Sunday, April 15, 2007

Interlude: Dance Party Plus

Crashin'In is a weekly concert series that takes place every Friday at Galapagos, and it's great for a number of reasons. There's a real sense of community that you don't really get in various one-of shows; this is really a group of people that are united in their appreciation for music (and willing to stay up late for it). It's a showcase for local bands that even active denizens of the blogosphere would probably not hear, or have the impetus to see live. And, from a personal standpoint, there's wicked electronic action, courtesy of the inter-set DJs.

However, I would never have stumbled upon such a great event if it weren't for the fact that Headlights were playing a special late show, and major thanks to Seth at Polyvinyl and Lio at Kanine for setting all of this up.


I was pretty intrigued from the moment Chairlift began setting up. How often do you see a band with four keyboards - including one played by the drummer? This curiosity bloomed into immediate appreciation as the band started out with Mojavesque guitar twang, with singer Caroline's pretty, countrified delivery reinforcing the resemblance. Although the rest of the set didn't deviate much from this restrained volume, the appeal of the songs definitely outweighed a lack of rawkin'. Also, the occasional addition of tambourine and xylophone kept things upbeat and, as Caroline demonstrated enthusiastically, there were times were the music was danceable. Consider me a fan.

MySpace: Chairlift

So, as I mentioned, the DJs did a the great job done in between sets, and I was pleased to recognize a number of the songs. While the following might not be precisely the same mixes that I heard, they should definitely give you a good indication of the vibe.

MP3: Bloc Party - Banquet (Phones Disco Edit)
MP3: Justice vs Simian - We Are Your Friends
MP3: The Long Blondes - Giddy Stratosphere
MP3: Röyksopp - What Else Is There (Jacques Lu Cont Radio Mix)
MP3: Tiga - You Gonna Want Me (Extended Vocal)


Headlights' set began with an introspective mood, with Erin Fein's murmur awash in ambience. But they struck immediacy with the first chord of "TV," and the set's momentum continued wonderfully from there on, progressing effortlessly into "Put Us Back Together Right" and "Lions." I've been enjoying these songs in their album forms for the last few months, and it was a real treat to hear them live. While there aren't as many "special effects" in the this setting, the band was loud and confident, although the instruments did tend to bury the vocals a little.

Things really picked up when the crowd mobilized, really justifying the "indie disco" line on one of the event's fliers by dancing exuberantly. As the band noted, "No one was dancing at Pianos," and the passion that manifested itself at Crashin'In really differentiated the event from more standard fare concerts. Even within the confines of the traditional DJ set, there's some preconception of what the crowd should be doing (e.g. raving), but this was pure spontaneity. As awesome as Headlights is (doubly so for doing a two shows in a night), there's no doubt that the night was really enhanced by the crowd.

And really, this is what makes the whole experience worthwhile.

For more on Headlights, check out yesterday's Washington Square News.

MP3: Headlights - Lions
MP3: Headlights - Lullabies
MP3: Headlights - Put Us Back Together Right
MP3: Headlights - TV
MySpace: Headlights
Tour Dates: Headlights
Buy: Here


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I just remixed that justice track and here is a link i changed the lyrics to "you are alone again, we'll never be your friends" super depressing!!! :)

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