The Noisettes, Mystery Jets, and Arctic Monkeys–Oh My!

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 noisettes

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.

mystery jets

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.

young einstein

vs.

mystery jets

and

mystery jets

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.

Arctic Monkeys: The Silent Musical Guest on SNL

Just happen to catch the opening sequence of SNL just but when it came to announcing the musical guest, the photo of the Arctic Monkeys appeared but there was absolute silence when it came to announcing their name. Ooops! Well at least they didn’t call them the “Arctec Monkey.”

UPDATE: The lads just played a spirited version of “I Bet that You Look Good on the Dancefloor.” Alex Turner wore a baby blue zip up sweatshirt. Bassist Andy Nicholson was bundled up in a black quilted winter coat. Drummer Matt Helders totally rocked a big ol’ pair of tinted aviator shades. But what was that taped onto his drum kit? “ASBD?” or is it “ASBO?” What does that mean?

(UPDATE ON “ASBO”: According to a poster on the Arctic Monkey forums, ASBO might stand for “Anti-Social Behaviour Orders“, a term familiar to Brits. ASBO is defined by the Crime and Disorder Act of 1998 as being “behaviour which causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more people who are not in the same household as the perpetrator.” That would be an interesting choice of acronyms to put on a drumhead whilst performing on American national television.)

WATCH: “I Bet that You Look Good on the Dancefloor” by Arctic Monkeys on SNL

ANOTHER UPDATE: Second song is “A Certain Little Alex looked a bit tired in some of those closeup shots. Holy crap! Alex just said, “That man just yawned,” as he pointed to the audience in the last verse of the song. And woah, guitarist Jamie Cook just threw his guitar at the speaker, breaking the neck of his axe. Err…is it safe to say that the Monkeys were far from enthused by their experience on SNL?

WATCH: “A Certain Romance” by Arctic Monkeys on SNL

LAST UPDATE: And what was that?! While Matt Dillon was saying the thank yous for the night, Alex, Andy, and Jamie were huddled behind him talking amongst themselves, backs to the camera. Matt was standing next to Matt D wearing a red visor and still rocking the shades. Then when all the cast members were congratulating each other, Andy and Matt were just hugging each other, laughing. Oh boy…I wonder what’s on their minds now.

I just happen to read this article about The Vines right before SNL and in it was this most appropriate quote from Alex Turner about watching his first live gig–which was the Vines: “I thought, ‘That’s what being a singer is all about. When we play, I’ll do what Craig Nicholls does, be all spaced out.'”

That’s brilliant.

Best Buy Doesn’t Sell “Arctic Monkeys” Album

Today I was out on Long Island for a dress fitting. That’s because I’m a bridesmaid in my friend Amanda’s wedding NEXT YEAR. Since I’m not getting married any time in the near future, all this bridal stuff is totally foreign to me. Buying a dress for something that’s not until 2007 still does not compute in my mind.

Anyway, since I’d already spent an hour or two at David’s Bridal, ate lunch at PF Chengs (The Cheesecake Factory was too busy!), I decided to go suburbia overboard and stop by the nearby Best Buy…which took me 20 minutes to get to in my car even though it was only about 5 minutes walking distance because shopping malls on Long Island have the most retarded parking lot systems EVER.

I headed into that monolith of a electronics and music store, Best Buy, and searched for the Arctic Monkeys CD since I hadn’t bought it yet. I headed toward the “A” section and saw “Air”, “Antony and the Johnsons,” but continued to look for the Monkeys.

I found “Arcade Fire,” but no “Arctic Monkeys.”

“Hmm…It should be riiiight her–Oh.”

Then I realized that there’s a pretty good chance that Best Buy employees do not have to take a spelling test or have a subscription to NME to work there…but hey, I do love me some “Arctec Monkey” every now and then.

arctec monkey at best buy

This photo is going next to my other cameraphone snapshot of the “Von Blondies” in the Virgin Megastore in Union Square.

2006 Brit Awards: Kidz Singing ‘Bout Guns, Screamo “Since U Been Gone,” and WAS Accept Arctic Monkeys’ Award

Where else could you see hundreds of kids joyously clapping their hands while singing “I need a gun to keep myself from harm” besides at last week’s 2006 Brit Awards?

Hopefully nowhere else, because that would just be creepy.

WATCH: “Dirty Harry” performed live by childen on behalf of Gorillaz

Also Madonna won the “Best International Female” even though no one is entirely sure if she’s still American and Coldplay insist they are going away for a “very long time.”

WATCH: Madonna and Coldplay accepting their individual awards.

Kelly Clarkson played the awards show as well doing her same old “barefoot and singing in the crowd” screamo version of “Since U Been Gone” that she already did for the MTV VMAs in 2005. Even down to her shouting “JUMP!” before the first instance of the chorus.

WATCH: “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson at the 2006 Brit Awards

WATCH: “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson at the 2005 Video Music Awards

And for good measure, the retardedly hilarious/mortifying “My Own” Kelly Clarkson:

WATCH: “My Own” Kelly Clarkson: Part 1, 2, 3

And of course the most unexpected speech of the evening, We Are Scientists lead singer, the super-cute Keith Murray accepts the Arctic Monkeys’ award for “Best British Breakthrough Act.” Hahah. Both the Monkeys and the Scientists were playing the NME Shockwaves Tour when the speech was recorded, and no one filming seemed to notice that Keith clearly has an American accent.

keith murray of was for arctic monkeys

WATCH: Keith Murray accepting the Arctic Monkeys’ “Best British Breakthrough Act” Award.

(Source: Gorillaz link from MP)

Sugababes Take Pop Retaliation on Monkeys for Covering Girls Aloud?

Oh my GOODNESS! Check out the most unlikely cover version of…this week. British pop phenomeons Sugababes have covered Arctic Monkeys‘ “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor.” It’s included as the B-side for their upcoming single “Red Dress” which drops on March 6. Some may think of it as a united popstar response to the Monkeys covering Girls Aloud‘s “Love Machine” on Jo Whiley‘s show on Radio 1 last month.

Seems like the girls are being good sports about the fact that the Monkeys knocked their song “Push the Button” out of the top spot of the UK singles chart. Said the S-babes: “We loved it even though it knocked us off number one. When our bosses asked us to think of covers for the B-side we knew which song we’d all love to do.”

Niiice. Now for the goodies:

DOWNLOAD: “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” by The Sugababes

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