District of Cacophony

A showblog/journal/diary, mainly taking place in Washington, DC

“How do they see when there is no light?”
“They live by night, they live by night!”

“Where do they go, and when do they sleep?”
“They live by night, they live with me!”

Way back when, I kinda liked Dan Snaith’s project Manitoba, but not enough to follow him when he had to change his name to Caribou. Yet apparently a lot of people did. They packed the Black Cat for abstract electronic quasi-rock. Sometimes these things seem weird to me. But then, Caribou turned out to be dancier than I expected.

I’d heard a little of the openers, Emeralds, and I liked their set quite a bit. It was abstract, too, and dreamy, and reminded me at times of Pink Floyd‘s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond.” After a while, though, I started to lose interest, as I usually do with electronic acts. But I have been wanting to hear more from them, and totally will at some point, just as soon as I finish going through all my other trillions of mp3s…

Caribou was pretty good, with some of the same pros and cons as the openers. They started out all krautrock, which was awesome, and even played a song or two that I recognized. But it shifted towards this electronic dance music that is more interesting to listen (or dance) to than it is to watch. It was kinda like this:

After the show I met up with some friends downstairs and tried to clarify my other weird thought about the night: that the crowd was unbelievably lame. I was looking around, like, “who are these people, and what are they doing at my rock club?” I usually don’t have this kind of elitist feeling, but I was getting this total fratboy vibe, down to grown men wearing sandals. Like, are you allowed to wear sandals to the Black Cat? Should you really wear them anywhere but the beach?

So anyway it was an ok show — but only ok. I have seen more interesting presentations of electronic music in a live setting. Here is a sort of concurring opinion from We Love DC.

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