Monday, April 03, 2006

Art Brut in Montreal at La Sala Rossa




Art Brut’s strange brew of honesty-through-sarcasm could come off as snotty juvenilia for the art-school set but it surprisingly transcends the latter part of the equation though its lack of pretension. In plain English: it’s nice to see a bunch of people on stage playing music without pretending they’re cool, weird, dangerous or any other marketable adjective. Instead of those things, Art Brut play a hilarious take on classic punk while examining the little things that make life both worth living and worth ending. A few topics include moving to LA, disconnecting oneself from pop culture, getting into fights, getting into the sack with a new girlfriend, obsessing over an old one and failing to get it up. That’s right, someone made a rock song about erectile dysfunction before the Rolling Stones (zing!).

The opening act for the night was the local all girl indie pop group Pony Up! And surprisingly, I really dug their set. Sure any one of their songs could fit comfortably in the soundtrack to “Chasing Amy 2” but being a child of the 90’s, I have a soft spot for post-grunge alt-pop with female vocals and Pony Up! delivered with enthusiasm. Although I may have weirded them out during the obligatory “audience participation” part by suggesting that they play Jimi Hendrix on Acid.

Once Art Brut walked on stage and tore into We formed a Band however, everything else was forgotten. It’s tremendously enjoyable to be able to rock out to a current band as opposed to the cold critical appreciation that most new music inspires. Singer Eddie Argos’ rants about life prove to be intensely relatable and with a little luck these guys could hit it big Nirvana style: the world is ripe for a REAL punk band to knock the current crop of mall-rats off the charts. While the set was short and sweet, there’s only so much one can do with a 42 minute album and even I was admittedly drained from bouncing to the music the whole time. Too bad there wasn’t a mosh pit but the indie rock kids didn’t want to mess up their faux-80’s gear.

All in all, an incredible show and a highly recommended one. Five stars.

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