Going back to last Thursday, most of the general local glitterati made their way to the west side in the 40th to take an evening free music. You had the USS Intrepid to the north and Circle Lines Cruises to the south. In the middle, electronic ingenue Grimes turned a bunch of nobs and sang -- well, what I believe to be singing.
I knew I wasn't going to enjoy her set, but I was going to give her a shot. You never know. I didn't like Crystal Castles at first, but when I saw them live, I changed my tune. Not going to happen this time around.
First off, that voice. It's the sound you make if you were mocking somebody while your hand is mimicking your mouth. It's mousey, has no depth and doesn't inspire any emotion.
Then the music isn't anything special, just more recycled 80s synth pop. It seems specifically made to annoy me. I do enjoy her one hit, "Oblivion", because of the Giorgio Moroder riffs. It's cute, like a bunch of ducks crossing the road type of cute.
As a live act, it's just a chick singing over her iPod. It's the same thing Dan Deacon does -- screwing around with a bunch of nobs to make it seem like what they doing is complex. For a girl who has such an outgoing personality and loves to dance to her music, the table and electronics is holder her back. My advice, get a DJ and a live drummer. Then, she can be more engaged with her audience. Heck, I'm sure she's a nice kid, but really, let's make it a show.
Finally, the booty dancers -- not sure what the thinking was behind that. Either it was done as joke in the same vein her Oblivion video teased/celebrated the bros and sports culture. Or, she felt the booty dancers were needed to enhance her music.
Grimes wasn't my thing, but Wild Nothing and Diiv were. People playing instruments in front of a live audience. It's a novel concept.
Obviously, Wild Nothing worship The Smiths and the of-woes-is-me sound. They make it work because song has a nice punchy rhythm with resorting to heavy electronics. They use to synth parts sparingly and let the guitars breathe with the echoing vocals. When they do want to crank up those spacey, dreams sounds, they make to give everything else a boost.
Diiv is one of the most buzzed about new local acts of the year. I'll jump on the band wagon for these guys. I really dug them. The were a little mangled but they had a infectious energy. Doused is my favorite track from them, it has a great drive to it. They are in the same spectrum as Wild Nothing, Also, the same label, Captured Tracks. They geared more towards Jesus & Mary Chain territory with their warped out melodies layered over New Order-guitar riff. They were the most lively act of the evening.