Jazz in Norway
OSLO NORWAY: DAY 3
Oslo stops are getting pull-outs like moms copping alimony–did I tell you that I saw a helicopter yesterday? That I was on a boat and they served me beer? That Thor Heyerdahl has his own museum and I went to it, drunk? This place is incredible.
Sri Lankan Minister Assassinated
Don Juan Dracula
The name of an actual band, and starting next Tuesday, the name I will insist people call me in public. Synth-happy, Human League-y, these dudes kicked off Øya Festival day two, arriving in a chopper, playing some silly-ass electro shit that worked if only because they aren’t Fisherspooner.
I jest but let’s get down: You can actually draw the line here why DJD work and Fisherspooner don’t. FS have costumes and stage drama and self-satisfied cool but all these are knacks–totally incongruous with the music, totally boring and empty. DJD, like my boys Datarock, or your boys Devo, actually care about presenting a seamless aesthetic: Their songs are sexually absurd, hot but fading like early t.v. color, so we get slinky moustachios wielding keytars, bassists in eye-glitter but white sweater vests, a live high school marching band playing foreplay songs, cheerleaders in short skirts, but in braces too, and choreographed as if to play up their gawk.
If you don’t like it, you don’t like it, but you can’t say the shtick’s half-assed. Right in the middle of their best song, which is basically just a string of breathy curse words set to “Love Action,” the lead singer looked at his watch, started running off stage with the rest of the band behind him, and jumped back into the helicopter waiting for them in a clearing behind the crowd. They had only rented the helicopter for an hour, and had to return it. As they left the marching band (from the band’s small hometown, I’m told) played the theme from Police Academy, while the drill team grinded mischievously.
Noise at Øya
The Thing and Diskaholics Anonymous, two very different Mats Gustafsson-involved projects (the second’s drone-oriented, meditative, O’Rourkier; the first is “jazzy”), functioned as palate cleansers for most people–they’d walk by, listen reverently for five minutes, then move on to whatever black metal band was playing. Thurston Moore jumped on stage for the Thing’s set and did the having sex with guitar thing he considers to be the secret to compelling noise. Whatever dude, I read books inside Barnes & Noble so I don’t have to pay for them.
Hooray for Annie
Best I’ve seen her. The band was damn good, less session-y (though still session-y at times–guitar dude, cut back on the delay yo), really made good on Annie’s project to straddle pop in the studio and rock live. Songs like “The Greatest Hit” got tweaked a bit, the synth rattle reined in by a driving 4/4 that came across nice on the loud. “Chewing Gum” they sped up at the worthy expense of the studio version’s giggly told-you-so bounce, and that song “Kiss Me” was on some Cardigans Life shit–a good thing. Annie fell off the guide a few times (I blame the fog machines), but she’s quickly figuring out ways to project her small voice without compromising her ami charm. So that, and the best part was when somebody threw trash at her on stage, and she just winked back.
Apparently Pete Doherty was walking around and vomiting uncontrollably.
Hot Hot Heat
They made it–thank fucking God, Hot Hot Heat have arrived. They’re here.
Day 4 on the Monday edition–exclusive interviews!