Thursday, May 1, 2008


I saw The Teenagers play two nights ago at The Abbey Pub on Chicago's Northwest side. The much lauded Anglo-Parisian trio was fresh off of their Coachella performance. They delivered fairly earnest yet slightly sloppy renditions of their hits, including "Scarlett Johansson", "French Kiss", and "Homecoming". Their sound was augmented by adding two ladies to their road show, one on guitar/keyboards and one on drums.It was about what I had expected to see and I was pleased I got to see them play. That said, they are essentially a joke band with limited musical talent (but possibly a limitless sense of humor!). Still fun though.

What really captivated me was the opening act, Team Robespierre, of Brooklyn. Promoting themselves as "New Punk", the five-piece was likely one of the funniest, yet most pathetic musical groups I have ever witnessed in concert. I literally could not stop laughing for the first 20 minutes of their set. "You're going to think we're a bad band," the keyboardist/singer griped as they feebly investigated sound issues 30 minutes into their set. No, I am going to think that you gentlemen comprise one of the most spectacularly awful bands in the world. I am starting to think that New York City (aside from the dope skills of DJ Pumpkin Patch) is the global capital of musical schlock. You are going to hate me for this, but Matt & Kim? That is about the worst music I have ever heard. Matt and Kim sounds like a couple special 8 year olds were given a Casio and a 4 track. Armand Van Helden is the self-proclaimed "Michael Jordan of House"? Do you folks have any sort of a grip on reality? I mean sure, "I Want Your Soul" was pretty great, but come on dude, if you lived in Chicago you'd be hustling pretty hard for a 10 PM Monday slot at Green Dolphin Street. But the spawn of a group like Team Robespierre makes me think that New York hipsters simply think it is cool to drop a deuce down your auditory canal. Thanks a lot for that.

Which leads me to exhibit A - "Young Touch" by the United Kingdom's Jeuce. This group has got something special, it gives me a really positive energy when I listen to their songs. This track in particular seems to capture the emotional rallying call of the post-punk digital sound. Jeuce is a very young group too, they seem to be about college-age and I expect them to cut the proverbial edge as they grow and develop musically. For me, this song really captures the essence of the "Don't give a f*&*" and DIY attitude that mid 90s hardcore bands purveyed. Check it out, and be sure to check out their rework of Hadouken on their myspace, that track is awesome.


"Young Touch"

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