CSS, Natalie Portman's Shaved Head @ The Echoplex, 12/9
The Echoplex was hit by a tidal wave of audio marshmallow fluff last Thursday. By the time I arrived, the air was sticky with it. Natalie Portman's Shaved Head was on stage. You want a band that can provoke a reaction just by naming things, it's this one. I mean their album is called Glistening Pleasure for God's sake. Who wouldn't want to own Glistening Pleasure?
Unfortunately that is where the genius seems to wear off. Relying heavily on their sequined outfits to carry their show, NPSH launched into some of the most boring synthesized pop I've heard in a very long time. If you put monkeys in a room with a bunch of keyboards to bang on I'm sure that they could have come up with more interesting melodies. By the time they got to Sophisticated Side Ponytale that has a chorus that goes, "I like it when you say you've got a gun in your bag. That's so hot! That's so hot!" My thoughts began venturing into the dangerous land of the viciously bored. I began asking myself, "Do I have a gun in my bag? That would be hot." At which point I made the executive decision to go hangout with the smokers outside, away from the hideous pop.
The Brazilian band CSS came on at around eleven and the place went nuts. CSS1 is renowned for irreverent dance music. A real "I don't give a shit what you think" attitude which has earned them praise from critics and dancers everywhere. Lead singer, Lovefoxxx2 took the stage in a body suit covered in squiggles and an enormous feathery head dress, while screaming unintelligible things at the crowd. I assume they were things like, "Are you having fun?" and "Let's party Los Angeles!" or any other number of insipid things that rockers like to scream at the crowd, but honestly it could have been the Table of Elements for all I know.
CSS' electronica/rock shook the crowd into a dancing fever, but had no effect on my legs. With the exception of Music is My Hot Hot Sex that has this wild almost primal bass which is impossible to ignore, CSS was too sweet for my liking. It is the kind of band that would appeal to people who are cool with eating cupcakes for breakfast. I am more of a bacon and eggs kind of girl. Sugary disco is all well and good, but I need some resemblance of substance. Alala is not a good excuse for a lyric, let alone an entire song. But I'll let you decide for yourselves.
And while I have you attention, dear concert-going Angelenos, I will address something that has concerning me for quite some time about your behavior. I know cell phones can take video now, but it is no excuse to use them during the concert. Here is why. First and foremost, it ruins your concert going experience. Because you are spending all your time looking though this tiny screen, you miss what's going on around you. You forget to dance and let the music engulf you because you're so set on getting the perfect angle.
Secondly, you will never watch this video. Ok, maybe once. You'll show your buddy or post it on YouTube, but that's it. You'll watch it once, maybe twice at most, and then it will rot on your hard drive until you remember to delete it. Finally, when you hold your phone up to take the video, you block the view of everyone behind you. And they hate you for it. I am surprised the back of your head doesn't explode into flames from the heat of the glares. We understand reaching up to take a quick picture, but a five minute video! Were you raised in a barn? Drop your cameras and dance. It's for your own good. Otherwise I may have to lead a cell phone smashing revolution.
1. Which stands for Cansei de Ser Sexy or Tired of Being Sexy (something reportedly Beyoncé Knowles said she was.)
2. Seriously. That is her name.