!!! and Lansing-Dreiden

Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so I went to see !!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk) and Lansing-Dreiden the other day at the Black Cat. I'd really been looking forward to it, as I really like !!!'s album Louden Up Now, and they're one of those bands that sound like they'd be good live (check out their sound clips.) Lansing-Dreiden I had been liking as well - they're a weird art collective/band who are pretty mysterious - they don't do press and things of that nature. Pitchfork gave them a stupid and terrible review that barely mentioned the music. I meant to write my own review, their CD was interesting, it's basically divided into thirds - 1/3 60s ish garage rock, 1/3 80s new wave, and 1/3 80s electro.

Lansing-Dreiden was strange, however. For one thing it's weird to see a band you've listened to a lot but never seen pictures of before - you sort of make up your own idea of what the band looks like. I pictured the band as two skinny artsy looking guys, when in fact it was about 5 or 6 guys, with two lead singers singing almost everthing simultaneously. Apparently they even change their line-ups when they perform, having different line-ups perform different shows. Which is sort of an interesting idea, questioning the idea of a band. This band was called LD Section II, which I guess means section 2 of the group. I asked one of the singers after the show if they switched line-ups and he didn't really clarify it, he said this album "was a whole different approach" or something, and wouldn't elaborate.

But that being said, they were sort of strange performers. Both the lead singers seemed kind of awkward and tenative, like they hadn't performed very often. The music sounded pretty good, especially the loud guitars, but I wasn't that into the show. (Picture of them below)

lansing-dreiden 3

Then I waited. !!! took forever to get ready, around an hour, which was pretty annoying. The DJ (I didn't even know the Black Cat had a DJ booth) played lots of cool old funk and soul records, but it was still annoying. Eventually they came onstage, the lead singer hobbling over on crutches and saying they were late, hence the delay. However, when they erupted into music, it sounded pretty spectacular.

The first few songs were flat out amazing - they're great, energetic performers and the sound was really good. The lead singer especially was impressive, considering his foot was in a cast, dancing around like a wild man. And they had three and sometimes four percussionists, and you could hear them all, which was pretty crazy. The energy went down a bit as the show went on, and the lead singer admonished the crowd for not dancing, but what can you do, it was a typical DC crowd. It was also extremely loud throughout (I had to put napkins in my ears) and they made a point not to play "Me and Giuliani Down By the Schoolyard," which they called "their hit from three years ago," but that's ok. They were really great and fun, I'd definitely see them again.

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