their often poppy vocals and penchant for catchy hooks. Dare I say the album Friend or Foe is a grower?

After repeat listenings, I was surprised by the attention to detail that undoubtedly resulted from the band's use of its own computer recording system (called Digital Looping Recorder, or Deeler.) Drummer Danny Seim explains Deeler in an In Music We Trust interview: "First, we set the tempo of the click, which is played through a pair of headphones. We then take turns passing a single mic around the room. One of us will hold the mic in front of an instrument, while another one of us will lay down a short improvised riff over the click track. We usually start with the drums. Once the drums begin looping, we throw on some bass, piano, guitar, bells, sax, or whatever other sort of noisemaker happens to be in the room. Deeler keeps the process democratic, which is the only way we can operate."

Check out Memomena rockin' "The Pelican" live on Juan's Basement here. You can see them play the Bottleneck in Lawrence this Friday, 6/22, tickets $9.

No comments: