Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Interlude: You Can Play These Songs With Chords

Irving Plaza has become a pretty popular stop of late, actually eclipsing the stalwart Bowery Ballroom, and I have to give Live Nation and pals some credit for booking some interesting acts over the last couple months. I do have to say that the lighting is pretty terrible, though. Anyhow, Stereolab played a bunch of shows here at the beginning of October, and I was fortunate enough to catch their final show on the 4th. Thanks to Catherine at Beggars!


Stereolab's singer Lætitia Sadier also fronts Monade, which admittedly isn't much a divergence from her main band. The songs aren't quite as immediate, but Sadier's francophone vocals are always wonderful. Their third album, Monstre Cosmic, came out in March, and while Stereolab deservedly gets more attention, this band is quite good as well.

MySpace: Monade
Official Site: Monade

Le Loup

A acquaintance that I ran into during last year's CMJ Marathon raved about Le Loup, but I never managed to give them a proper listen until this night, despite acquiring their verbosely titled album, The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium Assembly. I didn't see Nicole Keenan, who may or may not still be in the band, but they played a strange and appealing set amidst the dark stagelights, with frontman Sam Simkoff hopping around like an M.C., before settling down with a banjo.

MP3: Le Loup - We Are Gods! We Are Wolves!
MySpace: Le Loup
Official Site: Le Loup


It's a shame that Stereolab has never attracted more than an underground following. In a fairer parellel universe, their techy, breezy music would top charts. But for now, they remain a medium-sized band that is replete with warped pop gems. What surprised me was the amount of muscle behind the songs, old and new, as the band erupted into gratuitous jam after gratuitous jam. Perhaps if people knew how much this band rocked out, they'd be playing a bigger venue. As good as they are, the band probably has hit a bit of a plateau. Emperor Tomato Ketchup is regarded by some as their best work, and it's the one I'm most familiar with - "Percolator" and "Cybele's Reverie" are great - and their subsequent work hasn't quite hit that peak, but I need to do some digging.

Here's a live set, recorded on March 21st, 2007, at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 club. Enjoy.

1. Come and Play in the Milky Night
2. Eye of the Volcano
3. Vonal Declosion
4. Visionary Roadmaps
5. Need To Be
6. Interlake
7. Pack Yr Romantic Mind
8. Excursion into Oh, A-Oh
9. I Feel The Air (Of Another Planet)
10. Mountain
11. Miss Modular
12. Widow Weirdo
13. U.H.F. - MFP
15. Vodiak
16. Cybele's Reverie
17. ...Sudden Stars
18. Outer Bongolia

MySpace: Stereolab
Official Site: Stereolab


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