July 19, 2010
Last November, Katie and I walked into the Bellhouse to see Bishop Allen and Throw Me the Statue, sure we would be welcomed by some top-quality indie-pop. We instead immediately found ourselves watching what seemed to be a loosely choreographed dance number to some pre-recorded 80’s-style-Caribbean dance music which then morphed into Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).’ No, I’m not exaggerating. That’s pretty much exactly what happened. Don’t believe me?
I think we were standing right behind the videographer here. Clearly some very high dudes (invoking the genderless meaning of the word) with oddly-sober A/V skills had stormed the stage just before we walked in. Feel free to watch all 2 minutes and 24 seconds of that video. It doesn’t get any less weird. Weirder still the moment when these very high stage-stormers about-faced, picked up their respective musical instruments, and launched into an undeniably catchy, awesomely-written and -performed song. What the hell?
Thus our introduction to the NYC band, Darwin Deez. After an increasingly enjoyable set—and the two bands we actually came to see that night—I left the show determined to look the Deezes up as soon as I got home. Well, you know how that works out sometimes. Fast forward to…ah…last week when we immediately recognize this week’s Song of the Week, ‘Radar Detector,’ in a Volkswagon ad. Needless to say, the ad re-sparked my interest in the band and I now must deliver a well-deserved ‘danke’ to the automobile manufacturers. The total weirdos write some of the most simply-addictive pop songs I’ve heard in a while. ‘Radar Detector’ serves as a pretty good example of what these guys (again, genderless version of the word…sorry bassist, Michelle Dorrance, AKA Mash Deez) do well—build an uncomplicated (in a good way), catchy song structure, add a stick-in-your-head-for-hours melody, throw in some guitar-as-tone and drum-machine-as-rhythm, and then have a hell of a lotta fun with it all. Despite his penchant for headbands, tie-die, the word ‘nugs,’ and rather thin mustaches—or maybe due in part TO IT—frontman Darwin Smith has got it going on. And I promise not to judge next time. I’ll even sing along.
I got gloss on my lips
A man on my hips
Hold me tighter than my Dereon jeans
Check out their Song of the Week and, if you likey, order some records, real or e-style. Darwin Deez’s. Not Beyoncé’s. Though, you know…