Friday, February 15, 2008

Thank God it’s Friday’s song of the day

I’ve decided to try something new, namely focusing Friday posts on music, just as Ben gets the rock out every Tuesday over at ICBINB!. (What, you never stole a good idea?)

You probably don’t need me to tell you that Brooklyn is a hotbed of new bands right now. The suddenly inescapable Vampire Weekend, the buzz-getting Yeasayer, MGMT, Mobius Band, Tigercity… the list goes on (and includes the not-as-new Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Les Savy Fav and French Kicks among others).

The interesting thing about this latest bunch of Brooklyn bands, besides how good they are, is the surprising influences on display in many of them. Vampire Weekend makes everyone think of Graceland-era Paul Simon and maybe Talking Heads. Mobius Band occasionally reminds me of the Dream Academy. Tigercity sounds kinda like Roxy Music, Spandau Ballet and (gasp!) Hall and Oates.

But whereas it often seems like Interpol is really just pretending to be Joy Division* these bands are taking their influences and retooling them in an interesting way I can’t quite define. Maybe it’s that their reference points tend to be slick and polished but the bands themselves have retained a raw, unfinished quality. It’s like their DIY ethic is coming through.

Even Vampire Weekend’s video for “Mansard Roof” seems like a modern-day, low-fi version of Duran Duran’s “Rio” (without all the girls) with hints of INXS’s “The One Thing” (again, without all the girls).

I’ve been hearing a fair amount of Brooklyn-based MGMT (it’s pronounced “management”) lately. Earlier this week I stumbled upon their song “Kids” and really dug it. Now you’re going to stumble upon it too.

Thank me later. With beer.

* Yes, I’ve oversimplified this, and yes I’m piling on, but you’re only pissed because you know it’s kinda true.


Anonymous said...

Another one from Brooklyn (or at least NYC) ... White Rabbits. Good stuff.
- DY

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Mobius Band sometimes reminds me of Orchestral Manouvers In The Dark. In a good way.
- DY