Monday, June 30, 2008

destroy everything you touch

I promised you all a summer music show but it looks like it's not gonna happen any time soon, considering my $20 microphone broke and I'm waiting for my next paycheck. At this point I'm not entirely sure when RiGIDcast's next show will be, or what it will be about, but you know that I'm always open to suggestions and ideas, so please please please leave me a comment. Leave me a comment even if you don't have a suggestion; I'm just curious as to who's reading this blog. Because you won't be getting a summer music podcast, I figured the least I could do would be to start a weekly (or daily or really, whenever I feel like it) music post.
I thought I'd start off with Ladytron's latest dance-pop offering, Velocifero. I'll admit, it took me awhile to appreciate Ladytron. I discovered them during a time in my life when Ani DiFranco and the Indigo Girls were on heavy rotation on my ipod and really wouldn't bother listening to anyone unless they were a lesbian with dreadlocks and an acoustic guitar. Or Fiona Apple. Anyway, Ladytron definitely did not fit this profile. I have to credit Le Tigre for opening my ears to how good dance music can be, and once I finally let myself enjoy it, I couldn't get enough.
What I loved about Ladytron was the brightness, the energy, and the shameless urge it injected into you to just get up and jump around like an idiot, despite their dark and cynical lyrics. The energy is still there in Velocifero, but it's decidedly less fun than their previous endeavors. Mira's flat vocals deaden otherwise upbeat tracks. The band's growth is hard to track because it feels like they are afraid to stray from the formula or do anything remotely innovative with their sound.
Seeing Ladytron perform live was something of a disappointment, to be completely honest. It's not that they aren't good musicians, it's that they aren't good performers. I know the deadpan, stiff delivery is part of their shtick, but they seemed genuinely unhappy to be where they were. It's understandable, I suppose. They were playing the so-called "Outernational Festival" in Columbia, MD, billed after two shitty no-name acts and before TV on the Radio, who were clearly the main attraction, despite Thievery Corporation headlining. Helen and Mira seemed involved in their own little worlds on stage, and when they did look out into the audience, where practically no one was dancing, the disappointment and frustration were obvious on their faces. Yes, the audience was incredibly stiff(the tall douchebag standing in front of me was texting through their entire set), but I don't think their attitude did anything to help the situation. The set was poorly chosen, allowing Mira to sing on more than a few songs from Velocifero, and leaving old, reliable favorites behind.
Now don't get me wrong, I do like them. They are wonderful for what they are, and when they get the formula right, it's glorious. They don't belong in an outdoor music festival. They belong in a club, under blacklights, with their devoted fans. They played at Sonar in Baltimore the night before and I can only imagine that's exactly what they had to work with, which makes me glad, because they do deserve appreciation.

Download: Ghosts, Burning Up


Samantha Manchester said...

I agree completely. That is a great analysis of Ladytron. As for your next podcast, what about the language limitations women have imposed on them by society?

Phylicia Sampson said...

You know what would be really cool/easy?

compare riot girl music scene with the "3rd wave" feminist movement. that shouldn't be that hard i don't think.