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Thursday, January 24, 2008

More Tonight in Music: HEALTH, Mr Lif, Beausoleil

posted by on January 24 at 14:47 PM


Club Pop!: White Williams, HEALTH, David Wolf, Colby B, Glitterpants

(Chop Suey) Los Angeles ALL-CAPS-busting quartet HEALTH has a slight case of schizophrenia. To wit: The band has two MySpace pages, one for “noise” and another for “disco.” The disco page is basically just extra room for their rapidly expanding catalog of remixes (by such acts as Crystal Castles, Curses!, and Narctrax), although their main music page also hosts a couple remixes. What makes HEALTH so appealing for remixing is that they make noise that’s as sinuous and groovy as it is discordant. On songs like “Triceratops,” the band is alternately, and then simultaneously, muscular and fey, driven by wild percussive frenzy and guitar skronk but surrounded by echoing vocals and synth drones. On “Crimewave” (as much a hit for Crystal Castles as for HEALTH), tribal drumming and bursts of guitar offset subliminally pop vocals. Their live set should be an electrifying clash of sounds. ERIC GRANDY


Mr. Lif, the Perceptionists, Dim Mak, Rudy & the Rhetoric

(Nectar) There have only been, like, three live hiphop albums ever. It’s hard for charisma and stage presence—key factors in any good hiphop show—to come across on a CD. Which is why Mr. Lif’s live record, recorded at Boston’s legendary Middle East nightclub, kicks so much ass. With great crowd interaction, 12-minute freestyles, smart rhymes, and interspersed skits about the record industry, Lif’s live act is more variety show than rap show. While Lif can be hit or miss in the studio—Mo’ Mega was terrible, I Phantom wasn’t—he’s a beast onstage. And backed by Akrobatik and Fakts One—the other two-thirds of the Perceptionists—Lif can spit about washing his dreadlocks, or flip a track about a world-ending nuclear holocaust, and either way you’ll end up rapping along and nodding your head. JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE

Beausoleil with Michael Doucet

(Tractor) Around 250 years ago, a bunch of French frontiersmen lived in Nova Scotia, in Canada. Then—because of a treaty signed in the Netherlands designed to end the War of Spanish Succession—the British took over and exiled the French. A few rebelled, led by Joseph “Beausoleil” Broussard, but they lost, and moped down the East Coast, eventually settling in Louisiana and turning into Cajuns. The band Beausoleil, led by brothers Michael and David Doucet, has been playing that bayou music since 1975, and it’s great: more dynamic than rock ‘n’ roll, more invigorating than bluegrass, more exciting than folk—accordion, fiddle, bass, and guitar, playing blue notes for people who want to drink and dance. I got my first Beausoleil tape when I was 12 years old, and I’m listening to it right now. BRENDAN KILEY

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