18 December 2008

Why doesn't money grow on trees?!

I'm already booked into concerts for: NIN, Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, Coldplay, Kings of Leon, and Big Day Out...

Of Montreal in NZ - Wednesday 25th February, Kings Arms, Auckland - ($45)
For eleven years, Kevin Barnes and the gifted musicians that comprise Of Montreal have been building an appreciative audience, raised to fever pitch by the band’s highly theatrical live performances. The band was formed in Athens,Georgia in 1997 as part of the second wave of bands from the Elephant 6 Collective that had given us Neutral Milk Hotel and Apples in Stereo. Supposedly, the name Of Montreal was inspired by a woman from that city who Kevin Barnes once dated, but that story can change. What we do know about Of Montreal is that especially since the release of Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer, the giddy pop of their younger days has been combined with some of the most relentlessly attractive melodies and heartfelt lyrics in all of popular music, ever.

Traces of glam pop, synthpop, vaudeville, krautrock, reggae and afrobeat have gone into the mix, and the brew was brought to the boil in October this year, with the release of Skeletal Lamping. This album was released in the States in ten different formats, including conventional CD and vinyl, as well as t-shirts, tote bags and a paper lantern, with some variations including a digital download code for the album itself. Within weeks, Skeletal Lamping reached number one on emusic’s Most Downloaded Albums Chart.

Metronomy and The Teenagers - Fri, 09 January 09, Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland ($42)
Sure, the NZ Summer brings us many great shows, but not all of them have to be outside in the presence of thousands of others. And not every summer double-header involves two scoops of ice cream and a cone: the unmissable double-header of Summer 2009 in Auckland and Wellington is set to be a pairing of two acts escaping the Euro winter – Metronomy and The Teenagers, playing at Bodega and the Kings Arms, indoors and at night . . .

Joseph Mount writes and records music using the name Metronomy. Oscar Cash, Gabriel Stebbing and Joseph Mount perform that music live, and still call themselves Metronomy. Together, they will kick off 2009 in New Zealand with the biggest bang possible. The new Metronomy album Nights Out – modestly described by Mount as "a half-arsed concept album about going out and having a crap time", and by others as “a wonky love-child of Giorgio Moroder, New Order, Pet Shop Boys and Unfinished Sympathy . . . ” – has already received the type of across-the-boards acclaim from all the places that matter, with tunes like ‘My Heart Rate Rapid’ and ‘Holiday’ radio hits across the b-net airwaves.

Metronomy has been responsible for some very fine remixes of songs by Lykke Li, Klaxons, Franz Ferdinand, Kate Nash, and Gorillaz; and is also an in-demand producer, lately producing the new Roots Manuva single ‘Let The Spirit’ from Slime and Reason, and the debut single from up-and-comer thecocknbullkid, released on Metronomy’s own Need Now Future label. However, with the steadily-increasing success of Nights Out and the building momentum of live shows worldwide, it is likely that 2009 will bring Metronomy mega-attention and success not involving anybody else’s music: the band recently completed a headlining British tour, and sent shockwaves through the festival circuit with their “light show worn on their clothing” (yes, that’s correct).

The other half of the bill, French trio The Teenagers, was described by ‘proper newspaper’ The Guardian as “non-teenage males who revel in gratuitous swearing and lust after anything in a skirt, and have based a whole debut album on it”. While this may well be the case, The Teenagers have perhaps thrilled more listeners than they’ve ever annoyed. Reality Check, the aforementioned debut, along with the single ‘Starlett Johannson’, is a satirical, Gallic-accented minor-masterpiece immersed in pop culture, adolescent smut, and the-night-before-the-morning-after; all set to highly-infectious tunes ranging in style from sweet electro-pop to Gainsbourg-ian grandeur, with a gust of pheromones and with a warm purr of guitars.

The Teenagers -- Quinten Dalafon, Dorian Dumont, and Michael Szpinner -- have ignited the imaginations of clued-up music lovers across the globe with a curve ball of pervy wit, classic synth-work, and sunshine strumming: and what other kind of summer romance are you expecting for 2009.

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