Last night, P&C got out to review one of its favorite outfits, the brilliant electronic duo Simian Mobile Disco, for their second go-around this year at The Paradise. Boston was the first stop in a pretty splendid fall stateside tour in support of their sophomore LP, Temporary Pleasure, which dropped here on September 15. Vacillating betwixt their live show and a host of DJing gigs, the boys set to wow crowds with their hustle–oh, and the bug zap lights, too.
As the lights dimmed and the hipster kitties wearing tank tops for dresses, which I have now named “tankards”, filed into the Paradise last night, I sat and looked on perched in a bar stool enjoying a cold one when my phone chirped: “Less stinky. Driving.”
It was a one Esteban Miguel, P&C oft reviewing and good friend, informing me that he’d showered up after his hockey game and was making an impromptu attempt to get to the gig; to use a very apropos term, he was hustling.
And by a mere two tunes into Simian Mobile Disco’s robust one hour set last night, Esteban was by my side knocking his head in tune. Before long, he was right in line–nodding and bobbing to tunes “It’s the Beat”, “Hustler”, and “10,000 Horses Can’t Be Wrong”–all the while looking severely confused during the second half of the set after whispering in my ear, “Uh, did that dude just flash me a gang sign?”
No gangs here, for sure. The Dise was packed with fresh-faced hipsters wearing cardys, leggings, and various footwear unsuitable to a club gig. Case in point, two girls make eye contact, recognize each other as long lost camp friends, squeal, run toward each other, before one face plants directly on Steve’s shoes to a chorus of “oohs” and “she took a haaard fall”. I declared to Steve I thought it was my Native American juju working on the hip and swinging youngster, for she sported on her feet some bright red knock-off “Native” moccasins a la these ones and looked a fool all the way down toward ground.
The highlights on the night came when a sick overture waved through my gut as the bug lights worked full blast as James Ford and Jas Shaw sustained their attack, built it up again, and blasted into two new tracks off Temporary Pleasure: “Audacity of Huge” and “Cruel Intentions”. The entire crowd shimmied and shaked what their Mum’s gave (or didn’t give for that matter!) them before throwing their hands up as the choruses banged out.
But the interesting live mixes of “Audacity of Huge” and “Cruel Intentions” really brought the tunes to a new level; on the Chris Yeasayer vocal track, a few repeats and blips and bleeps introduced a new vibe during the tune’s breakdown, and the manipulation of Beth Ditto’s vocals on “Cruel Intentions” allowed for the track to last a bit longer and the crowd certainly embraced The Gossip frontwoman’s wonder, even if it was merely blasted through some 3 foot speakers and not her voice to mic.
The quick set ended with an equally quick encore–Temporary Pleasure, for sure–which ushered in an audience who had reached solace state, as the kitties skanked in slow-mo unison to the brilliant 2007 track “I Believe” before ending on a rather abrupt path of gravely fuzz and generally painful noise. While it wasn’t the way I expected SMD to end a set, it was certainly new; unfortunately for the crowd, they didn’t know what to do with all that noise, grind, and squeak, and stood mouths agape with a look of, “Is it over?”
File Under: Unfortunately for us, it was. For the rest of the country, not so.