Event Reviews

Stereolab

with Dymaxion

Variety Theater, Atlanta, GA • November 12, 1999

40 Watt, Athens, GA • November 13, 1999

So I’m not the biggest Stereolab fanatic in the world, but judging from what I had heard, I knew it was worth a little extra effort to see them. Thus, a few days were set aside for a road trip from central Florida to Georgia.

Dymaxion opened. They were from New York and specialized in droney, spacey stuff. One of those bands that was interesting for a while, until the songs started blending together and boredom set in. Were they good at what they were doing? I suppose. They all seemed like talented musicians and their droning spaciness was indeed very droney and spacey. Was I interested in what they were doing? Not really. Especially the second night. “Oh goodness, this again?” A bit trance-inducing, which just made me tired.

Stereolab was indeed well worth the drive, though, and worth the wait. Describing them isn’t easy. To me, it sounds like a blend of jazz and pop with somewhat lounge-ish flavorings. Analog keyboards, bouncy rhythms, and in general a retro-ish approach to pop. A lot of French lyrics, which further support the chanteuse comparisons for the dual female singers. Some upbeat songs groove and are good for dancing and smiling while others rock out in a droning psychedelic jam sorta way. The slower songs are soaked in sweet melodies as well, and are just as nice and entrancing. Classy stuff.

I recognized songs off their newest album on Elektra, Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night , as well as some stuff I had heard from a friend. Other than that, I don’t know too much, other than a few vinyl singles, so my favorites were “Infinity Girl” and “Blips Drips and Strips,” both off the newest album. But even the songs I was not familiar with were fully enjoyable. Two great shows. ◼


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