Sunday, May 22, 2005

nee Manitoba

The Russian Futurists opened the show at the Modified last night; it was four Candadians playing pop music on keys/synths. It was fairly straightforward but solid.

Next up came the Junior Boys... which, apparently to Phoenix audiences, is a band where one of the two members is always sick. If it was schtick then it was well done, the lead singer certainly seemed about ready to fall over, pale and sweating before they did anything (though every band commented on how hot it was, Modified being sans AC and the high being well over 100F for the day.) The crowd seemed engaged from the beginning, as the guy started out by saying that he couldn't completely cancel another show in Phoenix so he'd try to make it through one song. After the opener the crowd cheered like they were calling the Boys back for an encore. All in all they played about 6 songs, all to solid crowd reactions. The music was, again, a synthy sort of dance pop, two guys up on stage switching off between guitars and synths.

Fortunately they did not play Summer in Abaddon as bumper music a third time - I had gotten up at 6am for work and the Pinback was putting me to sleep. It's not bad stuff, just soporific. The bumper music this time did, however, include "Head On" by the Jesus and Mary Chain.

At any rate Caribou came on stage and tore through a set of songs from Up in Flames and the recently released The Milk of Human Kindness. The basic set up was two drummers (one being Dan) with a guitarist in the middle... but there were racks of synths, bits of percussion and additional guitars for all to play. There was a DVD playing, projecting odd animation and playing a pre-recorded backing track but most of the music was live. The drums were fierce and refrained from merely doubling each other much of the time.

As with any set without a strong vocal presence it was probably music much more appreciated by those familiar with the tracks beforehand; I can see how someone hearing this for the first time might be impressed and enjoy the music but still get bored after the first several songs.


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