Pop quiz: You’re a member of the Arctic Monkeys and it’s the night before you’re supposed to play to a sold out crowd at Webster Hall, what do you do? You throw on your Adidas running jacket and head to the Noisettes/Mystery Jets show at the Mercury Lounge, of course!
With their eclectic Amish fashion sense and percussion props stolen from the cast of Stomp, it’s hard to debate why a Monkey wouldn’t want to come out to see the Jets play their blend of jingly-jangle pop, which kind of reminds me of Shockheaded Peter (without the subversive undertones).
Up first were The Noisettes, showcasing their pop punk rock infused with rockabilly and blues sensibilities. The trio tore through their lightning-speed set with plenty of energy and vigor. During one song lead singer Shingai used an audience member’s shoulder as a foot stool and the guitarist stil had his SXSW wrist bands on. Awesome.
The M.Jets fall under the “crazy vaudevillian pop song” genre of music that is sweeping polka dance halls as we speak. (I just made up.) The music is all over the place–directly after they finished their first song I turned to everyone behind me and said, “I don’t know what just happened!” Listening to them is comperable to playing a song you assembled in GarageBand while blindfolded, then whacking a Casio keyboard over your head as you continuously hit a cowbell.
Their music seems to be inspired by just about every recorded musical sound. There are shades of reggae, 80s synth pop, 60s British pop, German beer chants, etc. You name it, the M.Jets have probably encorporated it into their sound. Needless to say, it’s absolutley impossible to classify their music into the nice little self-contained boxes music journalists like to use when it’s convenient.
I was baffled by the music–not having known any of it before hand. I commend the band on doing something completely different, I’m just not sure if it works for me. I’m not one to really go for theatrical bands with a musical base of upbeat pop, so I think a lot of what what some other people would probably describe as their “whimsical, feel-good charm” was lost on lil’ ol me. I think they are an aquired taste, and I much prefer my music to be a little more straightforward.
In addition to that, throughout the show I couldn’t help but feel that something was amiss…what was setting me off? Watching the Jets, they feeled so familiar…so…so…what? Then I realized what it was–they are so Young Einstein! Seriously, you cannot look at the photos below and deny that the Mystery Jets are totally stealing Yahoo Serious‘s style.
All of the Yahoo elements are there–crazy hair, collar-less button up white shirts, tight-fitting trousers, crazy junkyard creations…oh yeah and the desire to ROCK YOUR FACE OFF WITH THE ELECTRICAL POWER OF MUSIC.
RELATED LINKS: Music Snobbery’s review
While I was seeing The Mystery Jet’s magical Amish review, The Strokes were playing in San Francisco tonight. Check out Tom’s great photos.