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Friday, May 4, 2007

Feel It Intensify

posted by on May 4 at 14:05 PM

!!!, Mr Tube & The Flying Objects, Telepathe @ Neumo’s - 05/03/07

Holy fucking shit!!! After Soulwax last week and LCD Soundsystem last night, I didn’t know if I’d even the energy for !!!. But as soon as they started playing, I was rejuvenated.

!!! and LCD Soundsystem are similar bands in a lot of ways (right down to some shared membership), but there are some striking contrasts between them, especially when it comes to their live shows. Both bands depend on having a host of talented musicians on stage, but with LCD Soundsystem it’s clear that James Murphy is in charge, even as it’s clear that he deeply values his band. With !!!, there’s no apparent leader. Nic Offer may sing on most of the band’s songs, and his dancing is certainly a show in and of itself, but when he’s not on the mic he’s just as happy goofing around to the side or the back of the stage. And while both bands dispatch totally overwhelming dance missives, LCD’s are much more controlled, with Murphy and crew keeping things pretty tightly structured, even when playing extended versions of their songs. !!! are way more comfortable riding the occasional groove out in a song or descending into the odd drum-circle freak out. With LCD Soundsystem, there’s a sense of security—you know these songs are going to come out perfect—but with !!! there’s a thrilling sense that their collective energy could come apart at any minute, making it all the more satisfying when they hold it together.

The band didn’t fuck around with any b-game album cuts either, playing nothing but floor-shaking hits. They played a lot of songs from Myth Takes, beginning with the album’s tail-wagging title track and moving on to do “All My Heroes Are Weirdos,” “Must Be The Moon,” and “Heart of Hearts.” The tracks all sounded great live—!!! cut some good records, but they are absolutely a live band, and their songs take on an entirely other energy in the concert setting. “Heart of Hearts” benefitted especially from the presence of guest vocalist and former Seattle resident Shannon Funchess, who was rocking a vintage “U Can’t Touch This” t-shirt. They also played some older stuff: “Pardon My Freedom,” the epic “Me & Giuliani Down By The Schoolyard,” and closing the set with a fucking inspired rendition of “Intensify” (minor gripe: why weren’t more people singing the call and response parts?). The whole crowd was going completely nuts and dancing their asses off for pretty much the entire show. Good show, Seattle! (But another minor gripe: why so many party shirts, stupid hats, and plastic beads? Did Cinco de Mayo come early this year or something?)

Mr Tube & The Flying Objects seem like a natural fit for !!! on paper: Former punk/post-hardcore dudes (Paul Zappoli of Black Heart Procession for sure, and my friend Christian thinks a couple of the horn players might have been in Rocket From the Crypt) get together with a couple drummers and a few saxophones to make something funkier or more fun than their “serious” bands. But on stage, it didn’t quite work. After an initial blast from a smoke machine, the band launched into a brassy, bluesy, but ultimately tepid groove and rode it for most of their set. The spaced-out disco meditation “Long Night Review” was a the single compelling exception to a set of affected blues vocals, Chicago-esque bombast, and plodding funk.

I only caught one song of Telepathe’s set, so I can’t entirely dismiss them, but what I saw reminded me of the kind of band you could find in any given dorm room during my stint at the Evergreen State College: a drum machine, a guy on guitar, two girls listlessly rapping/singing, and lots of psychedelic sweaters. Maybe in another context (say, an Olympia house party) it would be rad, but warming up the crowd last night, not so much.

RSS icon Comments


So fucking inspiring seeing a room full of people absolutely lose it last night and the night before. My neck still hurts from dancing so hard.

Dear Seattle, it's ok--and actually fun--to dance at shows. Don't be afraid.

Mr. Tube (worst band name ever) reminded me of a blues-y Happy Mondays. I fucking hate the HMs.

Something about Telepathe won me over in the end.

Again, great show.

Posted by Whatevs is a dick | May 4, 2007 2:36 PM

!!! = amazing.

the clean cut guys behind us hardly moving the entire show that felt compelled to YELL the "i don't give a fuck.." parts in my ear = not amazing.

Posted by Jedd! | May 5, 2007 6:06 PM


Posted by Bill | May 12, 2007 6:22 PM

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