July 29, 2010

Wolf Parade Brings A Little Golden Age To The Showbox

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Wolf Parade Crowd ::: Photo by Brittney Bush Bollay

Before Moools took the stage, I knew only two things about them: that they were Japanese, and that they were “weird.” Though they turned out to be more one (Japanese) than the other, both descriptors definitely applied.

Basically a straightforward Big Loud Rock Band with three normal dudes and one kooky, charismatic frontman, Moools put on one of the most entertaining shows I’ve seen all year. Vocalist Yasuaki Sakai’s antics – hopping around the stage in his red-socked feet, repeatedly picking up and dropping his harmonica, making unintelligible statements in a played-up mix of Japanese and English – had me belly laughing, but at the same time the music had me stomping my feet and shaking my head. It’s a strange duality, but Moools made it work.

Wolf Parade took the stage to the thunderous applause of a capacity crowd, and from the beginning seemed humbled by the audience’s enthusiasm. “Holy crap, thanks!” said an abashed Dan Boeckner, then launched into “What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had to Go This Way).” The thrilled all-ages crowd immediately sent the Showbox’s trampoline floor bouncing, and kept it going for most of the hour and a half set.

The energy of the audience was matched by the band, whose four members gave relentlessly all night. Spencer Krug was a feral thing on the keyboards, stretching and kicking and clawing at them like a wild cat. Dan Boeckner, thrashing and straining, quickly became six-odd lean feet of sweat.

The speaker stacks began to sway alarmingly, but no one noticed. A perfect storm of pop was building in the Showbox, and everyone was seeking the thrill of the ride. Together, we journeyed through Wolf Parade’s tempest, and then, all too soon, were delivered safely out into the night.

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The Mools ::: Photo by Brittney Bush Bollay

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The Mools ::: Photo by Brittney Bush Bollay

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Wolf Parade ::: Photo by Brittney Bush Bollay

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Wolf Parade ::: Photo by Brittney Bush Bollay

July 13, 2009

The Daily Choice: Sunset Rubdown – You Go On Ahead (Trumpet Trumpet II)

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Sunset Rubdown, the side project of Wolf Parade’s Spencer Krug, is an enigma to me.  I recall a moment in my old coffee shop, where in the midst of a spiraling, torrent of circus like music from the first Sunset Rubdown music, I had some sort of brain aneurysm and had to fumble my way to the volume knob and shut the whole mess down. A similarly befuddled customer shouted, “Thank you” from the back.

My expectations for new Sunset Rubdown were, as could be expected, low. Especially with the sort of fantasy-cum-indie rock concept I’d heard bandied in darkened rooms.  Yet, I’m shocked, stunned, horse-kicked in the beard by how much I enjoy this album.  Krug seems to have dropped a fair share of his experimental, well, fucking around, and has settled in to crafting epic pieces of brainy rock music.

This song especially, a sort of eight-bit infused peaking slow-track, caught me completely by surprise and has weaseled it’s way in to my daily mix.

Thank you Mr. Krug, your shift in musical composition has earnestly peaked my interest.  I bid you adieu.

Sunset Rubdown – You Go On Ahead (Trumpet Trumpet II)