Friday, January 18, 2008

Music Review:: Louis XIV || Hot Hot Heat || Editors at Terminal 5

After the most logistically advanced night of my music review career involving late-night car services to places named Armonk NY, a La Quinta Inn, and three people from my office who picked me up at an ungodly hour on the way to Connecticut for a full-on business pitch Friday AM, I have successfully returned to tell my tale.

Terminal 5, the new venue on 56th & 11th, is much more solid in the way of structural underpinnings than the ramshackle fire traps in the East Village where the floors undulate after the music starts and the crowd gets bouncy. I'm a fan of cement underfoot... but kinda missed downtown's sleazy old world charm.

Two levels of balconies provide ample viewing angles for punctual ticket-holders who capture barstools up front. Linda and I salmoned around under them on the main floor. We sandwiched ourselves about fifteen feet off stage left in between a muscular black dude and some bitch who kept bludgeoning me with her enormous handbag.

Louis XIV played a peppy fun to watch set, despite their black and white outfits and matching black and white instruments. It was like staring at a pack of musical oreos. Linda remarked their music lacked intrigue. Even with the cello and the violin and the piano and the boys cheerful likability, the songs had a thinness about them. Kind of like the hollow ring of a half-empty keg of beer.

Hot Hot Heat achieved memorable with a flamboyant carrot-topped front man in impossibly tight jeans. The first time he squatted down underneath his keyboard I crossed my fingers there'd be some dicey denim-rending fleshy stage action. That would be something you don't see everyday at an indie music event. Except nothing happened and my wonder turned to what the hell is he doing down there under his keyboard? Snacking was the only thing I could come up with.

The music was good. A little small for the cavernous venue and bordering on semi-sloppy from a They Weren't Exactly "Tight" angle... but diverse and well crafted. I will purchase their new album. I dig their groove.

As soon as The Editors appeared on stage with their massive lights and massive sound, you immediately realized how big big is. They filled up every spidery space in the room and in your brain. Until the Uni-Song phenomenon kicked in and individual tunes coagulated into one fuzzy mass and you teetered on the edge of bored.

The only track that stands out is Lights. And maybe Munich. I would lodge both inside more of my playlists except their mp3s were recorded at such a screeching volume it would be a safety risk. Did you know more people go to the emergency room each year from blown eardrums than from chainsaw accidents?

The Editors have a solid following, including the requisite fat girl on the second-floor balcony mouthing every lyric with great emotion. I overheard a coolster compare the band to Interpol. True, both bands have rockin' bass players and a thing for Joy Division, but Interpol graduated and the Editors are in eighth grade.
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