Line Out Music & Nightlife


News & Arts

« Ministry Bassist Found Dead | "Friends Like These" by Mobius... »

Monday, October 22, 2007

Modeselektor, Mobius Band, Matthew Dear

posted by on October 22 at 9:20 AM

(originally posted on 10/21/07)

Modeselektor @ Chop Suey - 10/19/07

1660386566_80a76b6de8.jpgModeselektor and Jacob London by Donte Parks

I was expecting Friday’s Broken Disco to be one of the biggest yet for the monthly electronic dance night—Modeselektor’s last Seattle appearance filled and killed the Re-Bar—but I definitely wasn’t expecting a line-out-the-door capacity crowd. It was a huge success for Broken Disco and a good indicator of the strength of Seattle’s electronic music scene (as crowded and hype as it got for Modeselektor, there was just as much energy from the crowd for locals Jacob London). The overwhelming attendance even has some people on the division list wondering if Broken Disco has become too popular. The answer is perhaps just that Modeselektor has become too popular for a 500 person venue, and that Broken Disco is doing just fine—we’ll find out next month, when the night hosts an all-local line up.

Modeselektor’s set was as incendiary and fun as expected, a high-energy hybrid of beats, dub, devastating synths, and stuttering edits. At one point, the duo dropped “Ghostride the Whip” over their own swaggering beats, and it made perfect sense—Modeselektor are hyphy as fuck, they’re just a little more East Berlin than East Bay.

Matthew Dear, Mobius Band @ Crocodile - 10/20/07

1669222330_c42c5a802d.jpgMatthew Dear by Donte Parks

If Modeselektor drew a much bigger crowd than expected, the Ghostly double-up of Matthew Dear and Modius Band was strangely under-attended. As Mobius Band began their set, there were maybe a couple dozen people there, and at least 20% of them were music critics. It was not looking good. But Mobius Band played like it was a full house ready to rock. Their shaggy bearded bassist/singer shuffled and bounced and made cute not annoying bass faces, the guitarist/singer managed to shred while looking totally dapper and calm, and their drummer kept hitting groovy off-beats and nailing impossibly fast electronic fills. The two singers both alternated between guitars, Akai MPCs, and keyboards, occasionally managing a couple things at a time.

I’d only heard a few songs of theirs before this show, and generally thought of them as a pretty, mellow, but not too memorable pop band, but, live, their songs became energetic, their melodies and choruses catchy. The songs with the bassist singing were especially resonant. He doesn’t sing with a lot of range, but there’s something warm and inviting in his not-quite-monotone (it kind of reminded me of the Stills, if anyone still remembers them). The band was They totally tight. Four out of four Stranger music critics agreed: “They’re really good.”

Matthew Dear and his Big Hands was a three piece consisting of Dear on vocals, laptop, effects, visuals, and percussion; a drummer; and a bassist. Their renditions of Dear’s songs—mostly stuff from his excellent new Asa Breed, but also earlier track “Tide” and the breakout “Dog Days”—were pretty much faithful to the recordings, only with the added muscle and sweat of live drums, and with Dear’s deep, reverb-drenched voice more up front in the mix. They totally nailed the melancholy groove thing that Dear does so well in the studio, especially on the sublime single “Deserter.”

One odd thing was how the band would build up a groove, ride it for a few minutes, and then suddenly stop. That’s kind of how Dear’s tracks work on record, but it was jarring live; the crowd wanting to get in a groove and stay there, but they had to keep starting over with each new song. “Don & Sherri” and “Deserter” both built into powerful grooves shortly before their abrupt endings, and it would have been sweet if the band had kept a continuous beat going from song to song. I also would’ve been happier if a pair of mid-tempo ballads halfway through the set had been cut in favor of “It’s Over Now” or even an upbeat instrumental.

But these are minor complaints. For the most part, the show was fantastic. Dear is an arresting front-man (he has the face, height, build, and style of a male model) and an amiable entertainer. Highlights included his chagrined acknowledgment of “Don & Sherri’s” licensing for a commercial campaign (“Thanks, Hummer, for the new computer”), the same song’s Snoop Dogg-esque vocal slide whistling, the tom rhythm toward the end of “Deserter,” and the interpolation of Daft Punk’s “Teachers” over the beginning of “Dog Days.” Maybe the electronic crowd was all too hung-over from Broken Disco to make it, but they missed out.

RSS icon Comments


When I turned around during the encore to see what was going on behind me, I was shocked to find nobody. And I was just a couple people back from the stage. Very good show, though at times Dear was mixed a little too high.

Posted by chris | October 21, 2007 4:29 PM

that would be five out of five critics, eric.

Posted by jz | October 21, 2007 5:02 PM

Where's the long-form journalistic slog post on the sublime cover band? Or no, it should be a think piece!

Posted by ross | October 22, 2007 2:32 PM

I really wish I would of made it out to see Mathew Dear. I'm shocked that this show wasn't packed.

Posted by TJ | October 22, 2007 4:35 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).