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Arts and Entertainment

Chairlift @ Troubadour 9/16/09

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I feel like I can't help but use a phrase from the lyrics to Brooklyn-based Chairlift's most well-known song to describe how I feel in putting together a write-up of their show this Wednesday night at the Troubadour: "I tried to do handstands for you."

What I mean to say is that I've been trying to figure out a way to be the band's cheerleader, because I was beyond blown away by their show a few months back as part of The Getty's amazing Saturdays Off the 405 free concert program, and I totally dig their album Does You Inspire You, but the bottom line is that their LA gig this past week was disappointing.

The Troubadour was a little like a ghost town around 10:15 p.m. when the band was prepping to take the stage, following openers John Maus and Glasser. You'd think a band who'd formed with the goal of writing music for haunted houses would feel right at home in such environs, but actually the whole thing was just plain awkward. In her only address to the audience of the evening, vocalist and synthesizer-player Caroline Polachek made reference to her off-sounding instrument, and besides a quick name drop of the other bands on the bill for the night, didn't attempt to connect anymore. Compounded by the too-dark lighting that had the band shrouded in reds, blues, and straight up darkness for most of the meager 8-song set, it seemed the show never really got started.