Interview: Little Brazil; Live Review: Ratatat…

Category: Blog — @ 5:31 pm March 26, 2009

The second photo in the Little Brazil story which I just posted (here) was taken right after the interview, when everyone was three sheets to the wind. After that, I went home and took a nap for a few hours, but was still dragging at Brad Hoshaw’s CD release show that night. Not these guys, though; they drink like champions.

Anyway, read the story and find out about Little Brazil’s new album, Son (which dropped on Tuesday), and the thinking that went into making it a “concept album.” There was some talk about performing the entire album in sequence at the CD release show this Saturday at The Waiting Room, but nothing was definite and I haven’t talked to the guys since the interview. We’ll see.

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Last night’s Ratatat show at The Slowdown sold out some time in the afternoon. Evan Mast said the duo had spent their off time between tours working on visuals for their staging, and the results were impressive — large, bright LED light bars framed the sides of the stage, lasers glowed overhead and a disturbing video that meshed abstract images with warped pop-culture icons played behind them — not that anyone was paying attention. They were too busy “throwing their hands in the air like they just don’t care,” or whatever. The floor was crushed with dancers trying to get into the mid-tempo groove. (See photo).

And if there’s a criticism to be levied, it’s that their music was too mid-tempo, and at times downright plodding, which was only enhanced by the massive (and typical) bass samples. The performance involved Mast on bass and autoharp and Mike Stroud’s whirring electric guitar played over prerecorded samples (drum tracks, synths, etc.). At its best, it was a huge carnival of sound that got the entire audience jumping. Too much, however, was low-energy and ornamental — motion picture soundtrack music. Their videos were absolutely inspired. One song took the video for Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al” — which also features Chevy Chase — and warped them into slithering freaks. Another chopped up scenes from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Predator” to make exploding bodies and buildings dance, while other cuts showed Arnold soaring through the air like a god. The most disturbing image: An Abba video distorted so that the singers’ eyes and mouth were turned upside down, creating grotesque masks. Creepy, campy fun.

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The Lepers and The Big Gigantic are at O’Leaver’s tonight. $5, 9 p.m. Go.

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