Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Interlude: You Belong

One of the more successful disco revivals this year has been Hercules and Love Affair. The name is fitting, as the band incorporates a pantheon of romantics: the jewelry designer Kim Ann Foxman, CocoRosie collaborator Nomi and the enigmatic Antony of Antony and the Johnsons. Although Antony isn't part of the live band, their August 8th performance at Irving Plaza was a full blown production, with a horn section, go-go dancers and its charismatic frontwomen. It's hard to remember that Andy Butler is the man behind all of the theatrics, as he remained in the background, intent on the pounding beats that make the music so lively. But he occasionally teased the crowd, which really needed no encouragement at all, saying that in other cities on their tour, "people danced a lot."

And it's extremely difficult not to move to the catchy songs that make up their self-titled debut; despite the underlying melancholy (including a cover of "Don't Fear the Reaper") and questions of identity, this is confidently pop. Nomi was particularly outgoing, going through a slew of costume changes and gamely replacing Antony's alto. Kim Ann was a more settled presence, but her vocals were equally impressive. There's an incredible amount of talent here, and it was fused together that was, despite all the drum machines and synths, pleasantly organic. For the record, I think Philip Sherburne's review is a bit inflated, but one thing's for sure: this band is an original.

MP3: Hercules and Love Affair - Don't Fear the Reaper (Live)
MySpace: Hercules and Love Affair
Official Site: Hercules and Love Affair

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