Another band that resides on the early-’90s fascination street we traveled down last week is slippery Gowanus duo Lightouts, who resurrect the melancholy chug and darkly sexy swagger of bands like The Cure, Girls Against Boys, JAMC and Afghan Whigs and impolitely jam it into the drum machine crunch of contemporary locals like Sleigh Bells, Year Of The Tiger and the Death Set. Their latest digital EP, The Eloise Suite, is their third one released this year; all of them sport gorgeous cover art and at least one telling cover (the Stone Roses, the La’s, David Bowie). “The Eloise Suite” is a three-minute 120 Minutes jammer owing to some Berlin-era Bowie chime-rock—and it now comes with a music video that can be best described as “Kubrick’s ‘Addicted To Love.'”
What is “The Eloise Suite” about?
Greg Nelson: Trying to figure out why the fuck we want what we want. Having to deal with the consequences of acting on desires that we might not wholly understand and that probably aren’t necessarily in our long-term best interests
Gavin Rhodes: The title came about after Charlie Sheen’s romp at the Plaza Hotel. The juxtaposition of his kids sleeping in the famous pink suite while he was being “escorted” down the hall fit the song well.
What inspired it musically?
Rhodes: I instantly pictured it as a crunchy but danceable tune. In terms of musical influences it’s a bit all over the place: a little fuzzed out Pulp in the verse, Fugazi on the “You can’t let lovers get you down” bit, Hot Hot Heat—remember them?—for the solo, and finally a nod to Nirvana’s “Pay To Play” for the outro.
What inspired it lyrically?
Nelson: As far as the title goes “The Eloise Suite” is the children’s character-inspired suite at the Plaza where Charlie Sheen had his run-in. The song was written before the incident took place, but the title and the overall dynamics of that episode just seemed to fit the themes of the song in a tidy and strangely elegant way… We have long-term wants like having a family, being financially stable, being a productive person, but those are often directly countered by our short-term wants which come more in the form of temptation—sex, blowing cash, doing “un-productive” things—pretty much name your vice. But this isn’t some righteous judgmental statement—those short-term wants can be great and it can be just as damaging to repress those desires as it is to act on them. As the song says “Is it wrong to want a little satisfaction?” But of course you have to be ready to accept those consequences. We tried to depict this in the video through having a sexy and seductive element via the dancers and aerialist, but adding violent and even freaky elements through their zombie-demon madness…
Were there any mishaps while shooting the video?
Nelson: Gavin’s wardrobe malfunction when he ripped his shirt off during our closing cover of Misfits “Skulls” during the live performance part of the shoot. Not sure we’ll be bearing that much skin regularly, although our dancers definitely will.
What’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?
Nelson: Right now it’s Korzo in the South Slope. They deep-fry a burger in Hungarian flat bread that is fucking crazy. The Voice just named it best burger in NYC.
Rhodes: For me it’s Taro Sushi on Flatbush. They moved recently to bigger space that’s really nice. They’re the only Japanese-run sushi joint in the area—fastidious attention to presentation, great service and super fresh, amazing sushi. It’s not fancy either.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 13, 2011