Saturday, May 4, 2013

Touche and Edmond Dantes @ Neurolux (5/1/13)

Like plenty of other music-savvy folks in town (I'm guessing), I was looking forward to catching Todd Snider at the Egyptian Theatre.  When the day came around, unfortunately, I didn't think that I could afford to put down the $28 for a ticket, great American songwriter or no great American songwriter.  My spirits didn't get too low, however: the couple of songs that I'd heard by Touche and the presence of Edmond Dantes on the bill persuaded me that this Neurolux show would be a more than acceptable alternative.

I counted about twenty-five people at Neurolux around 8:40 pm.  When Touche played, I counted ten people actively listening to the music.  Not unexpected but still a raw deal for the bands.

Edmond Dantes opened the show.  Actually, it may have been just as well that not a lot of folks saw this set. A new drummer, Magnum the boombox, made his debut here, and he clearly needs a bit of work.  He had trouble with one number, jumped the gun at one point and flat-out refused to play at another.  There was a false start or three besides that.  Still, once the music did kick in, it sounded as sexy as ever.  Andrew Stensaas's croon glided over the modest crowd's heads while Ryan Peck's bass eased the bouncy beats and infectious tunes down their ears.  Also, now that I know the lyrics (I've been playing their EP Etta quite a bit), I can state with conviction that yes, "I Don't Like You" really is a great song.

Magnum needs to work on his stage presence too.  Far too undemonstrative.

Touche played next.  Near the end of their set, a gentleman at the bar shouted for them to please come back, there'd be more people next time.  Here's hoping that they take those words to heart (and that the guy gets proved right).  Alex Lilly's breathy coo, playfully enticing stage act and terse, stinging guitar fused with Bram Inscore's shimmering synth hooks, percolating beats and viscous bass.  Their hard candy tunes and slinky grooves would've been enough, but when was the last time you heard a synth-pop band name-check Donald Fagen or combine vibrators with the obsolescence of labor?  Smartly sexy and sexily smart.

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