Sunday, February 8, 2009

fol chen record release party @ pehrspace

Last night, in an attempt to gather more information for the Would-Be Hipsters of the world regarding the continuous threat of the nefarious John Shade, I attended Fol Chen's record release party. So who is John Shade? Beats me -- I got distracted by the indie-rock. Foiled again!

Chances are, anyone who's seen a show or two around LA has seen Fol Chen perform, myself included. However, it's taken me a year since their proper coming out party and a signing to Asthmatic Kitty before finally catching this new incarnation. I've seen and loved them in the past, but this? It's like the dance rock sprung fully-formed from the band's collective heads, bathed in the glitter of the sunset strip -- a far cry from the buttoned-up, romance-filled shows of the past. Needless to say, the audience was more than willing to go along for the ride, coasting along the wave of lead-man Samuel Bing's infectious onstage persona. The man can get hard-boiled hipsters engaged in a No Doubt sing-along. How is this possible?

Even stranger, he's not the only charismatic member of the band. It might have been altitude sickness sustained from an extended period standing on a chair while craning my neck around a pile of amps, but during keyboardist Melissa Thorne's rendition of "Cable TV" I could have sworn I saw actual dancing. Couple that with the band's ability to cede the floor to super-producer Patrik-Ian Polk (whose voice graces the criminally addictive "The Idiot" and managed to sound just as silky live) without losing one ounce of energy, and you've got a force to be reckoned with -- John Shade be damned.

(photo fol chen: Juliana Paciulli)

mp3: "Cable TV" by Fol Chen
mp3: "No Wedding Cake" by Fol Chen

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