Tag Archives: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

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Hot Chip Spreads the Joy of Repetition

July 23rd, 2012

Hot Chip – Terminal 5 – July 20, 2012

Electronic dance music is experiencing a renaissance right now, and the London-based band Hot Chip is somewhere down one of the paths in this explosion of creative talent that’s pushing the genre in a thousand different directions. Never mind that half the band could double as high school chemistry teachers, their pioneering take on the world of electronic sound is unique in an otherwise cluttered genre. The group topped off a three-day stint here in New York City by playing a sold-out show at Terminal 5 on Friday. (On Wednesday they played a show in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park followed on Thursday by a terrific performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.)

Things kicked off with “Motion Sickness,” from their latest album, In Our Heads, a slow-building song that piled so many Talking Heads-esque polyrhythms onto one another that it almost hit a saturation point by the end. Just about every song they played was so beat driven that dancing became an involuntary reaction. Even “Boy From School,” one of their more somber recorded songs, was kicked up a few notches live, making it irresistibly dance-y. “Don’t Deny Your Heart” sounded like it was constructed entirely out of the greatest synth sounds of the late ’70s or early ’80s, a time when electronic music was restricted to the seldom few geeks who could control the not so user-friendly machines that manufactured electronic noises (people who, more often than not, also looked like high school chemistry teachers).

Hot Chip’s performance was also playful in terms of the audience’s expectations. Some of the best moments were interludes that popped up seemingly out of nowhere only to disappear without a trace after a few seconds. Such aural teases made for an engaging listening experience that’s unusual in dance music, which is otherwise known for its escapist quality. LCD Soundsystem taught the world it was possible to simultaneously be experimental, crowd-pleasing and catchy as hell. And Hot Chip is moving full speed ahead with that tradition. When singer Alexis Taylor sings, “The joy of repetition really is in you,” in “Over and Over,” to a sea of dancing bodies, it was more like an astute observation than a lyric. They’re on to something, but they already seem to know that. And whatever that something is, New York City can’t to get enough of it. —Dan Rickershauser

Photos courtesy of Diana Wong | dianawongphoto.com

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A Loud Night at Music Hall

June 26th, 2009

Dinosaur Jr. – Music Hall of Williamsburg – June 25, 2009

Dinosaur Jr. - Music Hall of Williamsburg - June 25, 2009
Warning: Dinosaur Jr. may not be good for your ears. Physically, that is. Sonically, they were just the right thing for everyone’s ears at the sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg last night. Walking the not-so thin line between melodic guitar virtuosity and a deafening cackle, Dinosaur Jr. front man J Mascis used all three giant sets of amplifiers behind him to treat the crowd to one of the venue’s loudest shows ever. Tucked in his cave of speakers, Mascis poked his head out for the shortest of vocal lines, as if he couldn’t wait to take a few steps back again to resume shredding through the band’s distinctly gritty musical repertoire.

The band also highlighted some of the music from their brand new album, Farm (which they promoted earlier in the day with a taping at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon), all the while hacking away at their fans’ eardrums. To describe Mascis’ guitar tone as fuzzy would be selling it short. His wicked riffs were often borderline indecipherable, especially with drummer Murph banging away and bassist Lou Barlow administering his own dose of distorted sonic beauty. But Mascis made that level of distortion totally listenable, a feat only possible for someone who is as terribly amazing at playing a guitar as he is. Dinosaur Jr. rumbled on through their set, inciting circle pits and screams galore from the crowd, never needing to apologize for just how loud they were rocking everyone who was there. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com