Wednesday, July 1, 2009
LIV at the Fontainbleau, Miami Beach
Better than: Doing blow off the toilet seat at LIV.
My relationship with MSTRKRFT is an old one. Before all the hype, I was a fan of their remixes and after the release of The Looks, I knew I had stumbled on a dance music masterpiece. It was very easy for everyone to dismiss the album as electronic fluff, but that was sort of the point. The Looks seemed to be more of a commentary about dance music than an actual serious stab at making a dance album. The album employed every cliche known to man -- diva vocals, robotic voice effects, shallow lyrics, extended breaks, climactic peaks -- yet it all worked. For god sake, the video for "Easy Love" had women being showered by strawberry milkshakes.
So who can blame me for being so sorely disappointed with the sophomore effort, Fist of God? The tongue-on-cheek quality was gone, making way for a songs that sounded like were crafted to insure MSTRKRFT's popularity but not exactly bring anything new to the table. I mean, how can a song whose hook is "All I do is party!" not become a dancefloor hit? It's the same kind of formula LFMAO employed with "I'm in Miami, Bitch!" -- sing about partying and you'll have a hit party song.
So I went to LIV hoping MSTRKRFT could redeem themselves. I really still want to root for the duo if anything more is because The Looks was easily the soundtrack for my life in 2006 -- excessive partying included.
When the duo took over the deck's Wednesday night at LIV, they did so with little fanfare. LIV's crowd isn't exactly the kind of people who usually listen to the duo, but it seems hype was a good thing because I hadn't seen the club this packed since Joaquin Phoenix's dreadful "performance."
As the duo kicked into "Vuvuvu," perhaps the best track from Fist of God, one thought cross my mind: Why the fuck did the music sound so limp? Both Rokbar and Studio A, places which have hosted the duo in the past, have been able to provide enough wattage that it almost seemed like your heart was going to explode out of your chest. Sorry LIV, not even your lighting system can help you here.
Sound problems aside, MSTRKRFT owned their new party-hard persona. Tracks from Fist of God work better as club anthems then they do on the album itself, so tracks like "Bounce" with the aforementioned statement of partying packs a punch live. Still, when juxtaposed with tracks from The Looks, it's easy to see their shortcomings. Nothing beats the Euro-trashiness of "Easy Love" and the call-and-response and synthetic claps of "Neon Knights."
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Personal Bias: I own the vinyl, CD and digital formats of The Looks.
Random Detail: Somebody pointed out to me: "These hipster kids don't dance. They think dancing is doing random posses like somebody is taking their picture."
By The Way: LIV has quickly become hipsterati central: A-Trak is scheduled for next Wednesday, Steve Aoki returns July 29.