Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Great Scott Gets Handsome

When it comes to my favorite of the two principle songwriters in Wolf Parade, it's no secret that I favor Spencer Krug (Sunset Rubdown) but Dan Boeckner has given me serious reason to reconsider. Not only did he write my favorite songs on Wolf Parade's last album, At Mount Zoomer, but he also has released one of my favorite albums of 2009 with Handsome Furs. The band consists of Dan Boeckner on guitar and vocals alongside his gorgeous wife Alexei Perry who plays keys and a drum machine. Their latest album, Face Control, is an unbelievably consistent collection of electronic rock and roll. Give it a listen below and support the band if you're digging it:


Given that I have been spinning Face Control consistently since its release, I was obviously highly anticipating their live show which I finally got to witness on July 6, 2009 at Great Scott in Allston. The one-two punch of "Legal Tender" and "Talking Hotel Arbat Blues" immediately got the crowd excited and dancing. The duo was working hard on stage, sweating through every song and putting everything they had into each note. Alexei went as far as to say, "It's hot up here; I'll have to wear less clothes next time" which got quite a favorable response from the male members of the crowd. Dan and Alexei were some of the most gracious performers I had ever seen giving lots of thanks and stating "you guys are really nice" in between songs.

Handsome Furs easily put on one of the most fun shows I have seen all year. Some people were even having too much fun such as the guy who managed to fall on stage and continue to dance through some of their songs whom they dubbed the 'secret member' of the band. They were good sports through the whole thing despite some people getting rowdy. A particularly funny moment came when Dan responded to one member shouting at him about other bands with the proclamation, "You know I'm not in Sunset Rubdown, right? Great band; I'm just not in it."

It was inspiring to see what the duo can do with a simple setup of guitar, vocals, drums, and keys. Songs such as the New Order referencing "All We Want, Baby, is Everything" contained irresistible melodies that you couldn't help but get sucked into. The chemistry on stage was also unmatchable and Alexei's wide-eyed energy was something to behold. You could almost see the emotional connection to the music as they lunge toward each other while performing. Although they didn't play much older material, I was glad to hear "Handsome Furs Hate This City" which they confessed was about Toronto but they encouraged the audience to think of a city that they hate.

When they came back out to play "Dead and Rural", Dan stated that the song was about growing up in a shithole town where his nickname was faggot. Judging by his demeanor during the concert, I think it is safe to say that he got over it and is doing quite well for himself. Overall, the concert was a success and I got to hear every song off of Face Control that I was hoping to hear. I was surprised to see how approachable and genuinely nice they both were. They were not hesitant to walk around the bar all night and talk to people and even set up and took down their own equipment. I will definitely be there when they come to town again.

Handsome Furs set list Great Scott 7/6/09:
Legal Tender
Talking Hotel Arbat Blues
All We Want, Baby, Is Everything
I’m Confused
(White City)
Nyet Spasiba
Handsome Furs Hate This City
Radio Kaliningrad
Dead and Rural

All We Want, Baby, Is Everything

I’m Confused

Dead and Rural

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