Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I'm on fire. Literally

Oh, laborious. How you tortured me so. The last true party weekend of the season decides to do double duty as the hottest weekend of the year, too. Would that stop me from making my appointed rounds? But of course not, my sexy friends.

Sunday night brought the big Chromatics show at the Echo. Way more people are into these Portland art-rockers than I realized. Maybe it was our DJ buddies at Part Time Punks pulling the crowd. Either way, by the time Ruth and the boys hit the stage, there were a lot of people queued up to watch them play.

Staying true to the monotonic ice hipstress persona she’s cultivated on Chromatics recordings, Ruth (that's her in the picture) stood stock still the entire time. Dressed in a purple dress, black belt and stilettos, she would occasionally sway from side to side and maybe stare blankly at someone in the crowd. But that’s it. The band (guitar, bass, drums—what, no synth player?), faithfully cranked out the tunes, with “In The City” and “Hands in the Dark (Dark Day)” standing as their strongest numbers (you can find both on the awesome “After Dark” compilation, released on the equally sweet Italians Do It Better label).

Jessie was not feeling it at all. "Infuriating" was the word she used.

"Performing is like sex," she fumed. "It's her responsibility to give the audience something more. She's supposed to fuck them back."

The crowd, on the other hand, ate it up. I definitely enjoyed a sizable taste of my own. On the way out, I eagerly snapped up a copy of a special limited edition 12-inch of “In The City.” Getting it home, I was so excited to discover that it comes with an a cappella version, a killer minimal remix that’s borderline ghetto, and then, the piece de resistance: A deadpan cover of Springsteen’s 1985 single “I’m on Fire.” The perfect soundtrack for the hottest weekend I’ve ever had to endure in L.A. Keep burnin', y'all.