Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Their Retro Careers Just Exploded

I knew that it was going to be a fun evening when, as I walked through the doors, The Faint's Danse Macabre was playing over the loudspeakers in its entirety. Hell, I could just stay and listen to that all night and be done but I came with a purpose; I came to get assaulted by the digital sounds of Orlando's finest new romantics. I'm talking about last night's Electroclash party at the Backbooth downtown. On the bill were Carlo of Hollywood, KTHX, The Fashion and the group I was telling you about last week, Skinny Tie Report pals Flashlight Party.


Let me tell you how awesome it was to see such energy and creativity grace the well worn Backbooth stage. Quipping that it was a new song, KTHX's Xtopher Monge (KTHX is actually a one man show) tore into the digitally rocking Anna Logg after he astutely reminded the crowd that of course they were all new songs us. Indeed, I am not sure where these bands have been hiding but their long silence was time enough for them to craft their retro-tinged electronic euphoria. Okay, every single one of them would probably smother me with their ironic Members Only jackets for using the most obvious term "retro" but really, let's not bite the hand that feeds.

Sadly for us, The Fashion (who have been touted as "awesome") were in a fender bender on the way to the show and took the night off but it didn't stop the partial [V]hat crew who were on hand from boogying down. I know they were enjoying it but I had to give Stephanie, Christy and Brad total credit for allowing me to suggest this show. It really had Betamike written all over it. I was totally sad that I didn't get up and dance like my ass was on fire like I usually do but I kind of felt poser-ish since I wasn't really that familiar with Backbooth or its apparent regulars. If you must know though, you play any type of electroclash (I'm still not sure that is the official word we should attach to it) and I am wired to run in place like Richard Simmons. Similar effect to the way everyone screams when they say the magic word on Pee Wee's Playhouse.

Of course [V]hat took advantage of the popular photo booth located near the actual back booth in Backbooth...that is to say that they actually have one booth at the very back that is literally the back booth. Not a stretch to think that there would be one nor a point worth making but it fills space and well, you heard it here first. Myspace chat buddies Carlo of Hollywood (named after 80's kitsch artist Carlo of Hollywood) opened the show with probably the most tongue-in-cheek but riotously fun set including a full on Rambo themed song called First Blood, complete with sound bytes. How much more campy and fun can it get?! Super nice guys who put out amazingly fun music. One of the highlights of the night had to be the cover KTHX did of The Faint's Your Retro Career Just Melted. This my friends, marks the first time I have ever heard anyone do a Faint cover and can I just say, please sir can I have some more? KTHX knows how to do this respectfully and yet make it his own, he knows how to pay homage at the alter of Electroclash.


On to the headliners and the band we came to see, Flashlight Party. The name just makes you want to yell it out, like a party cheer or a verb! Everyone FLASHLIGHT PARTY!!! Being that this is the first time I saw them play, I didn't know what to expect in terms of their oeuvre other than the two songs I had been accustomed to on Myspace. I won't lie and say that throngs of people came out to support this show but there were some die hard Flashlight fans in the house who came fully prepared to rock it Flashlight style...complete with flashlights. Christy and I both looked at each other in disgust as we had independently had the same idea earlier but chickened out thinking it too obvious a choice of accessory. We were wrong, and how. Bringing a flashlight is a must if you go to one of their shows. Beyond that, I think flashlights should be brought to every damn show I go to, they add so much flava. One of the girls next to me even used it during one of the slower songs to highlight some of the random headshots plastered on the wall that probably hadn't seen actual light since 1987. Another girl, whom I later met and now know as Tess, used her flashlight to point at me as if to say "Hey! Keep dancing!" I had unknowingly started to shuffle my feet a little and I guess she approved, which is cool. It's nice to be acknowledged.


Like the exploration of some wondrous cavern that isn't quite mapped out, the Electroclash show gave me a sense of pride and gee-wiz awe, sort of like being the first man on the moon. Errr, maybe I just need to get out more often. But it is nice to hear this type of music out of Orlando where I thought it only existed in Minneapolis or Los Angeles or even Omaha. And how great is it to hear the finely crafted creations that these artists have nurtured and lived with for so many years and are so graciously bringing to the bright light of day for us now? The kids are alright man and hopefully their retro careers won't have melted before you get to see them.

The talented mr. flashlight, Jacob Graham


P.S. This Just In Flashlight Party will be playing this thursday at the Edible 2005 Fashion Show held at The Club at Firestone. The Fashion Show starts at 10:00pm and Flashlight Party will be playing toward the end. The show is free so you should come out before you go to ibar and enjoy good fashion and good music.

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